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7/22/2007
Australia: Cops Caught Lying to Avoid Speed Camera Tickets
Police in New South Wales, Australia are under investigation for lying in order to get out of speed camera tickets.

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The New South Wales, Australia Police Integrity Commission on Friday announced that it was investigating the possibility that officers had lied to get out of paying speed camera tickets. Photo ticket recipients in the Australian state are allowed to deny responsibility for the violation by filing a notice stating the name of the individual who had been driving at the time the photo was taken. The named individual then receives the license demerit points and must pay the fine.

"The commission has identified a number of serving and former NSW Police officers and other persons it believes have supplied false particulars in relation to traffic infringements," the commission stated.

The investigation into the officers who falsely nominated drivers to avoid a ticket, dubbed "Operation Horseshoe," followed from a high-profile case involving a former federal court judge. In January 2006, the Lexus registered to Marcus Einfeld, 66, was accused of driving 60km/h (37 MPH) in a 50km/h (31 MPH) zone. Einfeld told police that an old friend, Professor Teresa Brennan, had driven the car while he was out of town. Professor Brennan died in 2003. The resulting publicity over the case sparked an audit of challenged speed camera fines in October last year. Einfeld continues to maintain his innocence and is fighting perjury charges.

Filing such declarations has become common in the UK where motorists face the choice of losing their driving license -- and with it their ability to make a living -- or risk punishments that include stiff jail sentences. A survey of UK motorists taken in 2005 found that 727,000 drivers had mailed in false declarations in order to save their driving license.

The commission has not released the identities of the NSW police officers that it suspects had lied to avoid paying a ticket.



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