Stop Sign update


Story Details

Meet four drivers who refuse to cop it!

Phi Thanh To came to us with a story of being fined by police for failing to stop at a stop sign... a stop sign that was almost "invisible".

"The fine was four hundred and thirty three dollars," says Phi.

A police officer taking advantage of a damaged stop sign turned away from the on-coming traffic.

Despite extensive video evidence and local workers backing him up in writing Phi seemed to be a lone motorist "crying foul".

“I see the sign is like ninety degree anti clockwise so I was really upset firstly with myself and secondly with the policeman," says Phi.

“But since that story aired he's been joined by Goldie and Joel and Dylan... all victims of the same cop, on his own, on a fining spree at the corner of Burleigh Ave, Ninth Ave and Audley Street at Woodville North.

"I didn't see it... I didn't see any stop sign or nothing," says Goldie.

"Seems to me he was more interested in actually fining people rather than road safety," adds Joel.

Painting apprentice Dylan Rolston-Howard is now looking down the barrel of losing his job over the stop sign fine.

'I end up losing my licence... I lose my apprenticeship," says Dylan.

And Dylan tells an increasingly familiar tale…

"It was facing in the actual direction of the police officer who was sitting in his car on Ninth Ave".

Joel Miller was also a victim... and he's certainly not backward in coming forward.

“Just looks like revenue raising, really”.

“I took photos of that about an hour or so later for myself and you could easily just turn the pole three hundred and sixty degrees... so it's just sitting very loosely there so you could just spin it around," says Joel.

Now while SAPOL will tell you that the dodgy sign is incidental to the offence... which is not stopping at a stop "line"... Goldie Magnisalis claims in her case, that's not a factor.

Her encounter with this zealous member of the thin blue line seems most disturbing. While the others didn't notice the policeman preparing to pounce, Goldie reckons she did.

“I seen him there!!!... seen this police car... seen the stickers reflecting… so i stopped... put my indicator on... and I went left… next minute he put his lights on... so I stopped, put my indicators on and stopped. He came over to my car and he said ‘you went, you went through the stop sign’ ...and I said no I didn't I stopped, I seen you... I seen you on my right hand side. Why would I not stop if I seen you there?” says Goldie.

But then "he said/she said" escalated…

“I was very scared, I was crying... felt like I was a little kid at school again and he said to me if you did something wrong I have every right to lock you up... you just created a criminal offence... (He used the word criminal?) He used the word criminal. (He said you created a criminal offence, I can lock you up".

“My partner leant over and said excuse me you can't talk to her like this... and he says if I was you mate I'd shut up, I could lock you up too… I think it's not acceptable because you know if we commit a crime then leave it to the judge to judge… he shouldn't treat us like criminals," says Goldie.

"I got a four hundred and thirty dollar fine and I lost three demerit points for no reason," says Goldie.

While Goldie is still paying off her fine... the manager of the expiation branch has had a change of heart in Phi's case.

"I have amended the notice to a "caution" for failing to stop at a stop line," the notice reads.

Good news… but despite mounting evidence that the twisted sign seemed to be used as a ticket trap, there's no reference to that.

"There is no evidence to suggest that this was the case at the time of the offence".

"They are in the wrong... so to me it's invalid," says Goldie.

Joel has also received the same letter with his fine being scrubbed

Dylan would like to have the same courtesy paid to him… And Goldie?... well in her case, not only a scrapping of the fine but an apology from the officer involved…

"Yes he is a bully... I've never been spoken to like that from anybody," says Goldie.

While it has to be acknowledged most police officers are hard-working "fair" individuals, in this case SAPOL aren't messing about.

SAPOL spokesperson:
"The information is of concern. As a result, SAPOL has initiated a police complaint with the Police Ombudsman examining the actions of the officer involved.”

"You know that's not the way it should be and I don't want him to be in trouble but I want him to think again and you know try to change his behaviour," says Goldie.