Traffic laws off the beam: Ald

Mosman Daily

Thursday 29 June 1989

MOSMAN'S Alderman Harold Scruby thinks traffic laws have gone silly; and has written to Police Commissioner John Avery to complain.

Mr Scruby said he recently saw a car involved in a head-on collision in a one-way street.
He was astounded when the policeman told him even though the car was travelling the wrong way up a one-way street, he could not be booked because it was a "P5" offence.

The car hit belonged to Mr Scruby's neighbour and the accident hit the local councillor's nerve because he has been trying for years to stop traffic travelling illegally up the one-way section of Amiens Ave, the street where the accident occurred.

What astounds Mr Scruby is the mysterious P5 offence. "I'd never heard of it before," he said.

Mosman patrol commander Inspector Graeme Ferguson however, verified it. He said if the police are called to an accident and nobody is hurt; if the cars are not damaged or towed away and there is no damage to other people or property, then it is a "P5 self-reporting matter".

"This law was brought in 12 months ago to save police time." Insp Ferguson said. "No, I agree it doesn't seem fair, but the law says the driver can't be booked for driving up the one-way street illegally if the car is involved in an accident."

After the accident Mr Scruby was so angry he parked his car across the top of the street to stop traffic going the wrong way.

In his letter to Commissioner Avery he said the council's chief engineer had counted at least 50 vehicles a day in both the Bay St one-way section and Amiens Ave.

"I have made many requests to the police to patrol the area but they have pleaded lack of resources," he said.

Mr Scruby said he was concerned because children, including his own, played in Amiens Ave and the car hit could easily have been a child instead.

"Some of the nearby residents are ready to set up vigilante groups to photograph offenders to let the authorities know how bad the matter has become," he said.

Ald Scruby said he called Insp Ferguson and was told while P5s had cut the workload, police were "most frustrated" by guidelines when serious offences occurred.

Photo: Alderman Harold Scruby stands defiant and angry as he watches car after car drive into the one-way section of Bay Rd, Mosman.