Car ‘would have slid’ if woman stopped for yellow light
A dispute between a Gatton woman and a road police sergeant of 19 years has been heard in court after the woman failed to stop for a yellow traffic light at an intersection before it turned red.
Claudia Adriana Marisa Fiori said she would have “slid into the intersection” if she slammed on her brakes to stop at the traffic light so she instead proceeded through the light when it turned red.
Ms Fiori pleaded not guilty in the Gatton Magistrates Court on Wednesday, February 24, to one charge of failing to stop for a yellow traffic light before reaching the stop line.
In court, police prosecutor senior sergeant Al Windsor said Ms Fiori was driving on Spencer Street, Gatton, on January 12, 2020, when she failed to stop at the controlled intersection before turning into William Street.
What she did not know was that an unmarked patrol car was driving beside her, recording the incident on its dashcam.
Sergeant Josephine Goodwin from the Toowoomba Road Policing Unit was driving the unmarked Subaru through Gatton on the day and witnessed Ms Fiori run through the light and pulled her over in the Coles car park.
Sergeant Goodwin’s bodycam and dashcam footage was played to the court and showed Ms Fiori driving through the intersection before she was pulled over by the sergeant.
Ms Fiori said sergeant Goodwin “did not take into account” the age and type of vehicle she was driving - being a 1994 Toyota HiLux tray back.
Ms Fiori said the design of the car meant if she slammed on the brakes she would “swerve” because her ute was “front heavy and back light”.
Senior sergeant Windsor said if Ms Fiori’s car was in “a roadworthy condition” it would have been able to safely stop at the traffic lights.
Ms Fiori said “I know what my car is capable of”.
“Life is not textbook - how do you know my vehicle,” Ms Fiori said.
Senior sergeant Windsor used the dashcam footage to argue Ms Fiori had “ample time” to pull up safely.
Magistrate Peter Saggers said after watching the footage himself the yellow light was “illuminated” the entire time from when Ms Fiori was in the turning lane and was “satisfied the conditions were safe to stop”.
Mr Saggers found Ms Fiori guilty of the charge and convicted and fined her the value of the infringement notice of $400 in addition to court costs of $106.80, which were referred to SPER.
A conviction was recorded.