Man uses Google Earth to fight speeding fine

Man uses Google Earth to fight speeding fine

By Agency - A man won the right to appeal his speeding fine and had his traffic conviction quashed after using Google Earth to allege the police officer may have issued the ticket to the wrong car, the Townsville Bulletin reported Tuesday.

Mustafa Al Shakarji, 24, was ordered to pay a AU$200 (US$203) fine and court costs of $71.50 after a magistrate in Bowen, about 745 miles north of Brisbane, refused to accept all of his evidence when he represented himself. But the fourth-year James Cook University pharmacy student will attempt to overturn the speeding fine a second time after the Brisbane District Court ordered a re-trial in the Townsville Magistrates Court.

Al Shakarji, who immigrated to Australia from Iraq with his family in 2002, was adamant he was not doing 35 mph in a 25 mph school zone in April 2009. Using Google Earth, which allows you to navigate through satellite imagery, he argued he was not the motorist speeding "down the hill."

District Court Judge Douglas McGill, who presided over the appeal, agreed there was "reasonable doubt as to whether the appellant was exceeding the speed limit" and found the magistrate may have unduly restricted cross-examination by the defendant who was attempting to prove this point.

A date has not yet been set for the second hearing.