Interesting Bug! Trucks falsely charged for speeding due to daylight savings.

The failure of a Safe-T-Cam system to correctly adjust for daylight saving changes ended in a surprise court summons and a costly legal bill for a distraught veteran interstate truckie.

Adelaide-based Kym Ottey has since had the charge of recording false or misleading entry after allegedly travelling between Safe-T-Cam sites in less than the allowable time withdrawn and had part costs awarded against the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

But with clocks again set to change back around much of Australia on April 7, Ottey has come forward with his story as a warning to others.

“How many other drivers around Australia have been falsely charged because of daylight saving changes that the NHVR missed and just paid the fine?” wonders Ottey.

“And how can NHVR get it so wrong, when daylight saving changes time twice a year, and has done so for many years?”

Ottey’s ordeal relates to an April, 2023, return run – it took another nine months for the summons to arrive – from Adelaide to Perth, a regular weekly journey.

As later verified by his company’s telematics information, Ottey departed from Adelaide late on Saturday, April 1.

He drove through the first three Safe-T-Cams – Bolivar, Port Augusta (Sterling North) and Penong – without raising a red flag on the NHVR’s system, but by the time he’d got to the fourth, around four hours later at Border Village, the clocks had gone back an hour.

“So, they thought he’d gone through an hour earlier than what he should have done,” explained Murray O’Neill, the driver compliance coordinator for the transport company.

“They’re saying he went through in three hours instead of four. You’d think that would ring some alarm bells and instead of charging him, wouldn’t you think they’d haul the truck over the pits and check the speed limiter?

When the shock summons landed on January 24, 2024 – just three weeks before the scheduled court date in Adelaide and a potential maximum penalty of $11,820 – O’Neill did his best to reassure Ottey that the telematics data was on his side, but the incident quickly “snowballed”.

A solicitor had to be engaged to explain the situation to the NHVR, yet according to documentation sited by Big Rigs, the regulator still insisted there was a basis for a False and Misleading offence in the same 24-hour period.

Ottey said that was because the regulator had also mistakenly adjusted Safe-T-Cam times before the clocks changed.

“We all know that the time zone in which you commenced the trip has to be used for the entire trip.”

Ottey finally received confirmation on February 15 that the NHVR prosecutor was withdrawing the charges, with part costs awarded against the regulator.

But to add salt into the wounds, six days later, a Notice of Penalty relating to the same incident arrived – $800 payable within 28 days – alerting Ottey to the fact he was to be convicted in his absence.

“For whatever reason, the paperwork wasn’t handled correctly, and I now have paperwork advising that the charge was withdrawn – and not that the defendant [Ottey] was convicted in his absence,” Ottey added.

“Thanks to modern technology and my employer’s assistance, this matter was able to be cleared up. However, it did take time, and a certain amount of stress and anguish was involved.

“lt’s not a good thing to be preparing for a 5400km return trip and dealing with what I believed to be a never-ending process that kept throwing curve balls at me.

“It also hardly seems fair to be out of pocket to prove one’s innocence when it was all due to an error by NHVR.”

Raymond Hassall, NHVR executive director statutory compliance, told Big Rigs that the regulator accepts responsibility for the “work and rest hours calculation error” that occurred.

But following a review of 1000 Safe-T-Cam notices issued within 14 days of the daylight savings changes last year, Hassall said Ottey “appears” to be the only driver affected.

Camera sighting data is collected in UTC time. If a potential offence is detected, the images undergo a review process. Hassall said the incident was received correctly from the Safe-T-Cam system, however a “calculation error” occurred during the review process.

“The NHVR has implemented process improvements to help prevent similar incidents occurring in future,” Hassall said.

If other drivers believe they have received an incorrect notice during the daylight savings changeover on April 2, 2023, Hassall encouraged them to contact the NHVR at