Palmer calls for review into school-zone speed limits after lost court battle

by | Sep 17, 2020 | Cops, News | 2 comments

Darwin Alderman Mick Palmer spent 10 months in court last year fighting a school-zone speeding fine, and now he wants a review into the default limit.

In a twist of irony, it was Mr Palmer roughly 30 years ago, who effected the 7am to 5pm speed limit of 40km/h at the majority of schools while Transport Minister.

Caught going 12km/h over the 40km/h speed limit in front of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Darwin City last year in February, Mr Palmer eventually pleaded guilty, admitting today that he was “miscreant”.

However, he says his request for council to review the limits has nothing to do with the speeding ticket battle he strongly contested.

At the Darwin Council meeting on Tuesday night, Mr Palmer called on council to review the school zones “to make sure they are still required” 30 years later.

Alderman Mick Palmer

Alderman Mick Palmer

At the time, schools across Darwin had varying start and finish times, and as a way to simplify the rules, the government established the speed limits from 7am to 5pm across the board.

“So people didn’t always have to look at signs,” Mr Palmer said after the meeting.

He said school access arrangements may have changed over time, and he says he has had complaints from members of the community who say some zones are no longer needed.

Mr Palmer said he has “no particular zones in mind”, adding the school zone he was caught in last year does not need to change.

The review comes down to “good management” required of any aging initiative, he said.

“It is time the school zones, each and every one, be reviewed to see them improved,” Mr Palmer said.

“It may turn out we need more.”

In regards to the reason for dragging his case through the court for almost a full year, Mr Palmer said: “I thought I was innocent,” originally believing he wasn’t driving in a school zone.

“When I discovered I was guilty I immediately admitted that.”

According to reports in the media, Mr Palmer was eventually issued a $100 fine.

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