THE extent of the sneaky tricks some cops use to catch motorists has been revealed after a highly decorated officer was booked for speeding while trying to investigate a suspicious vehicle.
Chief Inspector Mark Death was off duty and travelling to Sydney to pick up his children at the start of the Easter long weekend when he saw a bright blue Holden SS ute "driving in an improper manner" on the F3.
Instincts from his 27 years of policing also told him to keep an eye on the car "hoodlums drive", given its dark, potentially illegal window tinting.
He overtook the ute several times to try to get a look at its occupants before changing lanes and letting it overtake him.
He didn't think any more of it until he received a speeding fine in the mail two weeks later.
He had been booked by "covert speed enforcement" travelling 125km/h in a 110km/h zone, leaving him with a $197 fine and a six demerit points.
When attempts to have the fine revoked failed, Insp Death was left with no option but to fight it in court.
Rather than defend his actions - and risk exposing "sensitive" undercover speed enforcement practices - the loyal officer fell on his sword and pleaded guilty.
Magistrate Alan Railton dismissed the fine and demerit points without conviction.
sInspector Death declined to comment outside court but emails tendered in his defence to the Traffic Services branch and the State Debt Recovery Office were scathing of the covert cops' highway antics.
He described the type of enforcement as "questionable" under standard operating procedures and "lacking integrity".
"The choice of a Commodore ute with heavily tinted windows is a bad choice of vehicle," he said