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Traffic Law

Traffic laws are rules that regulate vehicles, pedestrians, animals and other conveyances related to traffic. These laws and regulations may vary from one state to another. These laws exist to make sure you drive safely and follow the rules on the road. Violating traffic laws equates to a traffic offence, which results in punishments.

This body of the law is complicated. An individual who violates the traffic laws can be penalised with anywhere from receiving a fine, incurring demerit points, a probation order to going to jail. The punishment depends on the type of offence, the circumstances, and an individual’s traffic history.

Types of Traffic offences

Here are some of the most common traffic offences:

  • Unlicensed driving
  • Drink and drug driving
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Disobeying a red light
  • Driving without due care
  • Dangerous driving

Topics Covered by Traffic Law

Infringement Notices

Depending on the traffic offence, an individual can be given an on-the-spot fine, or they may receive their punishment in the mail. The letter containing the details of the offence is called an infringement notice. This will contain the following:

  • The laws that an individual has violated
  • The amount to be paid
  • Where or how to pay
  • The due date for the fine

In the case that a violator fails to pay on time, the State Penalties Enforcement Registry can:

  • Suspend your driver licence
  • Direct your bank to transfer funds from your account
  • Direct your employer to deduct a certain amount from your wage each month
  • Register an interest over your property
  • Immobilise your vehicle
  • Seize and sell your property
  • Issue a warrant for your arrest and imprisonment

Disagreeing with an Infringement Notice

An individual may disagree with an infringement notice. They can do so by going to court to dispute it. You need to fill out and submit the following:

  • The Election for Court section on the back of your infringement notice, or
  • The Form F5111 – Court Election Infringements – Individual

The form should be addressed to and submitted to the Department of Transport and Main Roads. Once the form has been submitted, the individual will receive a notice containing the court date and the invitation to appear.

Transferring a fine

There are cases wherein cameras detect an offence. The infringement notice will be then sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. However, if you are not driving the car at the time of the offence, you must complete a statutory declaration.

If you know the person driving the car, then you must state their name and address in the statutory declaration. If you have no idea who was driving the vehicle, in the statutory declaration, you need to:

  • State that you didn’t know who was driving the car
  • Make reasonable requests to find out who was driving the vehicle, and outline what enquiries were made
  • Show that you had a system in place to identify the driver and describe the process undertaken

It is advisable for you to get legal advice before completing a statutory declaration.

Other Topics Covered by Traffic Law

  • Disputing a speeding fine
  • Demerit points
  • Applying for a special hardship order