Under the Road Safety Act 1986 and the Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009, you may be charged with the offence of excessive speed if the police find that you:
- drove over the speed limit by more than 25km/h; or
- went faster than 130km/h.
Harsh penalties apply for such an offence. There are automatic and mandatory licence suspension sentences for drivers who excessively speed. As per Schedule 5 of the Road Safety Act 1986, the table below provides the minimum licence suspension periods for a range of amounts over the speed limit.
Speed of vehicle
|1.||Exceed speed limit by 25 kilometres per hour or more, but less than 35 kilometres per hour.||1 month|
|2.||Exceed speed limit by 35 kilometres per hour or more, but less than 45 kilometres per hour.||6 months|
|3.||Exceed speed limit by 45 kilometres per hour or more.||12 months|
|4.||Any speed of 130 kilometres per hour or more that is not covered by item 1, 2 or 3.||1 month|
Normally, the magistrate may allow you to keep your licence. However, for excessive speed offences the magistrate is obliged to suspend the licence for the equivalent minimum period.
Whether you are found guilty or not depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. The police must prove that you were driving and drove over the speed limit.
Possible defences if you are charged with this offence include:
- that you had to speed because of an emergency;
- that you lost conscious while driving such as you had a seizure or a heart attack;
- that the speed detector was faulty (you would need an expert to explain this in court);
- that you have strong evidence to prove that you were not speeding.
It is not a defence:
- To argue that you were running late to work or a function;
- To say that your speedometer was not working;
- Not knowing the speed limit.
If you find yourself charged with excessive speeding, please do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance.
By Guner Hussein, Solicitor at RSG Lawyers.
Footnotes available upon request.