Speeding fines can have significant consequences for drivers in Australia. Understanding the demerit point system, different licence types, and the potential for licence suspensions is crucial to navigate these situations.
How Many Demerit Points Are You Entitled To?
Receiving demerit points is a common outcome for speeding offences in Victoria. The number of demerit points assigned to a driver depends on the severity of the offence. It’s important to note that the Magistrates Court does not have the authority to change the number of demerit points applied to a licence. Checking your demerit point balance regularly is essential to stay informed about your driving record.
|Type of licence||Details of demerit point limits|
|Probationary P1 or P2 licence|
|Drivers who are under the age of 22 and hold an overseas licence|
|Drivers who are above the age of 22 and hold an overseas licence|
Please be aware that the duration for the accumulation of demerit points (12 months or 3 years) is determined by the timing of the traffic offences committed, rather than when a traffic offence is heard in court, for instance.
The consequences of accumulating excessive demerit points vary depending on whether you hold a Victorian licence or an International licence.
Licence Suspension: Exceeding the Speed Limit
If you are caught exceeding the speed limit by a significant margin, licence suspension is likely. The duration of the suspension varies based on the extent of the speed violation. Here are the minimum suspension periods for different speed ranges:
- Exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h or more but less than 35 km/h: 3 months suspension.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 35 km/h or more but less than 45 km/h: 6 months suspension.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more: 12 months suspension.
During the suspension period, it is illegal to drive. Driving while under suspension can lead to an extension of the suspension period and other penalties. In some cases, the court may decide to cancel the licence or impose a specific period of prohibition from applying for a licence. Driving with a suspended licence can even result in imprisonment for up to 6 months.
International Licence Suspension
In the case of accumulating excessive demerit points on an international licence, you will receive a licence suspension notice from VicRoads. It is important to note that you will not have the option to request an extension of the demerit point period or be eligible for a “good behaviour licence.”
During the period of disqualification, it is strictly prohibited to drive on roads in Victoria or obtain a Victorian driver’s licence or learner’s permit.
How To Appeal A Driving Licence Suspension?
When facing a demerit point licence suspension, it’s important to understand that the court does not have jurisdiction over demerit points or their cancellations; these matters are solely managed by VicRoads.
Under section 46H of the Road Safety Act 1986, there are two limited grounds for appealing demerit points in court:
- VicRoads has recorded certain demerit points incorrectly or contrary to the law.
- There has been an error in the addition of the demerit points incurred within a specific period.
It’s crucial to lodge your appeal within 28 days of your licence being suspended. During the appeal, the focus is solely on the correctness of demerit point recording and not on factors such as the need for the licence or the reasons for accruing the points.
How Do You Get A Speeding Fine Waived In Victoria?
If you are caught speeding and need to dispute a speeding fine in Victoria, consider the following steps:
- Act promptly: You have 28 days to dispute the fine, so it’s important to take action quickly.
- Grounds for disputing the fine:
- Believing the notice was contrary to the law.
- Another person was driving your vehicle at the time of the offence.
- Your conduct at that point in time was out of the ordinary.
- Special circumstances apply.
What Happens If You Fail To Pay Your Speeding Fine?
If you fail to pay or dispute the fine within 28 days, a Penalty Reminder Notice will be issued with an increased fine amount.
- After receiving a Penalty Reminder Notice, you will have the following options:
- Pay the fine: You can choose to pay the fine in full.
- Contact the council: Alternatively, you can contact the council that originally issued the fine to discuss your options.
- Notice of Final Demand: Failure to pay after receiving a Penalty Reminder Notice may result in a Notice of Final Demand, further increasing the fine.
- Enforcement Warrant: Persistent non-payment could lead to an Enforcement Warrant, involving a sheriff’s officer who has the authority to take various actions, including:
- Seizing property.
- Wheel clamping or detaining your vehicle.
- Arresting you to ensure you appear before a magistrate.
To avoid further actions and consequences, you have the following payment options when dealing with an Enforcement Warrant:
- Pay your fine in full.
- Request instalment payments.
- Enquire about additional time to pay.
What To Do If You Are Charged With A Traffic Offence?
Speeding fines are one of the most common types of traffic offences. Contact Anthony Isaacs criminal and traffic lawyers if you are charged with drug driving, drink driving or any drug related offence. It is essential to seek legal advice from Melbourne’s best traffic offence lawyers. We can provide you with expert advice on how to proceed with your case and represent you in court if necessary. Contact Anthony Isaacs for a free assessment of your case today.