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Home Resources & Technical Articles Driving & Traffic Offences Failing to Stop for Police Offences Failing to Stop For Police Offences and Penalties in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Failing to Stop For Police Offences and Penalties in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

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Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.


In the Australian Capital Territory(ACT), the police have an unfettered right to stop a driver along the road anytime, anywhere, and for any reason. They can request that you furnish them with your name, driving licence, date of birth, and other essential information. All this you must give to the police immediately.

However, failing to stop your vehicle upon the direction or signals from the police is tantamount to breaking the law and is, therefore, punishable under the law. This is provided for in the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (ACT). It is pertinent that you know these offences and the penalties that come with them. They are provided for in section 5AB(3) of the Act.

If an individual is convicted for a failing to stop for police offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a national criminal background check.

Failing to stop offence means -

(A) an offence against section 5C, which provides for failing to stop a motor vehicle for police.

(B) an offence committed against section 7 makes provisions for furious, reckless or dangerous driving. It would be an aggravated offence if a circumstance mentioned in section 7A (1) (a) (i) occurred at the time of the existing offence.

(C) any violation against section 60 (1), Road Transport (General) Act 1999. This section requires people to divulge the identity of a driver who is suspected of having committed an offence against section 5C.

Failing To Stop Motor Vehicle For Police

Failing to stop a motor vehicle for police is provided for in section 5C of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (ACT).

The section provides that a person commits the said offence if;

(a) the individual is driving a motor vehicle.

(b) a police officer gestures to the person to stop the vehicle.

(c) the driver fails to obey the police officer's signal immediately.

Penalty

  • A first-time lawbreaker will be subject to pay 100 penalty units, 12 months imprisonment or both.
  • On the other hand, a second-time offender will be subject to pay 300 penalty units, imprisonment for 3 years or both.

NB. Section 63(1)(d) of the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 (ACT) also provides for automatic licence disqualification for offences against this section.

Furious, Reckless Or Dangerous Driving

Driving furiously, recklessly, or in a dangerous manner on the road is harmful to the public and is an offence under section 7(1) of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (ACT). In determining whether this offence has been committed, the court must first observe the conditions and circumstances surrounding the case.

These circumstances include the state of the road where the offence was allegedly committed and the amount of traffic in that said area.

Penalty

  • The maximum penalty for a first time offender of an aggravated offence to this section is 300 penalty units, 3 years imprisonment or both.
  • A repeat offender who commits an aggravated offence is liable to pay 500 penalty units, imprisonment for 5 years or both.
  • An offender of any other offence which is aggravated will be subject to 200 penalty units, 2 years imprisonment or both.
  • In any other case, 100 penalty units, 12 months imprisonment or both.

An offence of furious, reckless or dangerous driving will be considered an aggravated offence if at the time the offence was committed;

  • The driver did not obey the signal given by a police officer to halt his motor vehicle.
  • The driver was driving under the influence and was unable to control the motor vehicle.
  • The driver was moving at a momentum that surpassed the speed limit above 30%.
  • The driver was driving with a prescribed amount of alcohol or drugs in their blood.
  • The driver was driving in a way that endangered the life of a fellow road user.
  • The driver was driving with a passenger below the age of 17.
  • If the driver is a repeat offender of the said offence in question.

NB. Section 63(1)(f) of the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 also provides for the automatic licence disqualification for offences against this section.

Failure to Disclose a Driver's Identity

Under section 60(1) of the Road Transport (General) Act 1999, a person who is responsible for the motor vehicle which the driver is alleged to have committed an offence with, must give information about the name and home address of the driver if it is required of him from a police officer.

Any other person also is mandated to give information that may lead to the identification of the driver when a police officer or an authorised person requests for it.

Penalty

Any person who fails to comply with the above provision will be liable to;

  • A first-time offender faces 12 months in jail, 100 penalty units, or both.
  • 300 penalty units for a second-time offender, imprisonment for 3 years or both.
  • 20 penalty units in any other case.

NB. In this case, it is a defence that the defendant did not and could not with reasonable diligence have found out the driver's name and home address.

Penalty Unit Defined

Section 133 of the Legislation Act 2001 (ACT), defines a penalty unit. It provides;

(1) If a penalty for an offence is expressed as a number (whether whole or fractional) of penalty

units, the penalty for the offence is a fine of that number of penalty units.

(2) A penalty unit is-

(a) for an offence committed by an individual—$160; or

(b) for an offence committed by a corporation—$810.

To change the penalty units into dollars, multiply the number of penalty units given by the dollar equivalent.

Will a failing to stop for police offence show up on a nationally coordinated criminal history check?

If an individual is found guilty of failing to stop for police offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their criminal background check.

Individuals can obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

Sources

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic) Management Act 1999 (ACT) - http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/rtatma1999412/

Road Transport (General) Act 1999 (ACT) - https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1999-77

Legislation Act 2001 (ACT) - https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2001-14/

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