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In the Northern Territory, certain traffic acts done while driving on the roads are considered offences under the Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT) and the Traffic Act 1987 (NT). The Criminal Code Act, amongst other offences, also provides for offences such as the dangerous driving of vehicles.
As a citizen and road user in the Northern Territory, you must be aware of these offences, which can leave you with a criminal record or even send you to jail. We will look at the major traffic offences in the North Territory below.
If you get a conviction for a serious or major traffic offence in a NT court, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome on the results of your criminal background check in the NT.
Section 174F of the Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT) makes it an offence to drive a vehicle in a dangerous way that causes the death of another person. Section 174F(2) of the Act also makes it a crime where such dangerous driving inflicts serious harm on another person.
You had no intention to commit such conduct that led to any of the above is not an excuse under the law. It is a strict responsibility offence, which implies that simply committing the act will result in a conviction.
Section 174F(3) of the Act states what is considered dangerous driving under the act. It provides that a person will be deemed to drive a vehicle dangerously where:
Hit and Run is an offence under Section 174FA of the Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT). When a driver of a vehicle fails to stop after being involved in an accident that causes a person's death or significant injury to another person, it is considered a criminal offence. The law places a responsibility on such drivers to stop the vehicle, help the victim, and notify a police representative of the accident and its location.
Before one can be found guilty of this offence, it must be shown that the driver in question is aware of the occurrence and that it led to another person's death or severe injury.Penalty
Note that the word 'vehicle' under this section is not limited to only motor vehicles. It covers all means of road transportation like bicycles, carriages, cars, etc.
In the Northern Territory, if you disobey the direction of a police officer to stop the vehicle and go ahead from driving the vehicle dangerously while the police officer is pursuing you, it can be said that you have committed an offence. This is provided for in section 174 FB of the Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT). Section 174FB 2(C) considers dangerous driving to be:
Anyone found guilty under this provision is liable to a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
It is a valid defence if you reasonably believed that the police officer had not directed you to stop the vehicle. The accused bears the burden of proof. A vehicle here also covers all means of road transportation.
It is an offence in Northern Territory to drive a vehicle on the roads above the required speed limit. This action is capable of endangering the lives of other road users and is punishable under the law.Penalty
Under section 29AAA of the Traffic Act 1987 (NT), it is an offence to drive a vehicle or instruct another person to drive while in the passenger's seat when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law forbids a person who is in such a state and, as a result, has lost the ability to control the vehicle to operate a vehicle.Penalty
The maximum penalty for the commission of this offence is:
In the Northern Territory, it is an offence to drive on the road without a driver's licence or a learner's permit. It is irrelevant that you are merely visiting the Northern Territory.Penalty
Where the offence is committed within two months after the expiration of your licence, you will obtain a traffic infringement notice of $200. You could also face a fine of 20 penalty units or a 12-month jail sentence.
If an individual is found guilty of a serious or major traffic offence in a NT court, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of a police check.
Individuals can obtain a background check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.
Criminal Code Act 1983 (NT) - https://legislation.nt.gov.au/en/Legislation/CRIMINAL-CODE-ACT-1983
Traffic Act 1987 (NT) - https://legislation.nt.gov.au/en/Legislation/TRAFFIC-ACT-1987
NT Government (Traffic Offence Fines and Demerit Points) - https://nt.gov.au/driving/driving-offences-and-penalties/traffic-offences-and-penalties
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