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Home Blog Speeding and Traffic Offences in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Speeding and Traffic Offences in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Not all traffic offences receive the same punishments. Following the Act, some Traffic offences are handled in a District/Local court as serious indictable offences. Various actions can constitute a Traffic offence in the ACT.

The Crimes Act 1900 and the Road (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 contains all details, behaviours and punishments for Traffic offences in the ACT.

Traffic offences that end up in the ACT Magistrates court will in the majority of circumstances show up on an individual's national police check ACT result if the court rules against your favour. Traffic offences are disclosed in accordance with the rules of the Spent Convictions Scheme in the ACT.

Speeding offences in ACT

One of the most common traffic offences in Australia is driving over the approved speed for a road length. To what degree this offence is committed (speeding above the limits) determines the penalties the offender gets.

The Road (Safety and Traffic Management) Act in the ACT stipulates penalties for the various speeding offences.

The penalties are divided into speeding offences committed in a School Zone;

Driving in a school zone will incur higher penalties than a normal speeding offence. For certain conditions, the offence can be treated as an aggravated offence.

ACT Speeding Penalties for Non School Zones:

  1. Exceed speed limit by within 15km/h above the speed limit

Speeding offences of this range attracts penalties of;


  1. Exceed speed limit by between (15 and30) km/h above the speed limit

The Traffic Act stipulates penalties of;


  1. Exceed speed limit by (30 and 45) km/h above the speed limit

This range of speeding offence incurs a penalty of;


  1. Exceed speed limit by 45km/h above the speed limit

Offending drivers of this high range offence will get punishments of;

ACT speeding penalties for School Zones

  1. Exceed speed limit by within 15km/h

These are the lowest speeding offences within a school zone. Such driving offence incurs penalties of;


  1. Exceed speed limit by between (15 and 30) km/h

The Road and Traffic Acts stipulates penalties of;


  1. Exceed speed limit by between (30 and 45) km/h

The Traffic Act imposes penalties of


  1. Exceed speed limit by above 45km/h

This is the highest and infinite speeding offence a driver will commit. The court imposes penalties of;

Culpable Driving of Motor Vehicle

A severe traffic offence contained in Section 29 of the Crimes Act 1900 is culpable driving causing bodily harm or grievous injury.

Under the Act, a driver is culpable if they are caught;

Culpability for a driving offence must be specified on the charge or the offence committed. This offence is distinct from homicide offences and can even be prosecuted as murder or manslaughter offences. The offences can be aggravated following Section 48 of the Act if the death involved was a pregnant woman.

Dangerous Driving

Section 7 of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 (ACT) prohibits furious, reckless and dangerous driving and prescribes severe penalties.

The penalties imposed depends on them;

Some examples of reckless or dangerous driving are;


Repeat offenders (and those with previous offences of culpable driving or dangerous driving) are automatically included in the aggravated category and offences like this will show up on a national police check certificate.

Negligent driving which is not culpable

Some negligent offences will not be included in the culpable driving offences under the Crimes Act. However, these offences will not attract the same penalties as for culpable; they are less severe and considered as alternatives where the court feels conviction under the Crimes Act will be harsh.

Negligent driving can operate as a standalone offence, without the occurrence of death or grievous bodily harm.

Penalties for culpable driving (Crimes Act)

Penalties under Section 29 of the Crimes Act 1900 the court will order penalties depending on the severity or class of the culpable driving.

Penalties for culpable driving (Road Transport Act)

Penalties for negligent driving under the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 are much lower even for those that cause death.

Where negligent driving caused death, the court can impose penalties up to;

Where negligent driving caused grievous bodily harm, the court can impose penalties of up to;


All other cases of negligent driving attract penalties no not more than 20 penalty units

Automatic License Disqualification

The ACT legislation allows the court to issue an immediate license disqualification, especially in cases of;

Traffic Summons in the ACT

If you receive a summons for a traffic offence, you must appear at the ACT Magistrate Court. Disobeying a court summons leads to an arrest warrant from the court.

In court, you will receive a statement of facts stating the offence and be required to submit a plea.

How do you answer a traffic charge?

If you enter a guilty plea you may be sentenced immediately, and your matter finalized. Also, you can settle all fines right there at the court offices.

However, if you plead not guilty, the matter will be scheduled for a case conference then a public hearing.

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