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  • Home Resources & Technical Articles Driving & Traffic Offences Speeding Offences Speeding and Traffic Offences in the Northern Territory (NT)

    Speeding and Traffic Offences in the Northern Territory (NT)

    Driving your car over the stated speed limits on NT roads is prosecuted as a Traffic/Speeding offence. Some other traffic offences include;

      ✔ Hit and run
      Driving under the influence (DUI)
      ✔ Drink driving
      ✔ Disregarding traffic controllers and officers
      ✔ Driving an unregistered vehicle
      ✔ Driving without a license
      ✔ And many other offences listed in the NT Road User Handbook.

    Road rules in the NT are governed by the Traffic Regulations 1999.

    Criminal offences regarding road offences in the NT are governed by the Criminal Code Act 1983.

    If a road offence ends up in an NT court, it will in most circumstances appear on a NT Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate.

    The offence gets disclosed in accordance with the Spent Convictions Scheme of the NT.

    What are the penalties for traffic offences?

    There are various traffic offences listed in the Criminal Code Act. If a driver breaks any of them, the law communicates the penalties to the offenders through tickets or Infringements notice.

    Speeding offences

    Depending on how much you exceeded the speed limits, the court will impose the appropriate penalties.

    Some other factors that influence the severity of the punishments you receive are;

      ✔ The type of vehicle that was driven,
      ✔ The area or situation when the offence occurred,
      ✔ Other aggravating circumstances around the offence.

    Penalties for speeding offences depending on the range are;

    1. Exceeding the speed limit by up to 15km/h;

    The punishments for speeding within this range above the stated speed limits are;

      ✔ $150 in fines,
      ✔ 1 demerit point to your License.

    1. Exceeding the speed limit between (15 – 30) km/h above the speed limit;

    If you are caught driving at such speeds, the punishments stipulated by the Act are;

      ✔ $300 in fines,
      ✔ 3 demerit points to your License.

    1. Exceeding the speed limit between (30 – 45) km/h above the speed limit;

    The stipulated punishments for such range of speeding offences are;

      ✔ $600 in fines,
      ✔ 4 demerit points to your license.

    1. Exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h above the speed limit;

    Driving at such speeds is the most severe driving offence in NT. The State imposes the maximum punishments of;

      ✔ $1000 in fines,
      ✔ 6 demerit point loss.

    Driving an Unregistered Vehicle in the NT

    All vehicles that ride on NT roads must be registered by the owner or risk paying fines. Compulsory third-party injury insurance should follow at the same time of registration.

    Driving an unregistered vehicle in the NT is an offence and will result in fines or a court summon.

    The Stipulated punishments under the Act are;

      ✔ Driving an unregistered/uninsured vehicle (one month or less and is not a heavy vehicle) incurs punishments of $300 in fines.
      ✔ Driving an unregistered/uninsured vehicle (more than one month but less than 12 months and is not a heavy vehicle) - Incurs punishments of $800 in fines.
      ✔ Drive unregistered/uninsured motor vehicle (where vehicle unregistered or uninsured for 12 months or more and is not a heavy vehicle) - Incurs punishments of $1500 in fines.

    Driving Without a License

    The NT regulations on driving are that a driver must have their license with them at all times. If you fail to present your license when asked, you may be given an on-the-spot fine.

    Failure to produce a license on request attracts fines of $100.

    Furthermore, it is an offence to drive a vehicle while your license is seized, suspended, cancelled or disqualified.

    Driving with an expired license within two months of expiry will attract fines of $200.

    However, neither of these offences will result in a demerit point to your license.

    Dangerous Driving causing Death/Harm

    The offence of culpable driving as detailed in the section 174F of the Criminal Code Act includes;

      ✔ Reckless driving leading to death/serious harm
      ✔ Dangerous use of roads and vehicle
      ✔ Aggravated offences from dangerous driving.

    Dangerous driving is defined as any of the following;

    • Driving under the influence of drugs or the influence of alcohol. It also means to be so intoxicated that you could not properly control the vehicle.
    • Driving at a dangerous speed.
    • Driving dangerously. The Act does not specify what manner means, and so it may incorporate circumstances that do not fall under the first two categories.

    If you are charged with any of these offences, you cannot be charged for another under the same circumstance.

    Serious Driving Offences

    Some driving/Traffic offences are more serious and are handled in a Local Court. Whatever verdict the court gives on the offender is recorded in their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

    The punishments for these offences can vary based on the court findings and the degree of the offence. These offences can carry punishments like;

      ✔ License disqualification
      ✔ Large fines
      ✔ License cancellation
      ✔ Car impoundment
      ✔ Imprisonment term for the driver (up to 10 years)

    If the court imposes a disqualification period, the offender must not operate another vehicle within that period unless they obtain special licenses.

    However, a License cancellation means that the offender will have to re-apply for another license before they can ever drive.

    Examples of these Serious offences are;

    • Refusing to top after a crash in which someone was injured or killed
    • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a drug
    • Driving without a valid licence for the type of vehicle
    • Driving while disqualified
    • Driving at a dangerous speed (over 45km/h more than the speed limits)
    • Driving dangerously.

    What are penalty units?

    It is common for your Traffic tickets to contain punishments (fines) measured in penalty units. It only substitutes for the amount you are fined and can be converted through simple multiplication. The amount of a penalty unit can vary from time.

    Demerit Points and Suspension periods

    Each demerit point you get on your driver's license accumulates within 3 years. The limit for the demerit points a driver can get depends on the type of license they hold.

    However, once this limit (demerit point) is attained, the MVR will impose a suspension period on your license. During this period, you are barred from:

      ✔ Driving a vehicle,
      ✔ Applying for a driver’s license renewal in the NT, Australia or overseas.

    The Demerit point limits are;

    For an Open Driver’s License;

    12 demerit points or more in any three years;


    • 12 to 15 points within three months
    • 16 to 19 points within four months, or
    • 20 or more points within five months.

    Learner of Provisional Drivers License

    Suspension if;

    • five or more demerit points in any 12 months, or
    • 12 demerit points in any three years.


    If you reach:

    • five to eight points - three months
    • nine to 12 points - four months, or
    • 13 or more points - five months.

    Interstate or Overseas Licenses

    Suspension from driving if you accumulate;

    • 12 demerit points in any three years, and
    • Hold an interstate or overseas driver licence.

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