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  • Speeding and Traffic Offences in South Australia (SA)

    It is an offence to drive above the speed limit on any Australian road. In South Australia (SA), the Road Traffic Act 1961 in conjunction with the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 provides details; penalties, restrictions and authorizations on such matters.

    If you are caught speeding above the limit of a SA road (doesn’t matter the type of road), a ticket will be issued to the owner of the vehicle. To even further deter other terrible road use and mistakes, some penalties have been reviewed upwards from July 2020.

    In some instances, serious violations of speeding limits will show up on an individual's national police check in South Australia (SA). These speeding offences are mainly those that end up in the SA Courts.

    What are the penalties for exceeding the speed limits in SA?

    The penalties imposed for exceeding the speed limits also depends on;

    • the area or the zone where the offence happened;
    • The type of car driven; trucks, cars, buses, and so on. This difference depends on their tonnage.
    • The amounts by which they exceeded the speed limits in km/h

    For those driving a car when they are imposed with a speeding ticket, the penalties are;


    Less than 10km/h above the speed limit;

    The law stipulates penalties of;

    • $180 in fines,
    • 2 demerit points to their licenses.

    Driving between (10 -19) km/h above the speed limit;

    If a driver is caught controlling a vehicle within this speed range, the law stipulates punishments of;

    • $406 in fines;
    • 3 demerit point loss to their license.

    Driving between (20 -29) km/h above the speed limit;

    The law stipulates that a driver operating their vehicle within this range should be imposed with;

    • $825 in fine amount;
    • 5 demerit point loss to their license.

    Driving between (30 - 44) km/h above the speed limit;

    If you are caught operating a vehicle within this range, the law advises punishments of

    • $1500 in fine amounts;
    • 7 demerit point loss to your License.

    Driving over 45km/h above the speed limit;

    This is the highest and most grievous speeding offence a driver can commit in SA. For this speeding offence, the law stipulates severe punishments of;

    • $1690 in fine amounts,
    • 9 demerit point loss to your Driver’s license,
    • Automatic license disqualification for 6 months.

    A possible clamping and impounding of the vehicle; if the official impounds your vehicle or seizes your license on the spot, you must find a new alternative to your destination.

    Hoon driving or other reckless & dangerous driving actions;

    This will result in fines of:

    • 4 – 6 demerit point loss; depending on the nature, severity and type of offence,
    • Court summons; which will result in a criminal record or serious fines,
    • Clamping or impounding the vehicle; depending on the severity of the offence,
    • Minimum license disqualification of 1 year for first-time offenders and 2 years for repeat offenders,
    • Jail sentencing of 2 years, especially for repeat offenders.

    Section 46 of the Act further details the penalties of such driving offences.

    Speed limits for Other vehicles

    The Speed offences in SA considers the type of vehicle the driver was operating while they committed the offence. The Road Traffic Act stipulates that buses exceeding the 5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) or the vehicles exceeding 12 tonnes GVM must not exceed 100 km/h.

    The penalties for driving above the stipulated speed limits for such special vehicles include fines above $2500

    Speed limits when passing an emergency service speed zone

    From September 2014, certain areas are designated as emergency speed or service zones. When passing through such areas, the driver must slow down, and in the general sense, must not be driving above 25km/h.

    An emergency service or speed zone is the area near an emergency vehicle that has stopped (Road Traffic Act SA [s 83]). Usually, these vehicles flash the "popular" blue or red lights continuously while at that point.

    However, this may not apply if a media strip divides the road between the driver and the emergency vehicle. Also, as per the law, drivers of other emergency vehicles are exempt from these rules; AFP, Australian Border Force, Armed forces, and co.

    The penalties for such an offence includes a fine of up to $2500. Other penalties for such specific offences are found in section 164A of the Act.

    Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offences

    DUI offences are the most common causes of Road and Traffic mishaps in Australia. It is a serious offence if the Police or Traffic official pronounces you to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    Such offences are mainly prosecuted in the Magistrate court, and if found guilty, the punishments include;

    • $1100 - $1600 in fines, depending on the severity and impact of the offence;
    • 6 demerit points to their driver’s license.
    • Mandatory Alcohol interlock on their vehicle
    • Minimum disqualification period of 12 months. However, the court may reduce it to 1 month if it concludes the offence was trifling
    • Clamping or impounding the vehicle for a specified period

    While holding a regular license, it is an offence to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration above 0.05. If found guilty, the court stipulates punishments in the degree of the Drink driving offence.

    0,005 – 0,079 BAC levels

    • $757 in fines
    • 4 demerit points to their license

    0.08 – 0.149 BAC levels

    • $900 - $1300 in fines
    • 5 demerit points to their license

    0.15+ BAC levels

    • $1100 – 1600 in fines
    • 6 demerit point to their license

    However, the punishments are severe for those caught driving at BAC levels above 0.00 while holding any of these licenses;

    • hold a probationary license
    • Public Driver License
    • Special Licenses
    • Learner’s Permit

    Disobeying the Traffic lights

    There are stipulated penalties for disregarding the automatic traffic controllers like; Traffic lights

    Running a red light incurs;

    • $496 in fines,
    • 3 demerit points to their Driver's License.

    Disobeying a Stop or give way sign incurs;

    • $458 in fines,
    • 3 demerit point loss to their Driver’s License

    Disobeying a no-U turn sign;

    • $389 in fines,
    • 2 demerit point loss to their license.

    Other reckless traffic behaviour can be refusing to stop and assist when involved in a motor accident. If such actions lead to injury and death of the other party, they are liable for a court-imposed penalty with a statutory 5 demerit point loss.

    Do Speeding and Traffic Offence show in my Criminal records?

    Your criminal record contains your court history, outcomes, sentencing, finding of guilt and pending charges.

    Although Police tickets are not in the criminal history, they remain in the Police database.

    However, if the penalties or sentencing is imposed by a magistrate, it shows in the candidate's Police Check result as it is a traffic offence which becomes a disclosable court outcome (DCO).

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