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  • Home Resources & Technical Articles Driving & Traffic Offences Speeding Offences Speeding and Traffic Offences in Western Australia (WA)

    Speeding and Traffic Offences in Western Australia (WA)

    A lot of road fatalities occur when the driver operates their vehicle above the speed limits. Every road in Australia has a speed limit, it doesn't matter whether it is a street, major or freeway. And disobeying these speed limits will result in punishments by the authorities communicated through a speeding ticket.

    In Western Australia (WA), the Road Traffic Act 1974 details the regulations and punishments for road and traffic offences.

    Traffic offences that end up in the Magistrates Court of WA and where there is a conviction will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a National Police Check WA.

    These offences are disclosed in accordance with the Spent Convictions Scheme of WA.

    What is a Speeding Offence?

    Everyone knows that certain speeds just seem inappropriate for some roads but by how much? The law prosecutes all drivers (or the owner of the vehicle) for speeding offences, but how does the official reach these punishments?

    • Caught on speed cameras

    Speed cameras are mounted either discreetly or brazenly on certain roads. The camera takes a snapshot of a car whenever it crosses that threshold above the limits.

    The snapshots contain the necessary information about the vehicle or the drivers. And they can be presented by the Police as evidence in court.

    • Caught by a traffic officer

    A traffic/Police officer is authorized by the law to flag a vehicle to stop if the driver was operating above the speed limits. Depending on the severity of the offence, the Police can issue them with their speeding tickets immediately or charge them to court (aggravating circumstance).

    However, there are other penalties the law stipulates for speeding offences.

    What are the penalties for speeding offences?

    The official issuing the traffic ticket will consider many factors, including;

    • By how much the driver exceeded the Speed limits
    • The area where the offence occurred (emergency zone)
    • The type of vehicle driven; Cars, mini-buses, trucks, Heavy duty trucks

    The penalties stipulated by law for speeding offences by degree are;

    1. Exceeding the Speed limits by less than 9 km/h;

    This is the least degree of "over-speeding" in WA. However, offending drivers will still receive tickets of;

    • 2 penalty units ($100),
    • Usually, there is no demerit point for this offence.

    1. Exceeding the speed limits by between (9 – 19) km/h above the speed limit

    If you are caught operating your vehicle at such speeds, the State will impose tickets of;

    • 4 penalty units ($200),
    • 2 demerit points to your license.

    1. Exceeding the speed limits by between (20 – 29) km/h above the speed limit

    Operating a vehicle at such speeds result in penalties of;

    • 8 penalty units ($400),
    • 3 demerit points to your license.

    1. Exceeding the speed limits by between (30 – 40) km/h above the speed limit

    The Police will issue offenders of such degree tickets of;

    • 16 penalty units ($800),
    • 6 demerit points to their licenses.

    1. Exceeding the speed limits by more than 40km/h

    These are the highest speeding offences in WA. The driver culpable will receive penalties of;

    • 24 penalty units ($1200),
    • 7 demerit points to your License.

    For certain holiday periods (Easter and Christmas), the demerit points imposed are doubled. These periods are also publicized ahead by the WA media.

    These penalties listed are special for cars and vehicles under the 22,500kg Gross Combination Mass (GCM).

    Other vehicles that cross this threshold (Lorries, Heavy duty trucks, Large Buses) will incur higher penalties for the respective offences.

    Other Driving Offences

    Besides "over speeding" there are other driving offences punishable under the Road Traffic Act in WA. These offences range from drink driving to using mobile phones and other gadgets while driving.

    Obstructing the Speed Camera

    Speed cameras are great and accurate tools for detecting speeding offences in WA. It is an offence for a driver to hold, or use a radar detector, jammer or other equipment for interfering with the working of the speed camera.

    These offences are generally punishable by;

    Vehicles and other smaller cars

    • $1200 in fines,
    • 7 demerit points to your license.

    Heavy Vehicles;

    • $1500 in fines,
    • 7 demerit points to your license.

    Impounding of vehicles

    The Police may also impound your vehicle for some serious cases of speeding and other traffic offences. The impoundment period will vary depending on your prior speeding history. Your car will be impounded for

    1. 28 days for first-time offenders
    2. 3 months for second-time offenders
    3. 6 months for third offenders

    Furthermore, the court can impound your vehicle for 6 months or have it permanently confiscated if it deems such actions are necessary.

    However, impounding or confiscation of a vehicle will occur only in serious traffic and speeding offences. Examples are;

    • Traffic offence led to murder/Manslaughter,
    • Frequently repeated offences,
    • Driving without a License.

    Dangerous Driving in Western Australia

    Section 49AB of the Road Traffic Act 1974 imposes serious punishments for reckless/dangerous driving. And they even prescribe the hardest punishments around Australia for related cases.

    A driver guilty of reckless driving can be sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.

    Dangerous driving in WA also includes;

    • Trying to out-run the Police,
    • Driving over 45km/h above the speed limits,
    • Unlawfully driving a vehicle without consent.

    What happens when I am disqualified by the Court?

    Some Traffic cases are handled in court, by a jury (indictable offences) or a Magistrate in WA. However, all sentencing or punishments the court issues will show in the offender's WA criminal record check.

    One such punishment is disqualification. A disqualified person by the court must not drive another vehicle within the period of their disqualification.

    Cancellation of your licence is where your licence gets cancelled immediately, and you must apply to the Department of Transport to have it re-issued. If you are disqualified, you are allowed to drive again once the period has ended

    Driving while on a court disqualification will result in further suspensions ranging from 9 months to 3 years. Furthermore, repeat offenders can get an imprisonment sentence for the offence.

    Can I get an Extraordinary License during my disqualification?

    Some people get a special license that allows them to drive during their period of disqualification. However, this will not be possible if the disqualification was due to;

    • Fine suspensions
    • Demerit point suspension
    • If your licence has been disqualified for a traffic offence in WA for 3 years, or more, you can apply to get your licence back before the disqualification ends.
    • If you were disqualified for less than 6 years you must serve 3 years of your disqualification period. If it is between 6 and 20 years you must serve at least half of the period.
    • Where your licence is disqualified for more than 20 years, you cannot apply until 10 years into your disqualification period.

    Do Tickets Show in a Police Check WA?

    Traffic tickets issued by the Traffic or Police officer will remain in a Police database. And they can be presented as future evidence in court. They will not show or enter your WA criminal records.

    However, all convictions or sentencing given by the court about a traffic offence will show in your criminal background check.

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