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Life in the fast lane – can you contest a speeding fine?

There are numerous myths on disputing a speeding fine. The simple rule is that if you are caught exceeding the speed limit, you are guilty of an offence. Speeding is a strict liability offence, which means that it does not matter WHY you were speeding, only that you DID exceed the speed limit (even by 1km/h).

What are the penalties for speeding?

The penalties for speeding are based upon the amount you exceed the speed limit. For full licence holders operating non-heavy vehicles, the following mandatory demerit point/licence suspension periods* apply:

Excess Speed[1] Demerit Points License suspension period Penalty
1 – 9 km/h 1 Nil $207
10 – 24km/h 3 Nil $330
20 – 24km/h (110 km/h zone) 3 months $330
25 – 29km/h 3 months $454
30 – 34km/h 3 months $537
35 – 39km/h 6 months $620
40 – 44km/h 6 months $702
In excess of 45km/h 12 months $826

*correct as at 1 July 2019

What are my options if I receive a speeding fine?

If you receive a traffic infringement you must, within 28 days of the Infringement Notice issue date:

  1. Pay the infringement amount and accept any additional penalties (e.g. demerit points); or
  2. Dispute the allegation that you were speeding.

You can dispute a speeding fine by applying for a review of the offence to the issuing department. They can either withdraw the infringement or support the original fine and associated penalty. Alternatively, you can to elect to go to Court to dispute the speeding fine.

If you are charged with ‘excessive speeding’ (travelling 25 km/h+ over the speed limit or in excess of 130 km/h), this is a serious offence and a court appearance will be required to dispute this.[2]

Is there a defence to speeding?

As speeding is a strict liability offence, it generally does not matter why you were speeding. For example, it would NOT be an adequate defence that you were overtaking, didn’t know the speed limit, late for an appointment or didn’t realise you were exceeding the limit.

However, you may have a defence if any of the following apply:

  1. You were not the driver of the car at the specified time;
  2. You were not in possession of your car (e.g. had sold it prior, either your car or number plates were stolen); or
  3. You believe the allegation of speeding was incorrect, by arguing the speed detector used by the Police was faulty or inaccurate (although it is not a defence to argue your own speedometer was faulty). However, the law assumes that the speed camera was accurate and substantial evidence is required to prove this defence.[3]

You can also ask the Court not to impose a penalty if you were speeding in an emergency (had a critically injured passenger) or involuntarily (suffering a medical condition at the time).

Therefore, it is possible to dispute an allegation of speeding, but it will depend on the individual circumstances of your case.

If you have been charged with a driving-related offence then contact Leanne Warren today to discuss your defence. First 30 minute consultation is free of charge: 03 9670 6066info@leannewarren.com.au

Have a question about contesting a speeding fine?

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[1] Road Safety Road Rules 2009 (VIC) r 20-21.

[3] Road Safety Act 1986 (VIC) s 89A (4)(5).

[4] Road Safety Act 1986 (VIC) s 79.

Views expressed in this article are not necessarily endorsed by Leanne Warren and Associates.

The information, including statements, opinions, documents and materials contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The article does not take into account your specific needs, objectives or circumstances, and it is not legal advice or services. Any reliance you place on the article is at your own risk.

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