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

There are numerous myths on disputing a speeding fine. Some argue that you can drive up to 10kph over the limit without committing an offence or use specific excuses to contest 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 1kph).

What are the penalties for speeding?

The penalties for speeding are based upon the amount you exceed the speed limit. Generally, the following mandatory demerit point / licence suspension periods* apply:

Excess Speed[1] Demerit Points Suspension period Estimated fine
1 – 9 kph 1 Nil $198
10 – 24kph 3 Nil $317
25 – 34kph 4 1 month $436-$515
35 – 44kph 6 6 months $595-$674
In excess of 45kph 8 12 month $793

*correct as at 1 July 2017

What are my options if I receive a speeding fine?

If you receive a traffic infringement you must, within 28 days:

  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 or support the original fine and associated penalty. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may appeal to the Magistrates Court.[2]

If you are exceeding the speed limit by 25kph or more or are speeding in excess of 130kph, you will be charged and receive a summons to appear at court to dispute the offence.[3]

Is there a defence to speeding?

Speeding is a strict liability offence so it does not matter the reason why you were speeding (e.g. if you were overtaking, didn’t know the speed limit, late for an appointment or didn’t realise you were exceeding the limit are NOT adequate defences). However, you can argue that you did not commit the speeding offence. For example:

  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.[4]

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.

[2] Road Safety Act 1986 (VIC) s 46H.

[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.

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