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Traffic Law in the ACT

Road-transport legislation can be a minefield of technical complexity, as a recent ACT case shows.

A motorist was found not guilty of not giving particulars to police about who was driving a vehicle in a case which demonstrates the need for precision in prosecutions.

The Prosecution contended that the motorist was the “responsible person” for the vehicle and so had to provide the particulars.

The legislation defines “responsible person” to include a “registered operator” of the vehicle.

Evidence from a Road Transport Authority certificate was that the motorist was a “responsible operator” of the relevant vehicle at the relevant time.

Magistrate Peter Morrison noted that “responsible operator” was an expression not seen in any of the relevant legislation.

“The certificate is not evidence that the defendant was the registered operator of the vehicle,” he ruled. “It purports to be evidence that he was the responsible operator of the vehicle. Whatever that expression might mean it is not evidence which goes to the element of the offence to be made out by the Prosecution.

“It follows that the Prosecution case fails …”

If you have a traffic matter that risks you losing your licence, you should consult a solicitor who deals only in the area. The team at Armstrong Legal deal only in criminal and traffic matters and can help you navigate the thicket of the road-transport law in the Territory.

Image Credit – Dmitry Kalinovsky ©

Written by Andrew Fraser on July 25, 2018

Andrew represents clients in the ACT Supreme and Magistrates Courts as well as the NSW Local and District Courts of the Canberra region. He appears also before the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal in licensing, mental-health and other matters. His breadth of experience allows him to tailor his advice and submissions to ensure the best possible results for his clients. View Andrew's profile

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