Speeding Points - Can I Transfer Them?
Speeding offences in the Australian Capital Territory are governed by the Road Transport (General) Act 1999 and the Road Transport (Offences) Regulation 2005. If a vehicle is detected speeding in the ACT, a fine and speeding points are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. The owner has 28 days to pay the fine and incur the demerit points, or they can apply to Access Canberra for more time to pay; to have the penalty transferred, withdrawn or heard in court; or to enter a payment plan or program. A common query is “Can someone else take my speeding points?”. This article explains when this can apply.
Can someone else take my speeding points?
If you were not the driver at the time of the offence, you can make an infringement notice declaration to transfer the fine and speeding points to the person who is responsible.
There are four types of infringement notice declarations:
- Known User Infringement Declaration – if you know who was driving at the time of the offence;
- Sold Vehicle Infringement Declaration – if you had sold the vehicle prior to the offence;
- Illegal User Infringement Declaration – if the vehicle was stolen or being used illegally at the time of the offence;
- Unknown User Infringement Declaration – if you do not know who was driving at the time of the offence.
It is a criminal offence to make a false declaration, punishable by a fine of up to $75,000, or five years imprisonment, or both.
Apply for the speeding points to be withdrawn
Under Section 34 of the Act, you can apply for the infringement notice to be withdrawn in certain circumstances, including:
- for administrative or technical reasons (where there is, for instance, a malfunctioning device, or the ticket has incorrect details);
- there is insufficient evidence to establish the offence;
- there are exceptional circumstances, such as an emergency medical situation;
- the ticket was issued to someone who has died or moved overseas;
- where you have a prior good driving record, having committed no offences under road transport legislation in the previous five years.
Under Section 38 of the Act, the administering authority can consider:
- the circumstances in which the ticket was issued, including the level of risk posed by the applicant in their conduct;
- the seriousness of the offence;
- the extent to which the applicant knew their conduct constituting the offence was contrary to law.
Some speeding offences are generally considered unsuitable for withdrawal, including where the speed limit has been exceeded by more than 15km/h and speeding in a school zone.
Dispute the offence in court
If you believe you were not responsible for the infringement, or there was no infringement, you can apply to dispute liability and have the matter heard in the Magistrates Court. If the matter goes to court and you are found responsible for the offence, the court can order you to pay the fine, accept the speeding points, and pay costs.
Apply for a payment plan
Under Regulations 14EA and 16A, if you accept liability for the offence but will have difficulty paying the fine, you can apply for an Infringement Notice Management Plan. Speeding points remain in place. A person can also apply to pay by instalments if they hold a Centrelink card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs card. Instalments under all payment plans must be at least $10 a fortnight.
Participate in a Work or Development Program
Under Regulation 16D, you may be eligible to take part in a WDP, where you can discharge your fine by doing unpaid work with an approved program provider or by taking part in an addiction treatment program. To be eligible, you need to show at least one of the following:
- financial hardship;
- mental or intellectual disability or disorder;
- physical disability, disease or illness;
- addiction to drugs, alcohol or another substance;
- domestic violence;
- homelessness or living in crisis or transitional or supported accommodation.
Participation carries a monetary value which is applied to reduce the fine, but speeding points remain in place.
If the fine is not paid
If the fine is not paid by the due date, a reminder notice will be sent and a $34 penalty will be added to the fine. Another 28 days will be given to pay the fine.
After the 28 days has expired, the Road Transport Authority will issue a notice to advise that your driver licence or vehicle registration will be suspended by a nominated date.
If there are special circumstances that prevent you from acting by the reminder notice due date, you can make an Out of Time application. Such circumstances include that you were incarcerated, interstate, overseas, or in hospital, or that your mail was stolen. In an Out of Time application, you can elect to pay the notice, dispute liability, apply for withdrawal or submit an infringement notice declaration, and state how many days you need to do this.
For advice on traffic matters or any legal matter, contact Armstrong Legal.