Under section 5A of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act it is an offence in the ACT to participate in races other than with the written approval of the Road Transport Authority (RTA).
To convict you of an offence under this section, the Police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:
- Organised, promoted or otherwise took part in:
- A race between vehicles;
- An attempt to break a vehicle’s speed record;
- A trial of maximum speed or acceleration; or
- A competitive trial to test the skill of a driver, the reliability or mechanical conditions of a vehicle;
- On a road or road-related area.
When giving written approval to such an event, the RTA can impose any conditions that they believe are necessary. In determining what conditions are necessary, the RTA must consider the views of those affected by the decision to allow or refuse the application and how the safety and inconvenience of the public will be affected.
It is also an offence under this section to contravene any of the conditions of approval specified by the RTA.
The sentencing starting point is for the Court to record a conviction, issue a fine and impose a period of disqualification. The maximum fine under this section is 20 penalty units. If this is a first offence, the automatic period of disqualification is three months. If this is a repeat offence, the automatic period of disqualification is twelve months however the Court has the discretion to impose a lengthier period of disqualification.
Regardless of how bad your traffic record is the court has discretion whether to record a conviction against you for the offence. If the court decides not to record a conviction, you will not be disqualified from driving. Section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act allows a court that finds a person guilty of an offence to exercise discretion and not impose a conviction against them.
WHERE TO NEXT?
In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.