In New South Wales, the responsible person for a motor vehicle which is alleged to have committed an offence against the Road Transport Legislation must give the police details of who the driver of the vehicle was at the relevant point in time. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 20 penalty units.
Failing to comply with responsible driver form of command
The offence of Failure to Comply With Responsible Driver Form of Demand is pursuant to section 177 of the Road Transport Act 2013. The law establishing the offence states:
If the driver of a motor vehicle is alleged to have committed an offence against the road transport legislation:
- The responsible person for the vehicle, or the person having the custody of the vehicle, must, when required to do so by an authorised officer, immediately give information (which must, if so required, be given in the form of a written statement signed by the responsible person) as to the name and home address of the driver, and
- Any other person must, if required to do so by an authorised officer, give any information that it is in the person’s power to give and that may lead to the identification of the driver.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
What actions might constitute this offence?
- If the police ask you to identify who was driving a vehicle registered in your name at a particular point in time and you refuse to.
- If a vehicle you normally use (even if not registered in your name) is suspected of being involved in an road offence and you dont tell the police who was driving it.
- If the police ask you who had access to a vehicle registered in your name at a particular point in time and you do not tell them.
What must be proven
For a person to be found guilty of this offence the following must be proven.
- The vehicle is suspected of being involved in an offence against the Road Transport Legislation; and
- You are the responsible person for the vehicle, or, a person having custody of the vehicle; and
- You failed to provide the name and/or home address of the driver of that vehicle at a particular point in time.
It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against this offence if you are able to prove to the court’s satisfaction that you did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained the driver’s name and home address.
Which court will hear the matter?
In general this offence is finalised by way of a traffic infringement notice, a fine of $842. You will not be required to attend court if given an infringement notice from the NSW Police or the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).
However, you have the option to elect for the matter to be heard in the Local Court before a Magistrate if you wish to request the Court’s leniency or do not believe you are guilty.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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.