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Drive at a Speed Dangerous to the Public

The maximum penalty for the offence of driving at a speed dangerous to the public is 20 penalty units or 9 months imprisonment (first offence) and 30 penalty units or 12 months for a second or subsequent offence.

What does this offence involve?

For a person to be found guilty of this offence, the court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The accused was the driver;
  • The driver’s speed exceeded the legal speed limit
  • The location of the accused offence was an area likely to have been occupied by people

Possible defences to drive at a speed dangerous to the public

A person charged with this offence may argue int heir defence that they were acting under duress – meaning they were forced by another person to commit the offence, under fear of death or serious injury.

A person charged with this offence may also argue in their defence that they were acting out of necessity – for instance, because they were trying to get a seriously injured person to hospital before they died.

How is a speed dangerous to the public assessed?

The offence of drive at speed dangerous to the public states:

  • A person must not drive a motor vehicle furiously, recklessly, or at a speed or in a way that is dangerous to the public, on a road or road-related area.
  • In deciding whether an offence has been committed, the court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including:

(a) the nature, condition and use of the road or road-related area where the offence is alleged to have been committed; and

(b) the amount of traffic on, or that might reasonably be expected to have been on, the road or road-related area.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal. 

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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