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.
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