Excessive Speeding in South Australia
In South Australia, there are several offences relating to excessive speeding. They can be found in the Road Traffic Act 1961 and in the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935. This page deals with the laws surrounding excessive speeding in South Australia, including the penalties and defences that apply.
The offence of excessive speeding
Under section 45A of the Road Traffic Act 1961, a person commits an offence if they travel by more than 45 km/h over the speed limit.
If it is their first offence, the person will receive a fine of between $2,400 and $2, 800 and be disqualified from driving for a period of at least six months.
If it is their second or subsequent offence, the person will receive a fine of between $2,500 and $3,000 and be disqualified from driving for a period of at least two years.
The offence of extreme speeding
Under section 19ADA of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, a person who drives at extreme speed is guilty of an offence. This offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of imprisonment for three years (for a basic offence) or for five years (for an aggravated offence).
A person drives at extreme speed if they drive faster than 115 km/h in a 60 zone or faster than 140km/h in an 80 zone.
An offence of extreme speeding is aggravated if it:
- Caused death or serious harm to a person;
- Was committed in a vehicle that was stolen or being used without the consent of the owner;
- Was committed while trying to escape pursuit by the police;
- Was committed with one or more passengers in the vehicle;
- Was committed while the offender was on a provisional licence, probationary licence or a learner’s permit.
An offence is basic if it is not committed under any of the above circumstances.
Exception for emergency vehicles
A driver of an emergency vehicle does not commit an offence if they are driving at extreme speed in circumstances where it is reasonable that the offence should not apply, provided they are taking reasonable care and displaying a blue or red flashing light or sounding an alarm.
Pleading guilty to excessive speeding in SA
A person who is charged with extreme speeding or excessive speeding in South Australia and who wants to plead guilty, should seek legal advice and representation to achieve the best possible outcome.
When pleading guilty to these offences, a person should gather as much supporting material as they can and tender it in court. This may include character references, evidence of steps taken to address their offending, and evidence of any underlying issues such as psychological or medical reports.
A person who is found guilty of one of these offences will proceed to be sentenced based on the circumstances of the offence, their personal circumstances, and their criminal history.
Pleading not guilty to excessive speeding in SA
A person who is charged with extreme speeding or excessive speeding in SA and wants to plead not guilty, should seek legal advice as soon as possible. When a matter is contested, the prosecution must serve the brief of evidence on the defence and then parties must attend a directions hearing where they let the court know how the matter is progressing and how long the hearing is likely to take. If the matter cannot be resolved, it will then be given a date for a contested hearing.
Defences to excessive speeding charges
A person who is charged with excessive speeding may have a legal or a factual defence available to them.
Factual defences include that the vehicle was not travelling at the speed alleged or that the accused was not the driver of the vehicle.
Legal defences include that the accused was acting under duress or that the accused was acting in response to an emergency situation.
A person is not guilty of an offence if they carried out the act only because of a serious threat made by another person. The defence of duress will succeed only if the threat was sufficiently serious that the accused’s actions were a reasonable response to it and there was no other way to escape the threat.
A person is not guilty of an offence if they carried out the act in response to an emergency situation. The defence of emergency will succeed only if the accused reacted to the situation in a way that could be expected of an ordinary person with ordinary self-control. The situation must be considered as it appeared in the moment and not with the benefit of hindsight.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.