Traffic Law Australian Capital Territory

Traffic Lawyers in the Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, traffic offences are contained in the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 and in the Criminal Code 2002. They can be dealt with by way of infringement, or through the issue of a court summons, and can attract demerit points, fines, licence suspension and imprisonment.

Infringements for traffic offences in the ACT

If you receive a traffic infringement in the ACT you will be given 28 days to pay the fine. If you fail to pay within that time, a reminder notice will be sent, which will incur a further charge on top of the original fine.

If you do not accept responsibility for the traffic infringement you can elect to dispute liability and have the matter dealt with by a court. If you were not the driver when the offence was committed, you can submit an infringement notice declaration.

A traffic infringement notice can be disputed online, where you can outline your reasons for the dispute. If the reasons include denying the offence or contesting the notice the matter will be referred to the Magistrates Court for determination, and you will receive a summons to appear.

If you submit an infringement notice declaration you must take all reasonable steps to provide the details of the person who you say was the driver who committed the offence.

If you are having trouble paying a traffic infringement fine in the ACT, you may be able to participate in a Work Development Program. This is a program that allows you to undertake unpaid community work, or to participate in counselling or rehabilitation, instead of paying the fine.

If you have received a traffic infringement and you fail to take any action, and do not pay the fine, your licence may be suspended.

Summons for traffic offences in the ACT

If you receive a summons for a traffic offence you will need to appear at the Magistrates Court. Failing to do so may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. You will receive a statement of facts outlining the offence, and you will be required to enter a plea.

If you enter a guilty plea, you may be sentenced straight away. If you plead not guilty, the matter will be set down for a case conference, and then a hearing.

Traffic legislation in the Act

The Road Transport (General) Act 1999 governs the administration of traffic infringements and the enforcement procedures for unpaid fines, and gives the police the power to immediately suspend your licence for certain offences.

The Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 outlines the issuing of licences, the demerit point system, offences relating to disqualified drivers, obtaining a licence by fraud, and contravention of conditions of restricted licences or interlock conditions.

The Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 contains the penalties and procedures for the more serious traffic offences in the ACT. This act governs hoon laws, speeding, and dangerous driving offences; the ability to seize, impound or forfeit your vehicle; and provides the guidelines for the traffic offence detection devices such as speed cameras, and the use of average speed detection systems.

The use of RAPID in the ACT

Light vehicles registered in the ACT are no longer required to have a registration sticker. Police now monitor registration compliance via RAPID (Recognition and Analysis of Plates Identified). This means that it is easier for the police to identify drivers of unregistered vehicles and to spot offenders while they are driving.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.


Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 

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