There are many different types of traffic offences in Tasmania. These can broadly be grouped into three categories. The first is the use of a vehicle when not authorised to so, such as driving unlicensed, or driving while disqualified. The second is the use of a vehicle in a manner prohibited by law, such as speeding, or negligent driving. The third is use of a vehicle which does not comply with safety or registration requirements, such as driving unregistered, or driving without third party insurance. The severity of the offence will determine if the police issue a traffic infringement notice, or a Summons to attend Court.
Infringement Notices in Tasmania
Offences in which a Traffic Infringement is issued will result in a loss of demerit points, and a fine. If you receive an infringement notice for a traffic offence in Tasmania, you will have 28 days to pay. If you fail to pay, or file a notice of Election for a Court Hearing you will be deemed to be convicted of that offence and an enforcement sanction will be imposed. The further action that can be taken will incur further fees on top of your original fine. This action may include suspending your driver’s licence; suspending the registration of your vehicle; publishing your details on the MPES website; or issuing an enforcement warrant to impose a charge on any land you own, seize and sell property, or garnish wages.
Good Behaviour Period in Tasmania
If you have accumulated too many demerit points, and you are in jeopardy of losing your licence, you may be offered a period of good behaviour. When you receive your notice that your licence is going to be suspended for loss of demerit points eligible drivers will be given the option to continue to drive on their existing licence subject to the period of good behaviour. You will only have 21 days from receiving the notice to elect this option, failing to do so will result in your licence being suspended on the nominated date. If you do elect the good behaviour period you will be notified within 10 days that the application has been approved. During this period if you commit a traffic offence which results in the loss of more than 1 demerit point within 12 months your licence will be suspended for twice the initial period of suspension.
Court Summonsed Traffic Offences in Tasmania
If you commit a traffic offence of a more serious nature you will be given a summons to attend Court. You will then have the ability to enter a plea, and the matter will be dealt with by the Magistrate. Types of offences in which you will receive a summons include dangerous driving, injury or death caused by a motor vehicle, excessive speeding, evading police, driving while disqualified, or street racing. The police also have the ability to confiscate the vehicle you were driving for 28 days. It is irrelevant if the vehicle does not belong to you. Penalties for traffic offences that can be ordered by the Magistrate include fines, licence disqualification, and imprisonment. The Magistrate can also make an order for the vehicle you were driving to be confiscated for three months, or longer, depending on the offence, and your previous traffic history. If you are convicted of a traffic offence it will show on your criminal record, and you will need to disclose any convictions if requested.
Traffic Law Legislation in Tasmania
The main legislation that governs traffic law in Tasmania includes the Traffic Act 1925, the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, and the Criminal Code 1924. These Acts are supported by the Traffic (Road Rules) Regulation 1999. They outline the types of offences, the issuing of infringement notices, the issuing of court summons, the types of penalties that can be imposed, and the procedures by the police and courts that are to be followed.