Driving over the speed limit in South Australia can incur a variety of penalties, such as expiation notices (otherwise known as speeding fines), the accumulation of demerit points, suspension of your drivers licence and in certain cases, having your vehicle impounded.
The type and severity of penalty you receive depends on a range of factors, such as the level of drivers licence you hold, where you were driving and how fast you were going.
Losing your drivers licence for demerit points
It is a common misconception that you start with a set number of demerit points and lose them as speeding offences are committed. In reality, you start at zero and accrue them with each offence, whether committed in South Australia or elsewhere in Australia. Demerit points remain on your record for a period of three years from the time of the offence.
If you hold a learners permit or provisional drivers licence and accrue four or more demerit points, you will be disqualified from driving for six months.
If you hold a full drivers licence and accumulate 12 or more demerit points within three years, you will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a drivers licence or permit as follows:
- 12 to 15 points – you lose your right to drive for three months
- 16 to 20 points – you lose your right to drive for four months
- 21+ points – you lose your right to drive for five months
If you are disqualified from driving due to passing your demerit point threshold, your ban begins 28 days after a formal notice is sent to you, provided you acknowledge its receipt inside that timeframe.
Expiation notices, speeding fines and demerit point penalties
The following penalties apply according to how fast you were driving over the speed limit. These speeding fines and penalties also apply to exceeding the 25 km/h speed limit when passing a school bus or travelling in an Emergency Service Speed Zone:
- Less than 10 km/h – $163 speeding fine and two demerit points.
- 10 km/h to 19 km/h – $357 speeding fine and three demerit points.
- 20 km/h to 29 km/h – $726 speeding fine and five demerit points.
- 30 km/h to 44 km/h – $866 speeding fine and seven demerit points.
- 45 km/h or more – $975 speeding fine, nine demerit points and automatic suspension of drivers licence for six months.
Other traffic law penalties
If you’re a provisional driver who accrues over four demerit points, you may be eligible to enter into a Safer Driver Agreement for the duration of your P-plates. Full drivers licence holders who accrue 12 or more demerit points may elect to accept the Good Behaviour option, where you aim to avoid accruing two or more demerit points in the ensuing 12 months.
In cases of excessive speed, 45 km/h or more, police may wheel clamp or impound your vehicle.
Your recourse under SA traffic law
If you choose to dispute speeding fines (expiation notices), you or your traffic lawyer can request a review, but only if you have not already paid the fine and it is prior to the due date.
You may be able to appeal a drivers licence suspension on the grounds of ‘severe or unusual’ hardship. Seek legal advice about your individual circumstances.
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