Penalties for speeding offences
Fines and demerit points for speeding depend on the amount by which the speed limit was exceeded and where the violation occurred
Every state and territory sets its penalties for speeding. Demerit points assessed for the offence are usually uniform across the states, but the amount of a fine and other penalties might differ. This article explains the current penalty structure in NSW.
General speeding penalties
Drivers who are stopped for speeding by a police officer will be issued a penalty notice. Drivers who are presumed to be speeding based on a traffic camera will receive a penalty notice in the mail. Since traffic cameras sometimes make mistakes, it is important to obtain prompt legal advice rather than ignoring or paying the specified penalty.
Most NSW speeding offences carry demerit points and a fine. Drivers who accumulate too many demerit points over a fixed period face a suspension of driving privileges. The failure to pay a fine can also result in a suspension.
Some speeding offences result in a suspension regardless of demerit point accumulation. Those include:
- Any speeding offence if the driver has a P1 licence.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 30 km/h or more.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more (imposed “on the spot”).
Penalties increase when speeding occurs in a school zone during designated hours.
Schedule of fines and demerit points
The following schedule of fines and demerit points applies in NSW as of 1 July 2016. Increased penalties apply if the speeding occurs in a school zone during designated hours.
The penalties listed below apply to the driver of a passenger car. Drivers of commercial vehicles and drivers who are paid to transport passengers may face different penalties.
The fines listed below are those that apply if the driver does not contest the penalty notice. A court could impose a higher or lower fine, or could dismiss the case if the charge is contested.
Exceeding limit by < 10 km/h (full licence)
Exceeding limit by < 10 km/h (probationary or learner)
Exceeding limit by > 10 km/h (full licence)
Exceeding limit by > 10 km/h (probationary or learner)
Exceeding limit by > 20 km/h
Exceeding limit by > 30 km/h
Exceeding limit by > 45 km/h
Suspension for driving more than 45 km/h over the limit
Roads & Maritime (NSW) imposes the following minimum suspensions:
Exceeding limit by > 30 km/h 3 months
Exceeding limit by > 45 km/h 6 months
The suspension for driving more than 45 km/h over the limit is imposed “on the spot.” When an “on the spot” suspension applies, the officer who stopped the driver will confiscate the driver’s licence. The car will need to be legally parked, driven away by a different licenced driver, or towed.
Court penalties when driver contests a violation
When a driver contests a violation, the court has the discretion to impose a greater or lesser fine than the amount assessed in the penalty notice. The court can also dismiss the case if the violation is not proven.
The court cannot change demerit points. Those are assessed by Roads & Maritime according to an administrative schedule that has been uniformly adopted by Australian states and territories.
The maximum fine that the court can impose is:
Exceeding limit by < 45 km/h $ 2,200
Exceeding limit by > 45 km/h $ 2,350
Whether to challenge a speeding accusation in court is a decision that should be made in consultation with a lawyer. An accused driver might be able to avoid a conviction entirely, although there is also a chance that the court will assess a higher fine than the one that appears on the penalty notice if the driver is convicted.
Speeding occurs in a school zone
The following penalties will be assessed in a penalty notice if speeding occurs in a school zone during designated hours (usually the hours during which school is normally in session):
Offence Points Fine
Exceeding limit by < 10 km/h 2 $ 189
Exceeding limit by > 10 km/h 4 $ 341
Exceeding limit by > 20 km/h 5 $ 568
Exceeding limit by > 30 km/h 6 $ 1099
Exceeding limit by > 45 km/h 7 $ 2504
Demerit points for speeding double on public holidays, including long holiday weekends.