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Amendments to the Road Traffic Code increasing penalties for traffic offences come into operation from 5 September 2017.

  • The maximum penalty for breaching seatbelt and helmet rules will increase from $1,200 (24 penalty units (PU)) to $2,800 (56 PU) for first offences, and from $2,400 (48 PU) to $4,200 (84 PU) for subsequent offences.
  • The maximum penalty for all other offences will increase from $1,200 (24 PU) to $3,200 (64 PU) for first offences, and from $1,600 (32 PU) to $4,800 (96 PU) for subsequent offences.
  • The minimum penalty for exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h will increase from $1,000 (20 PU) to $1,200 (24 PU).
  • The minimum penalty for exceeding the speed limit in a heavy vehicle (a vehicle with a mass of 22.5 tonnes or more, including any attached trailer) by:
    • more than 29km/h but less than 40km/h will increase from $1,000 (20 PU) to $1,500 (30 PU);
    • more than 40km/h will increase from $850 (17 PU) to $1,200 (24 PU)

 

The death toll on WA roads is already at 87 fatalities this year, a reminder to us that the rules are there to protect us and that we all need to be extra vigilant on the roads.

Speeding, drinking and driving, failing to wear a seat belt and fatigue have all been factors in the fatalities on WA roads this year.

Remember these basics to avoid the increased traffic infringements or losing your license, and to protect your life, the lives of your loved ones, and the lives of other road users:

  • Do not exceed speed limits
  • Be constantly assessing road conditions and drive at a lower, safer speed if necessary
  • Do not drink and drive. If you want to drink, plan ahead – arrange a lift, appoint a skipper, use public transport or take a taxi home.
  • Always wear a seat belt! Even on short trips (statistics show that most road accidents happen within 5km from home). Remember that drivers are legally responsible for ensuring that passengers who are minors wear their seat belts.
  • Recognise when you are too tried to drive safely. If you are constantly yawning, your eyes feel sore or heavy, your reactions seem slow, you start daydreaming and not concentrating on your driving, or your car starts wandering across the road – stop and take a break!

 

Remember that your licence is a privilege. Don’t risk your licence, your life, or the lives of your loved ones and other road users by breaking the road rules that are enforced for your protection.

Should you ever require any legal advice in relation to driving offences, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff members at Lynn and Brown Lawyers.

 

About the authors:

This article has been co-authored by Claudia Giovannini and Jacqueline Brown at Lynn & Brown Lawyers.  Claudia is currently studying law at UWA and hopes to be admitted as a Perth lawyer in or about 2018.  Jacqui is a Perth lawyer and director, and has over 20 years’ experience in legal practice and practices in family law, mediation and estate planning.  Jacqui is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator and a Notary Public.

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