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OFFENCES RELATING TO LICENCES
Driving without holding a licence, or during a period when you have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence, are serious offences. Some other offences relating to drivers' licences are as follows:
Failing to change name and address
A holder of a driver's licence must notify Queensland Transport within 28 days of changing that person's name or address. If the person fails to do this, they are liable to a fine. The maximum fine is $1,500.00. However, the fine would usually only be minimal, such as $100.00 or $200.00.
Failing to obtain a replacement Licence
If a person loses their driver's licence, or if the driver's licence is stolen or destroyed, then the person must apply to Queensland Transport for a new licence, as soon as practicable. If the person fails to do this, then they are liable to pay a fine. The maximum fine is $1,500.00.
If the licence that had been replaced is later found, or otherwise comes into the possession of the person, then they must return this to the Queensland Transport. The maximum penalty for failing to do this is $1,500.00.
Defacing or destroying a Licence
If a person wilfully defaces or destroys a Queensland Driver's Licence, then they are liable to a penalty. The maximum penalty is $1,500.00.
ACCUMULATION OF DEMERIT POINTS
In Queensland, holders of drivers' licences are allocated a certain number of points which, if they lose due to the commission of traffic offences, they lose their licence. Different licences are allocated a different number of demerit points.
If the holder of a provisional licence accumulates 4 or more demerit points in a continuous one (1) year period, then the licence will be cancelled. The effect of the cancellation of the licence in these circumstances is that the person is disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver's licence for a period of three (3) months after the licence is physically returned to Queensland Transport. If the licence that is cancelled was the first licence granted after the person's previous provisional licence was cancelled due to an accumulation of demerit points, then they will be disqualified for a period of six (6) months.
The cancellation of a provisional licence can be appealed against.
If the holder of an open licence accumulates 12 or more points in a continuous three (3) year period, then Queensland Transport will write to that person, and require the person to choose between one of the following options:
In both cases, the person will have to return the person's open licence to a Queensland Transport office within the time specified in the letter. If the person cannot do this, they must provide a statutory declaration stating why they cannot do this. For example, they may have lost their licence.
It is an offence not to comply with the letter issued by Queensland Transport. The maximum penalty for this offence is $1,500.00.
2 POINT PROVISIONAL LICENCES
A person issued with a 2 point provisional licence must not accumulate 2 or more demerit points in a continuous one (1) year period. If they do so, then the licence will be cancelled and they will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for six (6) months after the licence is returned to Queensland Transport.
It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road unless the person driving the vehicle is the holder of a driver's licence authorising the person to drive the vehicle. The maximum penalty for this offence is $3,000.00 or six-(6) months imprisonment.
If a person drives whilst they are disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence, they commit an offence, which attracts a maximum penalty of $2,550.00, or eighteen (18) months imprisonment. The offence of disqualified driving is far more serious than the offence of unlicensed driving. This is because the offence of disqualified driving involves, to some extent, contempt for a prior court order, or a decision made pursuant to the law that a person's licence should be disqualified.
A person who drives a motor vehicle on a road or elsewhere without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place commits the offence of careless driving, and is guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty for this offence is $3,000.00, or six (6) months imprisonment.
Unlike the offences of unlicenced driving, or disqualified driving the offence applies to other areas that do not fall within the definition of a road. A person can be convicted of careless driving as a result of driving on private property.
RACING IN SPEED TRIALS ON ROADS
It is an offence for a person to organise, promote, or take part in any of the following:
Persons convicted of this offence face a maximum penalty of $3,000.00, or six months imprisonment. It is a defence to the charge to show that the holding or making of the race, attempt, or trial has been authorised in writing by the Commissioner of Police.
This offence relates to people participating in "drag races" on roads. The offence does not extend to drivers who take part in such races on private property.
DANGEROUS OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE
It is an offence for a person to operate a vehicle dangerously in any place. It is also an offence for a person to interfere with the operation of a vehicle dangerously in any place. The maximum penalty is $15,000.00, or three (3) years imprisonment. See the Dangerous Driving Information Outline.
The laws in Queensland relating to drink driving are quite complicated, and are dealt with in THE drink Driving / Dangerous Driving Information Outlines.
SPEEDING AND OTHER TRAFFIC OFFENCES
There are numerous other traffic offences in Queensland, for example, speeding. These offences are not mentioned here. Most traffic offences are known as ticketable offences. This means that a person can be charged by a police officer simply issuing a ticket (or traffic infringement notice), on the spot. Further, the fines and demerit points that apply to ticketable offences are standard.
Recent changes to the laws in Queensland effect the use of mobile telephones. The driver of a vehicle is not able to use a hand-held mobile telephone while the vehicle is moving, or whilst the vehicle is stationary, but not parked. However, this does not apply to a "hands-free" mobile phone, a CB radio, or any other two-way radio. The maximum fine for using a mobile telephone whilst driving is $1,500.00.
POWER OF POLICE OFFICERS TO MAKE INQUIRIES INTO CERTAIN ROAD INCIDENTS
A police officer is able to make such inquiries and investigations as the officer deems necessary or desirable for the purpose of ascertaining full particulars relating to:
The police officer can carry out such inspection, examination or test of any vehicle, tram, train, or animal as the officer considers necessary or desirable to make the inquiries and investigations into the incident.
A person who fails or refuses to provide information within that person's knowledge, or provide information which the person knows to be false, to a police officer making inquiries and investigations into an incident commits an offence, and is liable to a penalty. The maximum penalty is $3,000.00, or six (6) months imprisonment.
POWER TO REQUIRE NAME AND ADDRESS, AND TO PRODUCE LICENCE
A police officer can require a person to stop, produce their driver's licence, and state the person's name and address, and supply evidence of the correctness of the person's name and address, if the police officer:
DUTIES OF DRIVERS INVOLVED IN ANY ROAD INCIDENTS
The driver of any vehicle, tram or animal involved in an incident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any property has an obligation to:
Generally, parking and parking laws are regulated by local government authorities. Local governments, such as the Brisbane City Council, or the Cairns City Council, are able to regulate the following aspects of parking:
An integral part of the regulation of parking involves the erection of official parking signs. Parking signs may apply to parking at or near the place where the sign is installed, or for a larger area such as a central business district.
If a person contravenes a parking law, then they may be fined. The maximum fine that a local government authority can impose in relation to a parking offence is $3,000.00. However, parking fines are generally far less than this. An important point to know is that the owner of the vehicle that is involved in the parking offence is deemed to have committed that parking offence, (even if he/she was not the person in control of the car at that time) and may be punished accordingly.
If a person is charged with a parking offence, they will be issued with an infringement notice. It is acceptable for the infringement notice to be left on a conspicuous area of the vehicle, such as on the windscreen of the vehicle. Parking offences are ticketable offences.
Wheel clamping has become an increasingly controversial topic over the past few years. The law relating to wheel clamping in Queensland was not clear cut for a long time. However, the Parliament of Queensland, in 1997, took steps to ban wheel clamping.
Wheel clamping is the practice of detaining a vehicle that is parked, using an immobilising device, usually called a wheel clamp. Wheel clamping usually occurs on private property, where the owner of the private property engages a wheel clamping company to clamp vehicles which are parked on the private property, without the owner's consent. The owner or driver of the vehicle is then expected to pay a fee to enable the vehicle to be released. It is generally impossible to remove the wheel clamp without damaging either the wheel clamp, or the vehicle.
It is an offence for a person to detain a vehicle parked or stopped, without the owner's consent, by attaching an immobilising device to the vehicle, or placing an immobilising device near the vehicle. Immobilising devices include wheel clamps. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $3,000.00, or six (6) months imprisonment.
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