When do I have to provide police with a traffic crash report?

traffic lawsCurrent Law.

The Driver of a motor vehicle is required to furnish a traffic crash report to police as soon as possible to the nearest police station.

Section 92 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 and section 287 of the Queensland Road Rules require drivers involved in crashes and other incidents that result in more than $2 500 damage to report those incidents to police.

Drivers must also report to police if a person is injured or killed in the crash or a motor vehicle involved in the crash needs to be towed from the scene.

Maximum penalty –

  1.  if death or injury is caused to any person – 20 penalty units or imprisonment for one year; or
  2. otherwise – 10 penalty units or six months imprisonment.

Rationale for Change.

The $2 500 threshold has been in place for many years without being increased and no longer reflects a requirement to only report more serious crashes to police. This amount does not reflect the fact that a majority of crashes now involve damage exceeding $2 500 because modern vehicles are designed to crumple to preserve passenger safety.

Proposed Law

The Transport and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 amends section 92 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 to remove the requirement to report crashes to police where property damage exceeds an amount fixed by regulation (currently $2 500).

Subsequently, the same requirement will be removed from the Queensland Road Rules.

Proposed Reporting Requirements

There will be a requirement to report crashes to police where:

  1. a person is injured or killed; or
  2. if any vehicle needs to be towed from the scene.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

ANPR camera systems set to detect Unregistered Vehicles

ANPR4The Queensland Government is set to allow automatic number plate recognition camera systems or ANPR camera systems to detect unregistered drivers, through proposed amendments to the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.

Approximately 3% of Queensland’s 4.5 million vehicles could potentially be unregistered (up to 135 000 vehicles).  This looks set to increase when the Government scraps Registration Labels for light vehicles from October 1, 2014. 

Unregistered Vehicle

Generally, when a vehicle is unregistered, that also means it does not have CTP insurance (“uninsured vehicle”). However, CTP insurance continues for a grace period of 30 days after the expiry of a vehicle’s registration. It is possible for a vehicle to be unregistered, but retain CTP insurance during this time.

Enforcement Responsibility.

Police officers and transport inspectors employed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads have been intercepting vehicles and manually issuing infringement notices for unregistered and uninsured vehicle offences for many years. In more recent times, portable automatic number plate recognition camera systems have been used to detect these offences. Once an unregistered vehicle is detected, a police officer or transport inspector must still physically intercept the vehicle and manually issue an infringement notice.

It is proposed that both the Department of Transport and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) will utilise fixed and mobile ANPR Camera Systems to detect unregistered vehicles and automatically issue infringement notices by ordinary mail.

Evidentiary Certificate.

Section 120 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 will be amended to allow the chief executive to sign an evidentiary certificate for photographic detection devices operated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, stating that an image was properly taken by the device and allowing the image to be used as evidence of an offence.

Who is responsible for the offence?

Under current arrangements it is the driver of the vehicles responsibility to confirm that the vehicle is registered and has compulsory third party insurance before it is used on the road.  Following the proposed amendments to the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 the most recent registered operator will be responsible for the offence.  Regardless of who is driving the vehicle, it is the registered operator’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is registered.

The registered operator will have a defence where they provide a statutory declaration stating that the vehicle was stolen, illegally taken or had already been sold or disposed of (see amendments to section 114);

How will the notice be served?

An infringement notice issued by an information technology system is taken to be an infringement notice served by an authorised person under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999, and in particular section 13(1) of that Act (see new section 113A(3)).

The effect of this amendment is that the notice will be sent, by post to, to the nominated address and will be deemed to have been served.  It will become imperative that all vehicles are promptly transferred with the Department of Transport following sale otherwise a former owner, not receiving the notice could find their licence cancelled.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Police Set to Outsource Service of Notices To Appear

Notices to Appear

Notices to AppearUnder current legislation the Queensland Police Service is required to personally serve Notices to Appear on alleged offenders.  This process ensures that the alleged offender is aware that they have been charged and the date upon which they are required to appear in Court.

The changes proposed by the Police Minister are said to affect service of Notices to Appear in relation to:

  1. Failing to stop a motor vehicle on direction;
  2. Provisional drivers, driving a restricted vehicle;
  3. Exceed speed limit by more than 40kmh;
  4. Failing to stop at a red light;
  5. Public nuisance;
  6. Disorderly behaviour; and
  7. Threatening behaviour.

Service

The service of Notice to Appear by ordinary pre paid post is fraught with danger.  Currently the legislation permits service from Queensland Transport and the State Penalties Enforcement Register, by ordinary pre paid mail.  There are almost daily examples of people who have not received such notices being pulled over for unlicensed driving and facing mandatory loss of licence of up to 6 months.

Traffic infringement notices for offences detected by camera are now sent by registered mail, however under these proposed changes, offences requiring court appearances before a Magistrate will be sent by mail.

A number of these offences can result in the forfeiture of a persons motor vehicle.  A failure to appear will likely result in an arrest warrant issuing and the persons being arrested and held in custody for a traffic or street offence.

People need to be vigilant in terms of maintaining their correct residential details with government bodies and ensuring that any concerns with the delivery of their post is resolved with Australia Post.

If Postmen are to become defacto police officers, delivering Notices to Appear, then the QPS should at the very least be required to serve the Notices by way of Registered Post to ensure that service is effected.  We are extremely concerned about these changes.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

 

 

New Traffic Laws and Increased Penalties for Cycle Offences.

New Traffic Laws Introduce Cycling Reforms.

Ciclisti al tourQueensland has new traffic laws following the introductions of the Transport Legislation and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014.  These new traffic laws are primarily aimed at addressing the road safety of cyclists by introducing a new minimum distance of up to 1.5 metres between any vehicle and a cyclist.  The offence is set to carry a maximum penalty of 40 penalty units and the loss of three (3) demerit points.

The new traffic laws follow the Parliamentary Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee  report “A new direction for cycling in Queensland”.  The report, released in November 2013, outlined recommendations designed to improve the interactions between cyclists and other road users.

Safety Reforms.

To increase safety for cyclists, the report  recommended that a minimum overtaking distance should be introduced.  The Committee noted a number of studies in Australia and in other jurisdictions have identified passing too closely (or side-swiping) as a frequent and significant factor in incidents resulting in death or serious injury to cyclists. This amendment regulation introduces a minimum passing distance for motorists passing a cyclist.

This regulation amends the Queensland Road Rules to provide that:

Motorists must leave a minimum distance of 1 metre between their vehicle and any cyclist they are overtaking on a road where the speed limit is 60 km/h or below and at least 1.5 metres where the speed limit is more than 60 km/h.

To facilitate these minimum passing distances, the amendments provide that a driver may straddle lane lines, drive to the right of the centre of the road (including crossing dividing lines) or drive on a painted island or dividing strip that is the same level as the road provided the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic and it is safe to do so.

A breach of the new minimum passing distance requirement will carry a maximum court penalty of 40 penalty units.

If police issue an infringement notice roadside the Infringement Notice is a fine of three penalty units and three (3) demerit points.  This is a consistent penalty to offences of a similar risk including, for example, disobeying a red traffic light, failing to wear a motorbike helmet and entering a level crossing when a train is approaching.

Infringement Penalties

In its report, the Committee noted that “the current imbalance between cyclists and other vehicle drivers in relation to infringement penalties warrants review”. It commented that there is significant potential for cyclists to endanger other vulnerable road users and do harm to themselves. It recommended that the penalties for road rules offences for cyclists should be increased to the level that applies to motorists where the potential to endanger other road users is greatest (Recommendation 31).

This amendment regulation implements and, for simplicity, extends that recommendation by providing that:

  1. where cyclists currently receive a lower infringement notice fine than motorists for any road rules offence, the fine for cyclists will be increased to the level that applies to motorists; and
  2. where the offence can only be committed by a cyclist and the current infringement notice fine is less than one penalty unit, the fine will be increased to one penalty unit.

Loss of licence.

If you have lost your licence through an accumulation of demerit points and will suffer special hardship as a consequence of these new traffic laws, you may be eligible for a Special Hardship Order.  To find out more about a special hardship order, read on further in the traffic law section of our website, or contact our experienced traffic lawyers for advice.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Traffic Law – Can I Refuse a RBT?

Uncertainty about your BAC could see you loose your licence.

Uncertainty about your BAC could see you loose your licence.

A number of clients often ask our traffic lawyers whether they have to provide a specimen of breath.   Some people believe that the police must, upon request, obtain a blood test, others are indignant that they have been asked to supply at all.

The simple answer is that if you do not provide a sample of breath for testing as requested, you can be charged with failing to provide a sample of breath.

This offence is treated in the same way as if you were driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or above which results in a six month licence disqualification as a minimum. You can be convicted of this offence even if you had not consumed any alcohol before driving.

 
As with all matters that proceed to court, there are always exceptions to the general rule.  It may be that you are able to demonstrate that you were medically unable to provide a specimen of breath or that the requirement was made outside the prescribed time.  For this reason, if you have been charged with an offence of failing to supply you should contact our traffic law experts, who will be able to advise you of any defences that you may have.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Drink Driving – What Alcohol Limit Applies?

Uncertainty about your BAC could see you loose your licence.

Uncertainty about your BAC could see you loose your licence.

Gold Coast Traffic Lawyers

As Gold Coast traffic lawyers who present at QTOP*, we often ask attendees what the various alcohol limits are that apply in Queensland.  There is often as much confusion about the limit as to the amount you need to consume to reach 0.05%.  Many people are surprised to learn that even though they are holders of an open drivers licence, due to the nature of their driving they are required to have a zero BAC.

Queensland Alcohol Limits

In Queensland the alcohol liming that applies depends on the class of licence that you hold.  As a general rule, the following legal alcohol limits apply:

  1. Holder of a learner, provisional or probationary licence: 0.00
  2. Holder of a restricted licence: 0.00
  3. Holder of a licence when driving particular vehicles (eg trucks, buses, taxis etc): 0.00
  4. Holder of an open licence: below 0.05

Unfortunately we have had a number of clients who have been mistaken as to the alcohol limit that applies to them.  If in doubt you should contact one of our Gold Coast traffic lawyers and we will be happy to schedule a complimentary 30 minute appointment or provide some preliminary traffic law advice over the phone.

Restricted licence

You should also be aware that after your licence has been disqualified by the Court, you are not automatically returned to a full open c class licence.  You may find that you are placed on a r licence for a period and accordingly you will be the subject of a 0.00 BAC.  You need to carefully check the status of your licence once you return from disqualification.

*QTOP is the Queensland Traffic Offender Program of which we are proud sponsors and presenters.  For more information contact our receptionists or log onto the Queensland Traffic Offender website, http://qtop.com.au/

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Drink Driving – Go Straight to Jail, Do Not Pass Go.

Gold Coast Drink Driving Lawyers

Most Queensland motorists understand that if they are caught drinking and driving, they will be disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence for a period of time.  By and large our job as experienced Gold Coast Drink Driving Lawyers is to minimise the period of disqualification or to secure a restricted work licence or special hardship order.

Mandatory Imprisonment for multiple drink driving offences.

Mandatory Imprisonment for multiple drink driving offences.

When people attend upon us for traffic law advice they are often shocked to learn that in prescribed circumstances they must receive a mandatory prison sentence.

The  legislation provides that if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol for a third time within a period of five years, then you must receive a penalty of imprisonment as the whole or part of your punishment. A person is deemed to be under the influence of alcohol if they have a blood alcohol concentration that equals or exceeds 0.15%.

This means that if you have two drink driving offences over .15% within the last five years and are convicted of a third offence, the Magistrate or Judge has no option but to impose a penalty that includes imprisonment (whether actual or suspended). This will be in addition to any disqualification of your driver’s licence and any other punishments that may be imposed.
If you find yourself in the situation where you are looking at a third drink driving offence it is imperative that you speak with a Lawyer who specialises in traffic law to make certain that you obtain proper advice and representation.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

QUEENSLAND IMPOUNDMENT PROCESS

An experienced Gold Coast Criminal Lawyer will ensure your best outcome.

An experienced Gold Coast Criminal Lawyer will ensure your best outcome.

Hooning Laws

Hooning and other reckless driving offences can result in the impoundment or immobilisation of a motor vehicle for a period of seven to 90 days under Queensland Hooning Laws. For repeat offending the vehicle can be forfeit to the state. While there is a capacity to appeal these decisions, the intention of the legislation is clear. Go too far and lose your car.

The offending is broken into two categories: Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 Hooning Laws

  1. Evading police
  2. Any of the following offences committed during a speed trial, race or a burnout
    1. Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle;
    2. Careless Driving;
    3. Organising, promoting or taking part in reacting or speed trials;
    4. Wilfully starting or driving a motor vehicle in a way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke.

Type 2 Hooning Laws

  1. Driving a vehicle while out is uninsured and unregistered
  2. Unlicensed driving;
  3. High range drink driving 0.015% and over;
  4. Exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 km/h;
  5. Driving an illegally modified vehicle;
  6. Failure to supply a specimen of breath or blood; or
  7. Driving while under a 24-hour suspension.

hooningCan I apply for the early release of my vehicle?

The owner or usual driver of the impounded vehicle can apply in writing to the Commissioner of Police for early release of their vehicle if they can establish:

  1. Severe personal or financial hardship.
  2. The offence was committed without the owner’s consent.
  3. The unlicensed or uninsured offence has been rectified.
  4. The grounds for impoundment were unreasonable.

If you require assistance drafting an Application to the Commissioner of Police or wish to appeal the Commissioner’s decision then you should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers for advice and expert assistance.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

40 Cars a Day Being Seized Under QLD’s Hooning Laws

hooning40 Cars a day seized under Hoon Laws

Since 1 November 2013, police have proffered more than 7,800 charges under Queensland hoon laws for traffic offences including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, street racing, evading police and speeding at more than 40km/h over the legal speed limit.

New Hoon Laws

Under the new laws anyone caught doing burnouts, donuts, drifting or other hooning behaviour can have their vehicles taken off the road for three months.

Any follow-up offending within five years will result in the offender’s car being forfeited and sold or crushed.

Charges

Between November 1 and December 15 police alleged:

  1. 3100 charges for driving while unlicensed;
  2. 210 charges for speeding at 40km/h or more over the legal speed limit;
  3. 334 charges were handed out for evading police;
  4. 42 charges for dangerous operation of a vehicle;
  5. 43 charges of driving without due care and attention
  6. 4 charges of street racing; and
  7. 130 charges for doing burnouts.

Police have so far taken at least 634 vehicles off the road for the full three months while a further 189 are set to be either sold or crushed.

A further 940 drivers had their cars seized or their numberplates confiscated for a week after being charged with hooning offences.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Proposed Increased Penalties For Mobile Phone Offences

Police have a zero tolerance attitude to the use of Mobile Phones while driving.

Police have a zero tolerance attitude to the use of Mobile Phones while driving.

Qld Mobile phone laws

The State Government is considering new laws for mobile phone offences while driving. Motorists currently face fines of $330 and the loss of three demerit points if caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Motorists need to be aware that even if stationary at traffic lights the law still deems you to be in charge of the vehicle and you can be liable.  You are considered to be using the phone even if you are using a function other than making a call.  Texting, checking Facebook or surfing the web would all be offences.

Qld Road Safety Action Plan

Options discussed as a part of the Queens­land Road Safety Action Plan 2013-15 include:

  • Increasing the penalty from $330.00 to $430.00; and
  • Increasing the loss of demerit points from three to four points; and
  • Imposing a loss of six demerit point for motorists caught twice within a year.

Statistics show that there were more than 110,000 mobile phone fines issued between 2010 and September 2103.

  • 2010   33,000
  • 2011   30,000
  • 2012   28,700
  • 2013   19,000 to September.

As traffic lawyers regularly appearing in relation to traffic matters our advice is to ensure that you have installed a blue tooth device, or preferably place your mobile phone in the boot or glove box prior to starting your car.  The consequences of a distracted driver can be catastrophic.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.