According to an article published by The Sunday Morning Herald entitled ‘NSW drivers and cyclists slugged with highest fines in Australia’, showed that while the rules of the road are basically the same across the whole of Australia breaking them in NSW can cost six times more than anywhere else. The article went on to highlight some examples of fines around Australia in comparison to those in NSW. One example was that a driver caught going 45 km/h over the speed limit would be fined $2 435 in NSW, however, for the same offence in Victoria a driver would be fined $806. The article also went on to report that about 17 000 NSW drivers were issued with fines for breaking the speed limit by 30 km/h or more in 2016/17. One of the charts shown in the article entitled 2016/17 Speeding Fines Issued By Category Limits showed that 342 889 speeding fines were issued between the speed limits of 10 km/h and 21 km/h over the speed limit.
It is important to note that generally traffic law in NSW is a complex and an extensive system of rules and regulations. As a result it is not uncommon for an individual that is charged with an offence under one piece of legislation to be sentenced by a penalty that is found under different pieces of legislation. When an individual appears before the court for a traffic offence their traffic history is tendered to the court by the prosecution. If that individual has been convicted of a major traffic offence within the last 5 years then they will be sentenced to the second offence penalty. If that person has been charged with the same offence previously or any other major offence and was convicted more than 5 years ago the second offence will not apply and they will be sentenced under the first offence penalties. Such penalties come with fines, disqualifications, imprisonment and interlock periods.
When it comes to determining the fines and periods of imprisonment the personal circumstances of the offender, the circumstances surrounding the offence and the offender’s prior traffic and criminal history are relevant and taken into consideration. It must be noted that the court is bound to impose a sentence with regards to the provided guidelines and legislation unless the individual is dealt with under the Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing and Procedure) Act  commonly referred to as a Section 10 dismissal. Under the Section 10 dismissal, the court has the power not to convict the person and not to impose a disqualification period, fine or period of imprisonment even when the person has committed an offence and pleads guilty. In addition, the offender will not lose any demerit points connected with the offence if they are dealt with under Section 10 dismissal.
Generally, traffic offences can be complicated and the punishment imposed is basically dependent on the offender’s representation made in the court. Therefore, if you have committed speeding offences in NSW contact an experienced traffic law attorney to represent you in court.