Excessive Speed

Excessive Speed

Speeding or Excessive Speed – More than 45 Kph

Matthews Lawyers are experienced in traffic law. Call our office for expert assistance. 3/10 Gawler Street Mount Barker 5251 – 0401 269 091

This offence is contrary to Section 45A Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA). It states:

(1) A person who drives a vehicle at a speed exceeding, by 45 kilometres an hour or more, a speed limit that applies under this Act or the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) for a first offence—a fine of not less than $2 400 and not more than $2 800;

(b) for a subsequent offence—a fine of not less than $2 500 and not more than $3 000.

(3) If a court convicts a person of an offence against subsection (1), the following provisions apply:

(a) the court must order that the person be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence—

(i) in the case of a first offence—for such period, being not less than 6 months, as the court thinks fit; or

(ii) in the case of a subsequent offence—for such period, being not less than 2 years, as the court thinks fit;

(b) the disqualification prescribed by paragraph (a) cannot be reduced or mitigated in any way or be substituted by any other penalty or sentence;

(c) if the person is the holder of a driver’s licence—the disqualification operates to cancel the licence as from the commencement of the period of disqualification.

(4) In determining whether an offence is a first or subsequent offence for the purposes of this section—

(a) any previous offence against subsection (1); and

(b) any previous offence against section 46 (whether committed before or after the commencement of this section), for which the defendant has been convicted or that the defendant has expiated will be taken into account, but only if the previous offence was committed or alleged to have been committed within the period of 5 years immediately preceding the date on which the offence under consideration was allegedly committed.

(5) This section is in addition to, and does not derogate from, any other provision relating to speed limits contained in this or any other Act or in any regulation, rule or by-law made under this or any other Act


1. the speed limit;

2. that you were driving a motor vehicle; and,

3. that your vehicle was travelling at a speed of 45 kph above the speed limit.


Deciding whether or not to plead guilty has important implications. This decision should be made after comprehensive discussions with one of our criminal lawyers.

If you do decide to plead guilty, our office can assist you to get the best result possible.


1. You were not driving the motor vehicle.

It is a complete defence to this charge if it can be shown that you were not driving the vehicle.

2. No Proof of Your Speed

You will have a defence to this charge in the event that no prescribed means of speed detection (for example, speed camera, laser gun and so on) was used. However, at times Police follow and time a driver – Time and Follow process. If the Time and Follow process is used to calculate the speed, there are certain requirements that must be performed for the speed alleged to be accurate. If the processes have not been followed, the speed is unlikely to be made out resulting in a withdrawal of the charges.


Matthews Lawyers has successfully appealed this issue in the Supreme Court of South Australia. The speed detection equipment must be calibrated correctly and used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and Police Guidelines. If this has not occurred, the reading may be inaccurate. The Defendant bears the burden of proof that the speed alleged is not correct and requires expert evidence.

The legislation provides that one Police issue certain certificates regarding the speed, they have proven their case. This does not mean that the evidence can not be challenged.

The common law defence of necessity operates where the circumstances at the time require you to break the law in order to avoid even more dire consequences. It will need to be shown that you believed on reasonable grounds that you were placed in a situation of imminent danger.

Essentially, the Court will need to weigh up the offence alleged to have been committed by you, against the harm you would have experienced, if you had not driven contrary to law and that it as reasonable for you to have driven in the circumstances you were in at the time.


The driver of the motor vehicle must control the vehicle. Cruise controls must also be callibrated and certificate obtained that it has been calibrated in accordance with the Australian New Zealand standards. If this can be shown, an argument can be made that no offence was committed relying on the defence of mistake of fact. Evidence of callibration will be required.


1. Trifling Application

There is provision in the legislation to argue that the offence was trifling, but if the offence is proved, whether after trial or by way of guilty plea, a trifling application is unlikely to be successful.

2. Demerit Point Reduction

There is provision in the legislation to argue that any demerit points incurred as a result of a conviction – whether after trial or by way of guilty plea – should be reduced, but it is unlikely to be successful unless the Court agrees that the particular circumstances believed to be on foot at the time are such that it would be unfair not to grant the reduction. An imminent death occurring in a rural area may be an acceptable factor, but in an urban setting, this is not likely to be accepted, given that Ambulance assistance is available and medical practitioners and other first responders are close by.