Traffic infringements for learner drivers

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:05
ThreadID: 20725 Views:4917 Replies:15 FollowUps:7
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My Stepson has just started driving, I was out giving him the benefit of my experience at the weekend, whilst travelling around I had to remind on a couple of occasions that the speed signs where a limit and not a target. I was wondering that if we got caught speeding who would get the fine and the demerit points? How much responsibility does the person teaching have to keep the pupil within the limits of the law? I phoned the local officer up and he wasn't to sure, he suspected that the person in control of the vehicle was responsible, does anybody know for sure? Does it vary within states?
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:08

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:08
wonderful that the bacon doesnt even know themselves...
AnswerID: 99829

Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:15

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:15
I have to give them some grace, it was Saturday morning, there weren't any traffic cops around the station they where either recovering from the previous nights car chases or filling out paperwork, or doing something else very important............................... it is Perth you know.
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FollowupID: 358098

Reply By: motherhen - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:58

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 23:58
I have always understood it woud be you as the licenced person - can't speak from personal experience though - none of my brood got caught trying to scare their Mum to death during their driving lessons. I just shut my eyes and prayed! Without me screaming they didn't get the desired reaction and the behaviour quickly came back to normal. I understand a few trees were seen to jump deeper into the bush from the roadside while my eyes were shut. Laws may be different over there on the other side of the country - but we're all talking WA at the moment.
AnswerID: 99836

Reply By: paulpp - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 00:02

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 00:02

Normally in the case of a licenced driver you are deemed the driver and also the person in charge of the vehicle.

When a learner driver is driving they are deemed to be under the direction of a licenced driver who is in charge of the vehicle .

In the case of the learner driver/licenced driver ( in charge) scenerio it is quite possible for both persons to be charged for any traffic office committed, although I believe not commonly done (usually the driver).

The instruction of a learner driver is, like all driving activity, quite lawfully onerous. If you are instructing a learner driver and are stopped for a Traffic Offence I as the licenced driver, would be treading very carefully.

As the holder of a drivers licence all we have is obligations, requirements and responsibilities. We do not have rights. After all, motor vehicles are dangerous things.

My thoughts and you should take them as exactly that. Seek legal advice on the matter. (Usual disclaimer ACNRT)


Paul P
AnswerID: 99838

Reply By: ev700 - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 00:07

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 00:07
In Qld the licenced person is regarded as being in control of the vehicle. For example, if the L plates are not displayed he is the one fined. Similarly a driving school would cop the rap if the L plate were not displayed on one of its cars with a learner at the wheel ($1500, I believe).

In boats it is the same, the skipper is always found to be responsible if anything goes wrong.

AnswerID: 99839

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 04:00

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 04:00
dead rite about the skipper, in ANY circumstance. Well known case here of a guy who put a crew member on watch who had better tickets, and went to bed. Boat hit another at anchor, killed other skipper and he was charged with manslaughter. "failing to ensure the safe navigation of a vessel under your command"
Luckily could afford a QC and escaped jail, just
FollowupID: 358112

Reply By: Brad and His Disco - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 00:09

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 00:09
As a qualified driving instructor the onus is on the person actaully in charge of the vehicle unless it is a seat belt offence in nsw anyway. Other wise the RTA people wouldnt take the students out for exams. They wont even use the dual controls if it appears inevitable that there will be accident.

So you will fine that you will be lectured if caught speeding as the instructor, but will not receive a fine or a infringement.
AnswerID: 99840

Follow Up By: ev700 - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 01:01

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 01:01
Hi, what you say makes sense.

This is an area of responsibility where many of us are rusty and some clearing of the air would be well worthwhile. In court wouldn't be the best place to become more familiar with the law either.

I know that in Qld the learner at the wheel can be found guilty of a traffic infringement and will accumulate points from infringement/s committed anywhere in Australia. I think when 4 points accumulate the driving test is automatically failed.

FollowupID: 358107

Follow Up By: floyd - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 16:57

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 16:57
I wouldnt want any of my kids getting a lesson from you. You obviously do not know anything about cars. You own a Land Rover. Ha Ha Ha. worst 4X4 on the market.
FollowupID: 358177

Follow Up By: Brad and His Disco - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 02:23

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 02:23
So floyd what are your qualifications. What may I ask is wrong with my land rover. I have owned it for 2 years, and nearly 50000km in it. Apart from servicing Ive only had to replace an alternator. So I guess thats bad. But what would I know. Apart from the fact that my family has travelled comfotablly and safely in it and been to places we enjoy.

You where obvioulsy one of those kids at school that didnt have any friends.

Do you own a car or wont mummy and daddy let you take it out. Maybe you have to wait till your got your licence. Thats why you where extremely interested in the thread about learners .... finally something you have something that you can relate..... you probably cant even pass the knowledge test to get your 'L's.

For the last few months you have had nothing but smart arse comments to make. Put your money where your mouth is and provide us with your history and grand experiences. Until then bleep off.

You want to start on me lets go moron.
FollowupID: 358266

Reply By: Matt H (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 09:27

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 09:27
The learner, being the driver would get the ticket for what ever offence they committed. The licenced driver doing the instruction can be fined for what is called 'permit learner breach'. Would depend on the circumstances I suppose. Not much good as an instructor if you are just letting them drive as they please. I am pretty sure that this applies in all states of Aust.
AnswerID: 99882

Reply By: Rick Blaine - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 19:01

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 19:01
My son when he was learning, drove at 60 past a school without the instructor saying a word... pulled over by the following Police car and warned... told that had there been a speed sign there they would have had no option but to fine him and gave the instructor a real earfull as he was sitting there smugly smiling( maybe he took down the sign) about the whole busness.....
AnswerID: 99958

Reply By: Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 19:59

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 19:59
Hi Martyn,

I think this is why they've changed the learner system.

Used to be 16 and a half you could get your L plates after a theory test, get taught by mum or dad then sit for your p plates on your 17th birthday.

Now at 16 a learner sits the theory test, then a driving test for their logbook (25hrs to accrue) - if they pass the practical they get their L plates, complete their 25hrs driving and once they turn 17 get their p plates after sitting a computerised hazard perception test.

You probably already know this and I think it's designed to make the learner more accountable for their decision making while driving and police will have more reason to give a ticket out as the driver should well and truly be aware of the road rules before they get behind the wheel for the first time.

The instructor is simply there to familiarise the driver with gear changing and operation of the vehicle. The learner should already know the road rules.


This is in W.A. anyway
AnswerID: 99971

Reply By: theshadows - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 20:07

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 20:07
so far matt H is the only one partshally right.

AS of last year I'm no longer an licenced and accredited motorcycle driving instructor and examiner.{NSW}

the rules to last year where.

{note this is general brach of the traffic act}

when the permit holder {to learn} breaches the {traffic} act the permit holder shall fined and point\points placed against the permit. If the permit hold exceeds more tha 3 point or more a warning letter is sent. if the permit holder breaches a certain amount...{and no i dont know how many though i believe its 4 points} the permit will be cancelled.

The driver instructing the permit holder will be fined for the same offence but no points will be issued agianst them.

special parts of the act.

the instructor and the permit holder will both be fined and points issued against the both licences! this includes neg driving,driving or D.U.I {remember .02 for both} ,seat belt offences,failing to stop at an accident,failing to secure a vehicle in a secure manner,

as for the instructor only offences are failing to give proper instruction to the permit holder ,failing to secure "L" plate to the vechile in an approved manner,talking on a mobile phone. D.U.I note this also include prescription medication

no there is a bunch of others, but this should give a pretty good insite.

AnswerID: 99972

Reply By: Chucky - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 20:46

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 20:46
Dosn't matter who is at fault and who is responcable, when it comes to revenue raising, we are all guilty until proven inocent.
AnswerID: 99977

Reply By: D-Jack - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 21:34

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 21:34
I know about the law in SA, but not other states. Driver is the one at fault. He/She has studied and passed an exam showing that they know the road rules. However, the Road Traffic Act allows for another person to be guilty of causing or permitting a person to commit an offence in a vehicle. This may relate to not worrying about a passenger sticking their arm out of a car, making an employee drive unlicenced or in this case being in charge of a L plater and permitting them to commit an offence like illegal U-Turn. There needs to be some sort of mens rea (for all of you lawies), meaning they have form some sort of intention to allow or make the L driver commit an offence. This would be impossible to prove in the case of a split second decision to gun it and run a red light, but in the case of disobeying a road sign or exceeding the speed limit it is reasonably anticipated that the licenced driver must be aware of the conditions the L driver is driving under. Therefore, in SA anyway, L driver would be fined and licenced driver could be fined for cause/permit depending on the circumstances. In practice, most responsible L drivers with responsible licenced person next to them would most likely be cautioned unless the circumstances warranted fining (like speeding though a childrens crossing at 60km/h as previously mentioned).

I know that other states have very similar legislation and would anticipate that they would have a similar interpretation to that in SA.

AnswerID: 99988

Reply By: Matt H (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:18

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:18
It should be the same in all states since the introduction of the Australian Road Rules(ARR's) /Regs and other associated Acts were brought into force Australia wide (2000 I think). States did bring in their own regs that countereacted some of the Australian Road Rules(ARR's) for specific state laws ie. hook turns, u-turns at lights for example. As I said it is now the Australian Road Rules, Acts such as the Traffic Act no longer exist. The fine for 'permit learner breach' is around the $80 mark I think and do not believe that it carries any points.

As earlier stated it would have to be a pretty blatant offence for this to be issued to the instructing passenger. I don't think it is issued to often.

Someone stated that the blood alcohol limit was 0.02 for both the learner driver and the passenger. This is INCORRECT would hate to see someones child get done because of that. For a learner and p platers in NSW it is now 0.00 (ZERO, NOTHING). This may be one of those laws that is state specific to NSW. so much for the ARR's. The instructing parent has to be under 0.05 the same as if they were driving.

Hope some of this helps.
AnswerID: 100003

Follow Up By: Matt H (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:22

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:22

Duck into your local station and check. They should be able to clear it all up for you. At least you will be 100% certain for WA.

FollowupID: 358219

Follow Up By: D-Jack - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:47

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:47
Matt H

I agree with all you said except in SA and I would presume other states the Road Traffic Act, the Road Traffic Act regulations, the Road Traffic Act vehicle standards, Motor Vehicles Cct etc still exist. Some of them form sections of the Australian Road Rules.

Good point - Learner and Probationary drivers can' t have any alcohol in their blood.
FollowupID: 358224

Reply By: Member - Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:34

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 22:34
Seems to me that the Legal Profession could argue the point in court and get paid megabucks in the process. Win or Lose.

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 100007

Reply By: iMusty - Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 23:17

Thursday, Feb 24, 2005 at 23:17
Shamfully I admit.

I was done for drink driving on L plates.


I was a bad bad boy.

We were both belted up at the station in Melbourne but I got in the more serious trouble.
Im 37 now and I was 17 at the time. Years have gone by since.

I havent read the entire thread but my gut feel is the driver.
AnswerID: 100025

Reply By: Andrew Smith - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 01:39

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 01:39

I can tell you from the bacon's point of view in NSW the person in the drivers seat is the person responsible! End of story.

Yours in law,
AnswerID: 100047

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