Driving over the speed limit

Driving over the speed limit

You will be charged with the offence of excessive speed if the police think you:

  • went over the speed limit by 25 km/hour
  • drove faster than 130 km/hour.

Whether you are guilty depends on the exact facts and circumstances of your case. The prosecution has to prove that you were driving the car and doing so over the speed limit.

Going to court for a speeding offence

For information about pleading guilty or not guilty and how to prepare for the court hearing see Going to court for traffic offences.

Possible defences

You may have a defence if you had to speed because of an emergency, for example if someone was critically ill in the car. The magistrate will decide if your reason is good enough. You might also have a defence if you did not speed voluntarily. For example, you had a seizure.

If you were not the driver of the car, you need to provide the name and address of the person who was driving.

The law assumes that speed detectors are accurate. If you want to argue that the detector was inaccurate, you would have to show that it was broken or improperly operated. You would need an expert to explain this in court. Otherwise you would need to have strong evidence to prove you were not speeding.

It is not a defence to say that you were running late for work or that your speedometer was broken. It is also not a defence to say that you did not know the speed limit because there were no signs.

Penalties if you are found guilty

As well as any penalties imposed by the magistrate, what happens in court goes on your criminal record.

Demerit points

VicRoads will add demerit points to your licence from the date the offence happened, not the date you went to court. The number of demerit points depends on your speed. The magistrate cannot change how many you get.

Losing your licence

The magistrate may let you keep your licence. However, for excessive speed offences the magistrate must suspend your licence for a minimum period of time. The minimum suspension periods are listed below.

The magistrate can choose to make that time longer. This depends on the details of your case.

Minimum suspension periods for excessive speed

Period

Excessive speed (amount over the speed limit)

1 month

25 km/hour or more but less than 35 km/hour

6 months

35 km/hour or more but less than 45 km/hour

12 months

45 km/hour or more

1 month

Any speed of 130 km/hour or more not covered above

You must not drive at all when your licence is suspended. There are no exceptions. For example, you cannot drive to work or to pick up your children. There are no special licences that allow you to drive some of the time. There are very serious penalties for driving while suspended.

Fines

The magistrate may give you a fine with penalty units, as listed below.

Speeding fines

Maximum fine

How much you were speeding

20 penalty units

Going over the speed limit by 45 km/hour or more

15 penalty units

Going over the speed limit by 35 km/hour or more but less than 45 km/hour

10 penalty units

Going over the speed limit by less than 35 km/hour

Usually you will not get the maximum penalty. You should tell the magistrate about your income and things you have to pay for, and whether you support a family.

Other penalties

The magistrate may also:

  • place you on an undertaking to behave well for a certain amount of time rather than give you a fine
  • impound or immobilise your car if you were:
    • speeding by 45 km/hour or more
    • driving at 145 km/hour or more
    • involved in a speed trial or road race.

See Possible outcomes for traffic offences for more information about penalties and other outcomes.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with traffic offences.