Public transport inspectors

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Public transport inspectors

Authorised officers make sure that passengers have valid tickets and are not committing any offences.

If they think you have committed or intend to commit a public transport offence, they can:

  • give you an on-the-spot fine (you pay the officer by EFTPOS or credit card)
  • give you an infringement notice
  • charge and arrest you.

Authorised officers cannot search a person’s bags or any of their belongings.

Authorised officers may be in uniform or plain clothes. They must display their badge and show you their identity card if you ask to see it.

Name and address

Authorised officers can only ask for your name and address if they believe ‘on reasonable grounds’ that you have committed or are about to commit an offence related to your use of public transport. This may include travelling without a valid ticket. The officer must tell you why they believe this, so that you understand what the offence is.

If you refuse to give your name and address, or give false information, you may be charged with an offence and can be arrested.

Authorised officers can ask you to prove that your name and address is correct if they believe on reasonable grounds that the details are false. They will often check your identification or ask to call a relative.

Powers of detention and arrest

Authorised officers can only detain or arrest you without warrant if they believe on ‘reasonable grounds’ that it is necessary, for example, to make sure you go to court. They must use no more force than is reasonable to detain you. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances.

They must hand you over to the police as soon as possible.

If you are fined

If you get a fine and you disagree that you committed the offence, get legal advice before paying the fine. You can choose to have the case heard by the Children's Court if you were under 18 when the offence happened.

Code of conduct

Under the code of conduct for authorised officers, they must:

  • provide good customer service to all public transport customers
  • assist the travelling public with all aspects of public transport services, which includes helping to ensure a safe network
  • act as a deterrent to vandalism, fare evasion and anti-social behaviour
  • report behavioural and ticketing offences against the Transport Act 1983 and Regulations
  • maintain the highest degree of integrity and professionalism at all times.

If you think you have been treated unfairly by an authorised officer, you can contact the relevant transport operator to make a complaint. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, contact the Public Transport Ombudsman.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with public transport offences.

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