Peter Lynch


Madeleine Lynch

Lawyer, Fitzroy Legal Service

Legislation related to driving offences

Last updated

1 July 2022

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

The law relating to driving offences in Victoria is complex and subject to constant change. The Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) (‘Road Safety Act’), the major piece of legislation governing road law in Victoria, is constantly being reviewed.

Amendments to the Road Safety Act tend to introduce tougher conditions and penalties for drivers. For example, under the Road Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (Vic) (‘2020 Act’), drivers can now have their driver licence immediately suspended if they are caught speeding excessively. (For more information, see ‘Immediate licence suspension for speeding’ in ‘Common driving offences‘.)

The Road Safety (Amendment) Act 2022 (Vic) (‘2022 Act’) provides new detection procedures and how courts will deal with these in relation to seat belt offences and mobile phone detection (see ‘Seatbelt and mobile phone offences’ in ‘Common driving offences‘).

The 2022 Act has also introduced immediate licence suspension penalties for failure to stop after an accident but these are only applicable in accidents that result in death or serious injury (see ‘Failure to stop after an accident’ in ‘Common driving offences‘).

Road Safety Act

In this chapter, the references to legislation are to the Road Safety Act, unless otherwise stated.

Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009 (Vic)

On 29 October 2019, the Victorian Government replaced the Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009 (Vic) with the Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 (Vic) (‘Drivers Regulations’).

The major change is that now, drivers with an international or interstate driver licence who drive on Victorian roads must convert their driver licence to a Victorian driver licence within six months of living in Victoria – if they meet the residency requirements. If they fail to do so, they risk being charged with unlicensed driving  (regs 12, 13 Drivers Regulations).

Transport Legislation Bill

Part 5 of the Transport Legislation Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2021 (Vic) makes several changes to the Road Safety Act. Most notably, the Bill increases the penalties for unlicensed drivers. 

The Bill received royal assent on 10 August 2021 and is due to come into operation on or before 1 March 2022.

Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)

Provisions relating to driving offences are also in the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) (‘CP Act’).

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