General Duty of Driver or Person in Charge of Motor Vehicle

- section 59 of the Road Safety Act 1986

Drivers of motor vehicles have general duties like stopping the vehicle, or producing their licence when asked to by the Police, or having the load of the vehicle weighed when required. It is an offence for a driver of a motor vehicle not to do these things (and others listed in the legislation).
  • A woman is pulled over by a Police Officer and asked to show her licence, she refuses to do so.
  • A man is driving a truck and refuses to have the load weighed when required to do so by the Police.

  • You have a reasonable excuse for the failure.
  • You did not have your licence at the time but provided it to the Police within 7 days.
  • The Police officer was not in uniform and you did not believe they were the Police.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • What did the Police ask you to do?
  • What did you refuse to do?
  • Is there a good reason as to why you refused?

Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 20 penalty units or a term of imprisonment for 4 months.

Charges that arise from the General Duty of Driver or Person in Charge of Motor Vehicle would be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
The section that covers this offence is section 59 of the Road Safety Act 1986.

What is the legal definition of General Duty of Driver or Person in Charge of Motor Vehicle?
This offence is applies to a person driving a motor vehicle, when a person fails to comply with a lawful request or direction to do one of the following: produce their licence upon request; produce log books for inspection; stop the motor vehicle; or permit motor vehicle to be weighed. Or a person provides a false name to the Police.

“When driving what did you refuse to do?

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
If you are found guilty of this offence you are most likely going to incur a fine or a Community Corrections Order.