Improper Use of Motor Vehicle
– section 65A of the Road Safety Act 1986
Improper Use of Motor Vehicle is when someone intentionally drives a car in a way that causes the wheels to lose traction.
Examples of Improper Use of Motor Vehicle
- A group of friends are doing ‘donuts’ with their cars in a vacant parking lot.
- A man is driving a car in the rain and as he turns a corner, his car slides off the road.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Improper Use of Motor Vehicle ?
- You did not intentionally lose traction of the wheels on your car.
- You lost traction while driving during a sporting event.
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
- Can they prove that you were intentionally trying to lose traction of your wheels while driving?
- What were you actually doing?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 5 penalty units.
The improper use of a motor vehicle is a charge heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
“Was it deliberate?”
What is the legal definition of Improper Use of Motor Vehicle ?
A person drives a motor vehicle in a way that causes the vehicle to lose traction by one or more of the vehicle’s wheels.
The section that covers this offence is section 65A of the Road Safety Act 1986.1
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
If you are found guilty of this offence you will get a fine and possibly lose your license for some time.
Other Important Resources
 Road Safety Act 1986 – Section 65A
Penalty: 5 penalty units.
(2) In a proceeding for an offence against subsection (1) it is a defence to the charge for the accused to prove that he or she had not intentionally caused the alleged loss of traction.
(2A) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who drives a motor vehicle in the manner described in subsection (1) on land other than a highway in the course of—
(a) an event or function that—
(i) is conducted at a motor sport venue; and
(ii) is authorised by the operator of the venue; or
(b) an event or function that—
(i) is organised, conducted or sanctioned by a motoring organisation; and
(ii) is conducted in accordance with the rules of conduct of the motoring organisation; or
(c) driver training that—
(i) is supervised by a person for financial gain or in the course of any trade or business; and
(ii) is conducted at a venue designed, or primarily used, for driver training or at a motor sport venue; or
(d) vehicle testing by, or authorised by, a manufacturer of vehicles or vehicle components; or
(e) training activities of Victoria Police.
(2B) In subsection (2A)—
motor sport venue means a permanent venue for motor sports that—
(a) has a permanent track; and
(b) is used for 2 or more motor sport events or functions each year; and
(c) is on land the use of which for motor sports and any development associated with that use is lawful.
(2C) Subsection (2A) does not affect any requirement made by or under any other Act.
(3) The Minister may, by notice published in the Government Gazette, declare that the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) and of any regulations (except as specified in the declaration) do not apply to persons—
(a) while the persons are participating in a function or event, or a type of function or event, specified in the declaration and conducted on land specified in the declaration; or
(b) while the persons are participating in an event or function at a motor sport venue specified in the declaration; or
(c) while the persons are participating in an activity, event or function, or a class of activities, events or functions, specified in the declaration.
(4) A declaration under subsection (3)(a) may be made on the application of the owner or occupier of the land on which the function or event is to be conducted.
(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person while the person is participating in—
(a) a race or speed trial specified in a notice published under section 68(3) ; or
(b) a function or event sanctioned, or organised and conducted, by a motoring organisation the subject of a notice published under section 68(4).