Obtaining a driver’s licence is almost a rite of passage in today’s society, but having a valid licence brings with it key responsibilities for every driver.
Mandatory licencing of drivers began in the UK in 1904 under the Motor Car Act, but Karl Benz, who designed the world’s first practical automobile, arguably got the world’s first driver’s licence when he was given written permission to operate his car on public roads in 1888.
Now, in South Australia, in simple terms, it is unlawful to drive a motor vehicle on a road or a road related area without holding a current driver's licence for that class of vehicle.
However, there are a range of other rights and responsibilities that come with holding a driver’s licence. For instance, did you know:
- If you hold a driver's licence, you must notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles within 14 days if you have changed your residential address.
- Probationary licence holders risk a $191 expiation (plus $60 Victims of Crime Levy) for failing to immediately produce their licence on demand.
- A driver's licence issued in South Australia applies to both automatic and manual vehicles, irrelevant of what type of vehicle you passed your test in. You can legally drive either.
- To ride a moped in South Australia you must hold a current R-date motorcycle learner's permit, a motorcycle licence (R-Date or R) or a driver's licence of any type (e.g. full, provisional, probationary).
- In South Australia you can have a digital drivers licence via the mySAGov app.
On Thursday, March 8, as part of SA Police’s ongoing Traffic Thursday campaign drivers' licences will be in the spotlight in a bid to get the motoring public to turn their mind to the rules and their responsibilities.
Of particular concern to police are drivers who are on the roads without ever holding a licence, having an expired licence, inappropriate licence for the vehicle they are driving, or driving disqualified or under suspension.
“South Australian road users are clearly put at a higher level of risk when unlicenced people are driving,” Superintendent Robert Gray, the officer in charge of Traffic Support Branch, said.
“Lack of experience through to a complete disregard of the law leads to a higher level of danger on the road.
“An unlicenced person would also not be covered by any insurance valid for a vehicle being driven by them.”
In the 2017 calendar year SA Police issued more than 12,000 Traffic Infringement Notices or cautions for drivers detected with an expired licence or contravening conditions of their licence or permit.
In addition there were 2,189 arrests or reports made for motorists who were driving without licence, or for offences related to having no licence and a further 3733 people were arrested or reported for unauthorised driving, driving while suspended or driving while disqualified.
“Police have no tolerance for this type of blatant disregard for the law,” Superintendent Gray said.
“While these offences are policed on a daily basis, the point of Traffic Thursday is to encourage the general community to consider key aspects of the law, and ensure they are complying.
“For those who drive on an expired licence or while suspended or disqualified from doing so, I would remind them that a range of penalties apply, which generally escalate for subsequent offending.
“In some circumstances police can also impound the motor vehicle for 28 days and order an additional period of disqualification. “
Offences such as driving while suspended, disqualified or never having held a licence can lead to a motorist being reported or arrested.
In addition other licence offences include the following expiable offences:
Expired Licence, $464 (plus $60 Victims of Crime Levy) $524
Contravening a condition endorsed on a restricted permit or licence, $358 ($60) $418
Visiting motorist (interstate/overseas) failing to carry licence or permit, $191 ($60) $251
Fail to carry licence when driving heavy vehicle (GVM>4.5t), $191 ($60) $251
Fail to immediately produce Learner’s permit on demand,$191 ($60) $251
Ride motor bike with no ‘L’ plate affixed,$349 ($60) $409
Driving with no ‘L’ plates affixed,$349 ($60) $409
Driving with only one ‘L’ plate affixed,$203 ($60) $263
Contravening condition of learners permit:-
Licensed driver to accompany learner, $349 ($60) $409
Learner ride motor bike between midnight and 5am without supervising passenger, $349 ($60) $409
Fail to immediately produce Provisional licence on demand, $191 ($60) $251
P1 or P2 licence holder under 25 years driving high powered vehicle – driver not exempted, $349 ($60) $409
P1 licence holder ride motor bike with no ‘P’ plate affixed, $349 ($60) $409
Driving with no ‘P’ plates affixed $349 ($60) $409
P1 driver with only one ‘P’ plate affixed, $203 ($60) $263
P1 licence holder under 25 years drive between midnight and 5am without supervising driver, $349($60) $409
P1 licence holder under 25 years drive with 2 or more peer passengers without qualified driver, $349 ($60) $409
P1 or P2 licence holder under 25 years driving high powered vehicle (exempted but exemption not produced), $208 ($60) $268
Fail to immediately produce Probationary licence on demand, $191 ($60)$251
For more details about licences and the law please visit: http://mylicence.sa.gov.au/my-car-licence