Motorists in South Australia face the prospect of an instant loss of licence in circumstances of ‘extreme speed’, as well as a jail term of up to three years.
Speeding drivers could have their licence disqualified on the spot, thanks to new laws coming into effect this week.
South Australia Police now have the power to immediately cancel a driver licence in circumstances of ‘extreme speed’, with guilty parties facing up to three years in jail for their first offence.
The laws, which passed state parliament in December 2021, define ‘extreme speed’ as someone driving at 55km/h or more above the speed limit in a zone marked 60km/h or less.
In speed zones of more than 60km/h, ‘extreme speed’ is defined as driving above the posted limit by 80km/h or more.
As well as a jail term of up to three years, those found guilty of their first offence can be banned from driving for two years.
Subsequent offences can see licence disqualification increased to five years, while a jail term of five years can also be imposed in some circumstances.
Though South Australia Police were previously able to disqualify the licence of a speeding driver, the updated laws now provide a greater scope for police to act.
“These penalties send a strong message to people who choose to threaten the safety of other innocent members of the community by driving at extreme speed,” Superintendent Bob Gray, Officer in Charge Traffic Services Branch, said this week.
“Driving in a way that endangers lives is a criminal act and will be treated as such by police.”
Last week, South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas announced his government was considering new road safety laws which could see the introduction of a licence specifically for high-performance cars.