Road rules and regulations

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Road rules can differ in each state across Australia, so you must ensure you follow the road rules that apply to the place you are driving in.

The following will provide you with useful information on road rules and regulations in the ACT:



Licence demerit points

ACT Traffic Infringements Notices are issued for speeding, unregistered vehicles, negligent driving and other traffic related offences. In addition to paying a fine, infringements can result in demerit points.

Licence holders who accrue more than their allowed demerit points over a three-year period are subject to a period of licence suspension. The more demerit points you accumulate during the three years, the longer your licence is suspended for.

For more information, visit the Access Canberra Demerit Points webpage.
All traffic offences and the most up to date penalties are listed in the Road Transport (Offences) Regulation 2005.

Licence suspension

ACT Policing can issue an Immediate Licence Suspension to drivers. Immediate suspension notices can be given for offences such as (but not limited to):

  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • refusing an alcohol and drug roadside test or blood test
  • failing to stop for police.   

The suspension notice takes effect as soon as it is served. Once the notice is served the person must:

  • surrender their licence
  • not drive a vehicle in the ACT
  • not apply for an restricted licence during the suspension period.

Direction not to drive – prescribed drugs

Police officers can also issue a direction not to drive a motor vehicle to a person who has provided a positive drug screening test, a positive drug analysis or following a blood test. This direction is for up to 12 hours.

Is a person fails to comply with the direction then an offence has been committed.

Disputing an Immediate Suspension Notice

A person issued with an Immediate Suspension Notice may apply to the Magistrates Court for a stay of the operation of the suspension notice.

The application must be made no later than 28 days after the Immediate Suspension Notice was issued. The following documents must be provided:

  • a notice setting out the grounds of application
  • an affidavit in support of the application.

For more information on Immediate Licence Suspensions view:

Random vehicle inspections and defect notices

Any vehicle (occupied or not) on a road or road related area in the ACT might be subject to a random inspection. The inspection only takes a few minutes, however should any faults be identified, a major or minor defect notice or a warning notice may be issued.

If a defect notice has been issued, you must have the vehicle inspected at the Vehicle Inspection Station, or by an authorised examiner, in accordance with the instructions in the notice.

Defect notices must be cleared within 14 days from the date of issue. Failure to clear a defect notice may result in suspension, and ultimately cancellation of your vehicle's registration.

For more information, visit the Access Canberra Vehicle Inspections webpage.


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