South Australia increasing driving fines as part of state budget. Picture: Matthew Sullivan
South Australia increasing driving fines as part of state budget. Picture: Matthew Sullivan

Speedsters will cop $1658 fine in one state

South Australian drivers will soon face a major increase in fines after the State Government set its sights on hoons and mobile phone users.

The fine price hikes were announced as part of the South Australian Budget and come as Treasurer Rob Lucas tries to cover a $500 million shortfall in GST returns.

Under the changes, drivers caught speeding 30-45km/h over the limit will cop a $1472 fine, up from $920.

The fine for going 45km/h over has increased from $1036 to a massive penalty of $1658.

One of the biggest penalty increases will impact companies that choose to pay for staff driving fines.

Currently, if a person is caught speeding in a company car, the business can choose to pay a $300 fine so the staff member doesn't receive any demerit points.

South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas announced new fees, fines and charges in this year’s State Budget. Picture: Kelly Barnes/AAP
South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas announced new fees, fines and charges in this year’s State Budget. Picture: Kelly Barnes/AAP

But from July 1, that fine will be upped to $1800 to deter companies from protecting staff that break the law.

"We're cracking down on lead-foot drivers of company cars who speed and run red lights," Mr Lucas said.

"For far too long, thousands of them have been ripping off the system by asking their bosses not to identify them as a speeding motorist in a company vehicle, enabling them to avoid a loss of demerit points so they can stay on the road and keep their licence. In the last financial year, we had 15,000 people caught in this manner.

"Quite frankly, the limp lettuce leaf of a fine structure we've had in the past has practically given these motorists a licence to speed. Many of them should have lost their licence, but they're getting away with it."

South Australian motorists are going to be copping higher penalties.
South Australian motorists are going to be copping higher penalties.

Mr Lucas added "brainless idiots" who risked their lives and others' by having no respect for the law deserved these harsher penalties.

The fine for using a mobile phone behind the wheel will be upped $200 to $534, while drink and drug-driving fines will now cost a huge $743.

It will also cost motorists more to renew their licences, increasing by $10 or $20 depending on the renewal period.

But it isn't just drivers who will be forced to dish out more cash. Public transport users will be hit with increased fares as well, but only slightly - around 2 per cent.

The increase in fines and fees is expected to generate approximately $79 million in extra revenue.

"It's no secret the state faces a significant $517 million shortfall in GST revenue in 2019-20, and it's imperative we seek to plug that hole in a responsible way," Mr Lucas said.

"The Government will continue to cut waste and reduce spending in lower priority areas and increase revenue, especially from people who are breaking the law."



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