Last updated 15 February 2019

The Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009 (Qld) (Road Rules Regulation) set out many minor traffic offences including speeding, making unlawful U-turns, red light offences and failure to observe road signs. These simple traffic offences are generally prosecuted by the issuing of infringement notices on the spot or in the mail (often called a ticket). If guilt for the offence is accepted, the fine is paid. Demerit points are automatically deducted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Transport Department) from the person’s licence record, and the offence is recorded on the person’s traffic history, a document maintained by the Transport Department.

If the penalty is not paid in the manner and time frame advised on the notice, the infringement amount may be automatically referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry, or a summons to attend a Magistrates Court will be issued against the driver or the registered owner of the vehicle (s 22 State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999 (Qld)). The summons should be complied with. If not, the court can impose punishment (short of imprisonment) in the person’s absence (ss 142142A Justices Act 1886 (Qld) (Justices Act)). Also, for non–indictable traffic offences, a written plea and submissions as to penalty can be sent to the clerk of the court, and the matter can be dealt with in the person’s absence (s 146A Justices Act).

Penalties able to be imposed by a court are heavier than those specified in infringement notices, and the cost of issuing the summons will also be ordered to be paid by a person convicted in court of the offence. After conviction by the court, a certificate of conviction will be sent to the person, stating the amount of the fine to be paid and the cost of issuing the summons. The conviction will be recorded on the person’s traffic history and demerit points allocated. More serious traffic offences would also appear on a person’s criminal history, which is maintained by Queensland Police.