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  • Writer's pictureGeoff Harrison

Fail to provide particulars of driver



Published by Geoff Harrison | 16 August 2023


Section 177 of the Road Transport Act 2013 requires the the responsible person or person having custody of a vehicle to provide, immediately, the name and home address of the driver of the vehicle that is alleged to have committed an offence against the road transport legislation, to an authorised officer. It is noted that the power arises in relation to an allegation having been made and not the truth of the allegation. However, the statutory defence provides that it is a reasonable excuse to the charge, if the person proves to the court's satisfaction that the accused did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained the drivers name and home address.


The maximum penalty is 20 penalty units ($2,200) and no mandatory disqualification.


ROAD TRANSPORT ACT 2013 - SECT 177

Requirement for responsible person to disclose driver identity


(cf Gen Act, s 173)


(1) If the driver of a motor vehicle is alleged to have committed an offence against the road transport legislation--

(a) the responsible person for the vehicle, or the person having the custody of the vehicle, must, when required to do so by an authorised officer, immediately give information (which must, if so required, be given in the form of a written statement signed by the responsible person) as to the name and home address of the driver, and

(b) any other person must, if required to do so by an authorised officer, give any information that it is in the person's power to give and that may lead to the identification of the driver.

Maximum penalty--20 penalty units.


(2) It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1)(a) if the defendant proves to the court's satisfaction that the defendant did not know and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained the driver's name and home address.


(3) A written statement--

(a) purporting to be given under subsection (1)(a) and to contain particulars of the name and home address of the driver of a motor vehicle at the time of commission of an alleged offence against the road transport legislation, and

(b) that is produced in any court in proceedings against the person named in the statement as the driver for such an offence,

is evidence without proof of signature that the person was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence if the person does not appear before the court.



Meaning of "responsible person" for a vehicle


(cf Gen Act, s 6)


(1) In the road transport legislation, the

"responsible person" for a vehicle means--

(a) in relation to a vehicle that is registered in Australia--each of the following persons--

(i) an Australian registered operator of the vehicle, except where the vehicle has been disposed of by the operator,

(ii) if the vehicle has been disposed of by a previous Australian registered operator--a person who has acquired the vehicle from the operator,

(iii) a person who has a legal right to possession of the vehicle (including any person who has the use of the vehicle under a lease or hire-purchase agreement, but not the lessor while the vehicle is being leased under any such agreement), and

(b) in relation to a vehicle to which a trader's plate is affixed that is not registered in Australia--each of the following persons--

(i) the person to whom the trader's plate is issued,

(ii) a person who has a legal right to possession of the vehicle (including any person who has the use of the vehicle under a lease or hire-purchase agreement, but not the lessor while the vehicle is being leased under any such agreement), and

(c) in relation to a vehicle that is not registered in Australia and to which no trader's plate is affixed--each of the following persons--

(i) a person who was last recorded in an Australian registrable vehicles register as being responsible for the vehicle,

(ii) a person who has a legal right to possession of the vehicle (including any person who has the use of the vehicle under a lease or hire-purchase agreement, but not the lessor while the vehicle is being leased under any such agreement), and

(d) any other person (or class of persons) prescribed by the statutory rules for the purposes of this definition.


(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(d), the statutory rules may prescribe different persons for different provisions of the road transport legislation.


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