Corporate Fines: Company Car Fines and Demerit Points

It is common practice for companies to have a fleet of company cars which they permit employees to use in the performance of their job. 

Providing company cars not only helps employers effectively perform their duties, particularly if their job requires a lot of travel, but it also builds a professional image for your company, enhances brand image, improves employee retention rates, and attracts the best and brightest towards the company due to the perks that are offered. 

However, when cars are registered to organisations but driven by individuals, some legal and bureaucratic issues may arise. In the past, when an individual committed a traffic offence or road-related crime in a company car, there was a loophole that allowed them to avoid receiving demerit points if the company opted to pay the fines rather than identify the registered operator. 

Company car demerit point dodging became highly publicised in 2010, after a company failed to nominate a driver of a company car that was implicated in offences which incurred a total of 15 demerit points. Rather than indicate who was driving so they could receive , the company paid a paltry $5500 in fines. These loopholes have since been closed and no companies face hefty fines for failing to nominate the drivers of their vehicles when an offence is committed.

Dangerous Driving and Speeding Fines in Company Cars (NSW)

Speeding and dangerous driving are the biggest contributors to death on NSW roads. Speeding alone contributes to 41 percent of road fatalities and 24 percent of serious injuries each year, with 742 people killed and 6,372 people seriously injured on NSW roads between 2015 and 2019, according to Transport NSW

It is vital that individuals who break the law on NSW roads are held accountable through fines, demerit points and licence suspensions to dissuade dangerous driving and to ensure only responsible drivers are using our roads. 

In the past, companies were disrupting this process both intentionally and unintentionally by failing to nominate offending driver’s who committed offences in company cars. This happened so frequently that a government crackdown hiked up maximum fines in order to hold all parties accountable. 

Transport for NSW Executive Director of Road Safety Bernard Carlon has previously stated that there are approximately 7000 offences a year where companies fail to nominate drivers who have committed an offence in a company car.

Camera Detected Offences

Camera detected offences refer to road violations which are captured by mobile speed cameras, fixed speed cameras, red light cameras, combined red light and speed cameras, mobile phone and seatbelt cameras, and point-to-point speed camera systems. They are used to detect speeding offences, traffic light violations, bus lane violations, and mobile phone-related offences. While this technology is helpful for law enforcement, it is not foolproof and many of the images, videos or data can not always detect the driver of the vehicle.

Cameras can detect the following information:

  • Time, date and location of the offence
  • Direction and speed of offending vehicle 
  • Speed limit of the road and other security parameters

However, if a car was captured on camera but the registered operator was not behind the wheel, a nomination must be made to ensure the demerits, fines and other punishments go to the right person.

Speeding Fines and Penalties in NSW

Speeding fines and penalties in NSW correlate directly with how much you were exceeding the speed limit – the faster you are going, the larger the fine and the more demerit points you are likely to lose. Despite most people knowing the danger of speeding, almost half of Australians admit to driving over the speed limit. Whether this is accidental, purposeful, or because of an ignorance regarding the severity of fines and penalties, it is essential that people know the ramifications of their conduct.

Speeding offence and fines:

Speeding offences are subcategories and punished by severity. Below are the maximum speeding fines broken into severity of offence, with each applying if you have been convicted by a court:

  • Exceeding speed limit by no more than 10km/h = $2200 fine
  • Exceeding speed limit by between 10km/h – 20km/h = $2200
  • Exceeding speed limit between 20km/h – 30km/h = $2200
  • Exceeding speed limit by more than 30km/h – 45km/h = $2200 and 3-month licence disqualification
  • Exceeding speed limit by more than 45km/h = $3300 ($5500 for heavy vehicles) and 6-month licence disqualification

Speeding Demerit Points in NSW

Exceeding the speed limit can cost you between 1 and 7 demerit points depending on how much you exceeded the speed limit, what class of vehicle you were travelling in, and what type of licence you currently hold. For example, exceeding the speed limit by 10km/h or under in a class A motor vehicle carries a penalty of 1 demerit point, while exceeding the speed limit by 45km/h carries a penalty of demerit points. It is essential that no matter what licence you have, you ensure you know your demerit threshold and how demerit points work.

How to Transfer a Fine: Nominating the Driver or Person Responsible for a Penalty Notice

You transfer a fine by nominating a driver online using the NSW government’s myPenalty webpage which requires your details, driver’s licence number, passport number (if nominating an international driver),  penalty notice number and the day of offence. You may be required to provide more evidence in the form of a statutory declaration, in person or in court, and you can log back into the webpage at any point to track your requests progress. 

Revenue NSW will review your nomination, and may contact you if they need to clarify anything. If successful, your fine will be transferred to the nominated person, however it may also be rejected if you are unable to provide adequate information about the driver. 

Nominating a Driver for Fine From a Camera Detected Offence

Camera-detected offences are automatically captured and the fines are sent to the registered owner of the car.  If a company car has been implicated in an offence caught on a camera, it is important for the company to identify the driver responsible  so they can receive the demerit points, fines, or other punishments that they are due. If they fail to nominate a driver, this may result in increased fines, court fees, and even a maximum penalty of $22,000.

Falsely Nominating Another Driver in NSW

Falsely nominating another driver in NSW is a criminal offence which is strictly enforced and investigated by the Office of State Revenue (OSR). Whenever nominations are conducted, the OSR assesses all available evidence, even cross-referencing with Roads and Maritime Services, and any individual who is found to have falsely nominated a driver is liable for hefty fines, loss of demerit points, loss of licence, and even a criminal record. 

When it comes to penalties, falsely nominating another driver can land you with $623 for individuals, but a whopping $1315 for corporations ($3526 for second or subsequent offences). However, if a magistrate is involved, a company can receive a maximum fine of $22,000.

Legal Representation for Corporate Car Fines

To avoid costly fines, inconvenience and potential for bad press, it is important that any company that is being accused of corporate fines or failure to nominate drivers contact and seek legal advice from experienced criminal lawyers immediately. 

 LY Lawyers offer services for all kinds of criminal matters, including corporate car fines for failing to nominate drivers and more. We are Sydney’s most trusted criminal lawyers and have offices throughout NSW. Call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 or contact us online to book your free consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Company Car Speeding Fines in NSW

How can I check if I have been caught by a speed camera in NSW?

There is usually no immediate  way to know if you have been caught speeding or using your phone by a camera, as there is no visible sign of detection, unlike some red light cameras. The only way to know if you have been caught speeding by a camera is to wait for the infringement notice to arrive in the mail or to check your service NSW account. The notice should arrive within 14 days.

How many demerit points will I lose for a fine on my P2 licence in NSW?

The amount of demerit points a provisional P2 driver can lose depends entirely upon what kind of offence and how severe it was. If a P2 driver received a speeding offence where the speed limit was not exceeded by 10km/h, they could lose 4 demerit points (5 for a school zone). If a P2 driver were to exceed the speed limit by 45km/h they could incur 6 demerit points (7 for a school zone) and an automatic 6-month suspension.

How long does it take to receive a speeding fine in NSW?

You will usually receive a speeding fine within 14 days, however it is possible for the fine to take as long as 28 days to arrive.

How much is a speeding fine less than 10km over the limit in NSW?

If convicted by a court, a speeding fine where the vehicle is travelling less than 10km over the speed limit entails a maximum fine of $2200.