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What you need to know

Effective financial penalties can support road safety by supporting enforcement officers to enforce the road rules. To be effective, infringement fees and fines should reflect the risk of harm or the harm caused by the offending behaviour. Penalties should be proportionate, have a deterrent effect and be reasonable.

Infringement fees and fines in the transport sector have developed over many years and have not been reviewed systematically. As a result, a number of road safety related penalties may be poorly targeted, may be too low to deter undesirable behaviour and do not align with the level of risk.

The review of road safety penalties is one of 15 initial actions under the Road to Zero strategy. This programme of work aims to ensure that penalties are proportionate to the risk of harm and reflect society’s expectations.

Road to Zero

The work to date

Mar 2021–Apr 2021

Mobile phone penalties increased

Distracted driving due to mobile phone use is a contributing factor in road crashes. The current fee for using a mobile phone while driving is $80, which is out of step with other moving vehicle offences (set at $150). In March 2021, Cabinet agreed to raise mobile phone penalties to $150 from 30 April 2021.

More information and related documents
Jul 2019–Aug 2019

Road to Zero strategy consultation

The Government agreed to consult on the new Road to Zero road safety strategy and initial set of actions. A review of road safety penalties was named as a priority action for the initial action plan.

More information