Road Rules & Penalties

Western Australian road rules are contained within the WA Road Traffic Code 2000 which can be viewed on the State Law Publisher website.

The Drive Safe guide aimed at learner drivers, but available to any driver in WA, provides a good overview of the key road rules and their penalties.   

The road rules largely mirror the Australian Road Rules (ARRs), which were approved by all state and territory Transport Ministers in 1999. An electronic copy of the most up to date Australian Road Rules is available on the National Transport Commission website.
From time to time amendments to the Road Traffic Code 2000 are made.  These can reflect amendments to the model ARRs that have been agreed nationally or amendments that are specific to WA needs.
Legislation governing drink and drug driving, licensing offences, hoons and serious offences such as dangerous and reckless driving are contained within the WA Road Traffic Act 1974.

Which road rule or penalty would you like to know more about?

Bicycle Riding Drink Driving Double Demerits
Emergency Vehicles Following Distances Intersections
Merging Mobile Phones Motorcyclists
Overtaking Pedestrians Red Lights
Roundabouts Seat Belts Speeding
U-Turns & Keeping Left Other Road Rules  

Background on Penalties

While it is up to every driver and motorcyclist to obey the road rules at all times, penalties do act as a deterrent for those who break them occasionally.

Almost all traffic offences attract demerit points. Once you have accumulated 12 demerit points within a three-year period you automatically lose your licence for three months (please note that novice drivers are restricted to 4 or 8 demerit points, depending on their status).

You may also lose your licence without incurring demerit points. For example, if you:

  • are convicted of a drink driving offence

  • offend repeatedly

  • have a provisional licence and are convicted of certain traffic offences.

Traffic penalties in Western Australia are reviewed regularly. There are a number of principles and factors on which penalties are based, including:

  • the risk of crashes occurring when road users break particular laws

  • the potential harm caused by those actions

  • the potential effectiveness of various forms of penalties

  • the ability of people to pay fines and their impact on families, many members of which rely on cars to work, attend school and the like.

FACT: The penalties that are in place are not based on the amount of revenue that can be raised.

Full details of traffic offences and penalties are contained in the Road Traffic Code 2000

Penalties for some common road rules are also available in the appendices of the Drive Safe guide Note that one Penalty Unit (PU) is equivalent to a $50 fine.

Details of Court-related traffic offences such as drink and drug driving, hoons, licensing breaches and serious offences such as dangerous and reckless driving are contained within the primary statute, the Road Traffic Act 1974.


CASR - Review of penalties under the WA Road Traffic Code (2000) and management of recidivist speeding offenders PDF (67 pages 445 KB)  
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Published: 4/11/2015 9:25:24 AM