Like any other western nation, driving in Australia is relatively easy. The stipulated rules by the government are similar across all its states, thus providing harmonious movement for all motorists. In Australia, it is required that a driver have a valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle. Failure to have a valid driving license or an unlicensed person driving your car can pose various risks and would result you to reaching out some help from professionals like Ascent Lawyers. The Australian government has taken these measures to curb hundreds of lives lost each year caused by unlicensed drivers driving recklessly. Detailed below are some of the risks:
High cost of fines and jail terms
Driving unlicensed in Australia results in the risk of paying high fines or even jail terms. Australia takes car licensing very seriously, and the penalties can be as high as 38,000 dollars. The penalties, however, differ depending on which region of Australia you are in, but the rules and regulations on unlicensed driving are almost similar. Jail terms can be as high as two years.
Seizure of vehicles
Unlicensed driving can also result in your vehicle being seized there and then. The seizing of the car only applies to the car you are using when you are found unlicensed. Therefore this includes hired vehicles and even those borrowed. When the car is seized, a notice is given to the person caught in the offense. The fee for the seized car is roughly 900 dollars which encompass the 28-day term. This covers duty and also the cost it took to store your vehicle. You are given your car only if you complete the payment of the 900 dollars in total.
Lack of compensation by the insurance company
Another risk of driving unlicensed in Australia is that if the unlicensed driver is involved in an accident, the vehicle’s insurance company driven by an unlicensed driver will not compensate for the damages incurred by the vehicle or property damages. The unlicensed driver will have to shoulder the cost of the damages. If the damaged vehicle has a comprehensive insurance cover, the insuring company will shoulder the injuries and request compensation from the other driver. If the licensed driver damages the unlicensed driver’s car, the licensed driver will be at fault. However, the unlicensed driver will also face penalties for driving without a license.
High-risk element of fatal accidents
Also, unlicensed drivers in Australia have a higher chance of being involved in road accidents than licensed drivers due to their risky driving behaviors, for example, driving on the right side of the road instead of the left side. Licensed drivers will be less likely to get involved in these dangerous driving behaviors because they have undergone driving classes, tested and certified to be qualified drivers as what’s stated on this site, and hence issued their driving license. Unlicensed drivers may have never experienced a driving test, been disqualified due to a breach of license condition, or committed a road traffic offense, contributing to a higher percentage of road crashes than licensed drivers.