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Motor and Traffic Law – Trifling offences

SA MVA s98B(4) – Demerit points

See Robertson v Police 6/2/15 [2015] SASC 13 where Parker J stated that “There is nothing in the text of s 98B(4) to suggest that a finding that an offence is trifling should necessarily attract a greater reduction in the number of demerit points than a finding that other proper cause exists” @20. “It was immaterial whether the magistrate reduced the demerit points because he found that offence was trifling or because he concluded that other proper cause existed” @22. The A had failed to give way to police vehicle coming from right. “The finding by the magistrate that there were aspects of the appellant’s driving which were quite poor and that he had failed to pay sufficient attention provided a proper basis for him to conclude that the offence was not trifling” @27.

SA RTA s47B(3)(b) – Whether offence ‘trifling’

In Whitrow v Police 16/2/115 [2015] SASC 17 the A suffered a serious wound and decided to treat it himself, drink alcohol to numb the pain, and then drive himself immediately to the hospital due to concerns about infection. The hospital was quite a distance away. A, who was a holder of a learner’s permit breached several road traffic laws including driving with an alcohol reading of 0.175. A had other options to get to hospital. Nicholson J did not regard the offending as trifling. Comparable cases considered.