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ROAD SAFETY ACT 1986 - SECT 59

General duty of driver or person in charge of motor vehicle


S. 59(1) amended by No. 92/2001 s. 17(1).

    (1)     The driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle on a highway has the following duties—

S. 59(1)(a) amended by No. 56/2013 s. 28(1).

        (a)     to stop the motor vehicle, produce for inspection his or her driver licence document or learner permit document and state his or her name and address if requested or signalled to do so by—

S. 59(1)(a)(i) amended by Nos 60/1994 s. 29(4)(a)(b), 46/1998
s. 7(Sch. 1), 50/2012 s. 29(9), 70/2013 s. 4(Sch.  2 item 44.9 (a)(b)), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(a)(i)), 70/2016 s. 41(8)(a), substituted by No. 49/2019 s. 116(Sch.  1 item 154(a)).

              (i)     a police officer; or




S. 59(1)(a)(ia) inserted by No. 49/2019 s. 116(Sch.  1 item 154(a)).

        (ia)     an employee in the Department authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose; or

S. 59(1)(a)(ii) amended by No. 12/1989 s. 4(1)(Sch. 2 item 105.4).

              (ii)     an officer of or person authorised in writing in that behalf by any municipal council who has reasonable grounds for believing that any provision of the regulations relating to the mass or dimensions of a motor vehicle or trailer or to the number of hours during which a person may drive a motor vehicle or to the carrying of a log book on a motor vehicle is being contravened; and

S. 59(1)(b) amended by No. 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(a)(ii)).

        (b)     to obey any lawful direction given to him or her by a police officer under subsection (5); and

S. 59(1)(c) amended by Nos 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(a)(iii)), 49/2019 ss 116(Sch.  1 item 154(b)), 191(2).

        (c)     if requested or signalled to do so by a police officer or an employee in the Department authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose or a member of staff of the Regulator authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose, to stop the motor vehicle, produce for inspection his or her log book, permit any entry in the log book to be copied and permit the person inspecting it to make any entry in it and to search the motor vehicle if that person has reasonable grounds for suspecting that more than one log book is carried on the vehicle; and

S. 59(1)(d) amended by Nos 12/1989 s. 4(1)(Sch. 2 item 105.5), 92/2001 s. 17(2), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(a)(iv)), 49/2019 ss 116(Sch.  1 item 154(b)), 191(2).

        (d)     if requested or signalled to do so by a police officer or an employee in the Department authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose or a member of staff of the Regulator authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose or by an officer of or person authorised in writing in that behalf by any municipal council, to stop the motor vehicle and allow it together with its load and any trailer attached to the motor vehicle and the load of the trailer (whether those loads are goods or passengers or both) to be weighed or to be taken to be weighed at a weighbridge or weighing machine that is agreed on by the driver or person in charge of the motor vehicle and the person making the request or, if there is no agreement, at the weighbridge or weighing machine that is nominated by the person making the request.

S. 59(1A) inserted by No. 43/2011 s. 40(1).

    (1A)     The driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle that is in, or being driven from or into, a railway car park or municipal council controlled car park at or in the vicinity of a designated place has the following duties—

S. 59(1A)(a) amended by No. 56/2013 s. 28(1).

        (a)     to stop the motor vehicle, produce for inspection his or her driver licence document or learner permit document and state his or her name and address if requested or signalled to do so by a protective services officer; and

        (b)     to obey any lawful direction given to him or her by a protective services officer under subsection (5A).

S. 59(2) amended by No. 43/2011 s. 40(2).

    (2)     Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a person who fails to do anything that he or she is required to do under subsection (1) or (1A), or who when required to state his or her name and address states a false name or address, is guilty of an offence and liable—

S. 59(2)(a) amended by Nos 5/1990 s. 10(1)(a), 43/2011 s. 40(3), 56/2013 s. 28(1), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(b)).

        (a)     if the offence consists of failing to obey any lawful direction given by a police officer or a protective services officer or failing to produce for inspection his or her driver licence document or learner permit document, to a penalty of not more than 5 penalty units;

S. 59(2)(b) amended by No. 5/1990 s. 10(1)(b).

        (b)     if the offence consists of failing to produce for inspection his or her log book or failing to state his or her name or address or stating a false name or address or failing to permit an entry in his or her log book to be copied or failing to permit an entry to be made in his or her log book or failing to permit his or her vehicle to be searched for another log book, to a penalty of not more than 5 penalty units or imprisonment for a term of not more than 1 month;

        (c)     if the offence consists of failing to stop the motor vehicle or failing to allow it together with its load to be weighed, to a penalty, in the case of a first offence, of not more than 10 penalty units or, in the case of a subsequent offence, of not more than 20 penalty units or imprisonment for a term of not more than 4 months.

S. 59(3) amended by Nos 5/1990 s. 10(2), 89/1991 s. 5(2), 58/1995 s. 15, 56/2013 s. 28(2), 49/2014 ss 36(5), 37(9), 46, 70/2016 s. 21, 68/2017 s. 68(1), 49/2019 s. 116(Sch.  1 item 154(c)).

    (3)     A person, other than a person who holds a probationary driver licence or who is driving or in charge of a large vehicle in respect of which section 19(5) applies or who is driving or in charge of a motor cycle during the period of 3 years from the first issue of a driver licence which authorises him or her to drive a motor cycle or who has been issued with a driver licence or learner permit under an order of the Magistrates' Court made on an application for a licence eligibility order or that is subject to an alcohol interlock condition imposed by the Secretary under section 31KA or 31KB, who fails to produce for inspection his or her driver licence document or learner permit document is not guilty of an offence if that person—

        (a)     gives a reasonable excuse for the failure; and

        (b)     provides a specimen of his or her signature; and

S. 59(3)(c) amended by Nos 56/2013 s. 28(2)(b), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(b)).

        (c)     within 7 days produces his or her driver licence document or learner permit document at the police station (if any) specified by the police officer or other person who requested its production.

S. 59(3A) inserted by No. 68/2017 s. 68(2).

    (3A)     In calculating the period of 3 years referred to in subsection (3), any period for which the person's driver licence has been suspended, or the person has been disqualified from driving during that 3 year period must be excluded.

S. 59(4) amended by Nos 92/2001 s. 17(3)(a), 43/2011 s. 40(4).

    (4)     A driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle who fails to stop when required to do so in accordance with subsection (1)(a) or (1A)(a) is not guilty of an offence if—

        (a)     the person making the request or signal is not in uniform; and

S. 59(4)(b) amended by No. 92/2001 s. 17(3)(b).

        (b)     the driver or person in charge believed that that person was not—

S. 59(4)(b)(i) amended by Nos 60/1994 s. 29(5), 46/1998
s. 7(Sch. 1), 43/2011 s. 40(5), 50/2012 s. 29(9), 70/2013 s. 4(Sch.  2 item 44.9(c)), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(b)), 70/2016 s. 41(8)(b), 49/2019 ss 116(Sch.  1 item 154(d)), 191(3).

              (i)     a police officer, a protective services officer or an authorised officer of the Department or an authorised Regulator employee, as the case requires; or

S. 59(4)(b)(ii) amended by No. 12/1989 s. 4(1)(Sch. 2 item 105.6).

              (ii)     an officer of or person authorised in writing in that behalf by a municipal council.

S. 59(5) amended by Nos 92/2001 s. 17(4), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(c)).

    (5)     A police officer may give such reasonable directions to a person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle on a highway as are, in the opinion of that police officer, necessary—

        (a)     for carrying into execution the provisions of this Act or the regulations; or

        (b)     for the purposes of any traffic survey being carried out in the vicinity of the highway.

S. 59(5A) inserted by No. 43/2011 s. 40(6).

    (5A)     A protective services officer may give to a person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle that is in, or being driven from or into, a railway car park or municipal council controlled car park at or in the vicinity of a designated place such reasonable directions as are, in the opinion of the officer, necessary for carrying into execution the provisions of this Act or the regulations.

S. 59(6) amended by Nos 53/1989 s. 12(1), 92/2001 s. 17(5)(a)(b).

    (6)     If a driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle who is requested under subsection (1)(d) to allow his or her motor vehicle together with its load to be weighed fails to allow it to be so weighed, the person making the request may impound the vehicle and its load, together with any trailer attached to the vehicle and the load of the trailer, and may cause the vehicle to be driven or towed onto a weighing device or to a weighbridge or weighing machine that is agreed on by the driver or person in charge and the person making the request or, if there is no agreement, to the weighbridge or weighing machine that is nominated by the person making the request, to be weighed.

S. 59(7) amended by Nos 92/2001 s. 17(6), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(d)), 49/2019 ss 116(Sch.  1 item 154(e)), 191(4).

    (7)     If a motor vehicle that is used on a highway and its load, together with any trailer attached to the motor vehicle and the load of the trailer, exceeds the prescribed maximum weight or any prescribed maximum dimension, a police officer or an employee in the Department authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose or a member of staff of the Regulator authorised in writing by the Secretary for that purpose may require the driver or person in charge of the motor vehicle to unload any part of the load that is necessary to bring the motor vehicle, trailer or load within the prescribed maximum weight or dimension.

S. 59(8) amended by No. 92/2001 s. 17(7)(a).

    (8)     If a driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (7) to unload—

S. 59(8)(a) amended by No. 92/2001 s. 17(7)(b).

        (a)     the driver or person in charge is guilty of an offence and is liable for a first offence to a penalty of not more than 5 penalty units and for a subsequent offence to a penalty of not more than 10 penalty units; and

S. 59(8)(b) amended by Nos 53/1989 s. 21(5), 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 147.16(e)).

        (b)     the person making the requirement may drive the motor vehicle and the trailer, if any, to a police station or other convenient place and the vehicle, trailer and load may be impounded there by any police officer.

S. 59(9) amended by Nos 56/2013 s. 28(3), 8/2018 s. 8.

    (9)     A reference in this section to a driver licence document or learner permit document includes a reference to any other document which evidences the authorisation of the driver to drive the motor vehicle and, in the case of an automated vehicle, an ADS permit in force for the vehicle.

S. 59(10) inserted by No. 53/1989 s. 12(2).

    (10)     Neither the Crown nor the person making a request under subsection (1)(d) or a requirement under subsection (7) nor any other person is liable for any loss or damage occasioned by or arising out of anything done in the exercise or purported exercise in good faith of the powers conferred by this section.



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