Are you driving a heavy vehicle down the SE freeway?

Heavy vehicle laws in South Australia

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At Woods & Co Lawyers we have represented many drivers of heavy vehicles for minor log book offences up to causing death by dangerous driving. We are well aware of the dangers of heavy vehicles on the freeway and other major roads. However, recent legislation introduced by our parliament has once again failed. It not just affects drivers of B doubles and other semi-trailers, but many drivers are unwittingly set to lose their licence. The law once again has had unintended consequences because it is poorly thought out.

On 1 May 2019, the South Australian Government introduced new legislation limiting the speed of ‘heavy vehicles’ traveling down the South Eastern Freeway. The new law limits ‘heavy vehicles’ to a maximum speed of 60kmph between Crafers to the intersection of Portrush, Cross and Glen Osmond Roads. The law may apply to your vehicle and have significant consequences.

The law is complex and applies to buses and trucks. However, a truck is defined as a motor vehicle with a GVM or more than 4.5 tonnes. Buses are defined separately. Unfortunately, we have had many large ‘tradie’ vans and utes that meet that definition. They would and do not consider they are heavy vehicles or trucks.

The penalties are significant. For a first offence normally an expiation notice is given which attracts a large fine and 6 demerit points. A second offence results in a loss of licence for at least 6 is important drivers concentrate at all times whilst

Traffic Lawyers Adelaide

A ‘heavy vehicle is defined as:

  • A vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass of more than 4.5 tonnes;
  • or
  • A vehicle that is built to carry more than 12 adults (inclusive of the driver).

If you are driving a larger utility vehicle (Ford F350, Dodge RAM etc), a larger van or a small bus/van, you may meet the definition. This means if you exceed the 60kmph speed limit, you will be treated the same way as if you were driving an 18-wheel semi-trailer.


  1. If you are unsure if your vehicle meets the threshold of a ‘heavy vehicle’ you can check the registration certificate or the vehicle compliance plate. You can also check by calling Service SA on 13 10 84.
  2. If your vehicle is registered under a corporate business and you fail to nominate a driver, you will be liable to a $25,000.00 fine. Please keep this in mind. The fine is set so high it encourages companies to keep proper records of who was driving.
  3. If you are unsure where the new speed limit applies please consult the map below. Note that the first fixed camera within the zone commences just after the Crafers bridge
Heavy vehicle laws in Adelaide

If you would like to learn more about our Heavy Vehicle Offences services, provided by our traffic law experts please give us a call on

8311 3111

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Ralphtiley Tiley
Ralphtiley Tiley
I hadn't had much experience with lawyers and I found Hugh to be very experienced in my matter.He kept me advised through the whole process and I was very happy with the outcome he obtained.I would recommend them to anyone needing legal help
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Mandy Sheer
I used Hugh on a traffic matter, very stress free, informative and great results! Highly recommend 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
ferruccio cardellini
ferruccio cardellini
I contacted woods and co lawyers with a matter that I was not convinced could be resolved. After my meeting with Vivian Ngo, I was assured that she would do everything she could to help. Vivian was successful and my matter resolved quickly. I think Woods and Co , especially Vivian Ngo, are worth their weight in gold! Thank you again Ferruccio Cardellini ( Fish )
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I would like to draw attention to the excellent and professional conduct of Ben chehade at woods and co, he worked tirelessly, and communicated with my partner and I every step of the process, After hours included to put together a genuine supporting argument to secure me a favourable result on a criminal matter, I will make it clear that breaking the law will always draw a penalty I know this first hand, And all people make mistakes, I'm not proud of it. But with a energetic, confident lawyer like Ben on your side he will secure you a fantastic and fair result !!!!! To Ben I say thankyou!!!
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