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

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Hayder Al Hamdany
Hayder Al Hamdany
They are reliable, honest and operate with integrity. I recommend them to anyone who is looking for some great legal advocacy and support. Ben always takes the time to answer any questions I may have, and provides me with all the options available. As a new with a legal matter, it can be difficult to find a suitable lawyer. I was lucky to be connected to Ben. On another note, their charges were also very reasonable to the services they provided.
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Sarah Budarick
I seriously have so much respect for woods and co especially Ben who has represented me. They are affordable, professional and aim for the best out come possible. The reception staff are also amazing.
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tom warley
I can’t speak highly enough of my experience with Woods & Co. Hugh has helped me out on more than one occasion and kept my mind at ease whilst ensuring a positive outcome each time. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone.
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