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ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961 - SECT 5

5—Interpretation

        (1)         In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears—

"accident" includes—

            (a)         a collision between 2 or more vehicles; or

            (b)         any other accident or incident involving a vehicle in which a person is killed or injured, property is damaged, or an animal in someone's charge is killed or injured;

"air cushioned vehicle" means a motor vehicle (commonly known as a ground effect machine or hovercraft) which is supported during operation, above land or water, by air vertically displaced by means of the power plant of the vehicle;

"area" means a municipality or district council district;

"articulated motor vehicle" means a combination consisting of a prime mover towing one semi-trailer;

"Australian Authority" means the Minister, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles or a corresponding Authority;

"Australian road law" means a road law or a corresponding road law;

"Australian road law offence" means an offence against an Australian road law;

"Australian Road Rules"—see section 80


;

"authorised officer" means—

            (a)         a person appointed as an authorised officer under section 35


or a person of a class of persons appointed as authorised officers under that section; or

            (b)         a police officer;

"axle" means one or more shafts positioned in a line across a vehicle, on which one or more wheels intended to support the vehicle turn;

"axle group" means a single axle group, tandem axle group, twinsteer axle group, tri-axle group or quad-axle group;

"bicycle" means a vehicle with one or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor), and—

            (a)         includes a pedicab, penny-farthing, scooter, tricycle and unicycle; and

            (b)         includes a power assisted pedal cycle (within the meaning of vehicle standards determined under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 of the Commonwealth); but

            (c)         does not include a wheelchair, wheeled recreational device, wheeled toy, or any vehicle (other than a vehicle referred to in paragraph (b)


) with an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating);

"body corporate" includes the Crown in any capacity and any body or entity that is not a natural person;

"breach of a light vehicle mass, dimension or load restraint requirement —see section 119


;

"breach of a light vehicle standards or maintenance requirement —see section 116


;

"bus" means a motor vehicle built mainly to carry people that seats over 12 adults (including the driver);

"capabilities" of a vehicle means the functional capabilities of the vehicle or any of its components, as determined by the vehicle's manufacturer or by an Australian Authority, and includes—

            (a)         its GCM and GVM; and

            (b)         its speed capabilities;

"combination" means a group of vehicles consisting of a motor vehicle towing 1 or more vehicles;

"condition" includes a limitation;

"conduct" means an act, or an omission to perform an act, or a state of affairs;

"contravene" includes fail to comply with;

"corresponding Authority" means—

            (a)         the Authority as defined in a corresponding road law (except in the case of a jurisdiction for which a declaration is made under paragraph (b)


); or

            (b)         a person declared under the regulations to be the corresponding Authority for another jurisdiction for the purposes of this Act;

"corresponding law" means a law of another jurisdiction that is declared under the regulations to be a corresponding law;

"corresponding road law" means—

            (a)         a law declared under the regulations to be a corresponding road law for another jurisdiction for the purposes of this Act; or

            (b)         except in the case of a jurisdiction for which a declaration is made under paragraph (a)


, a road law, or applicable road law, as defined in a corresponding law;

"council" means a municipal or district council;

"cycle" means a bicycle or a motor bike;

"drink driving offence" means—

            (a)         an offence against section 47(1)


involving the driving of a motor vehicle, or attempting to put a motor vehicle in motion, while so much under the influence of intoxicating liquor as to be incapable of exercising effective control of the vehicle; or

            (b)         an offence against section 47B(1)


, 47E(3)


or 47I(14)


;

"drive" a vehicle includes be in control of the steering, movement or propulsion of the vehicle;

"driver" of a vehicle (other than a motor bike, bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle) means the person driving the vehicle but does not include a person pushing a motorised wheelchair;

"driver's licence" means a licence under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


and includes a learner's permit;

"drug driving offence" means—

            (a)         an offence against section 47(1)


involving the driving of a motor vehicle, or attempting to put a motor vehicle in motion, while so much under the influence of a drug as to be incapable of exercising effective control of the vehicle; or

            (b)         an offence against section 47BA(1)


, 47EAA(9)


or 47I(14)


;

"employee" means a natural person who works under a contract of employment, apprenticeship or training or a contract for services;

"employer" means a person who employs persons under—

            (a)         contracts of employment, apprenticeship or training; or

            (b)         contracts for services;

"engage in conduct" means—

            (a)         do an act; or

            (b)         omit to perform an act;

"equipment", in relation to a vehicle, includes tools, devices and accessories in or on the vehicle;

"extract" from a record, device or other thing means a copy of any information contained in the record, device or other thing;

"garage address" of a vehicle means—

            (a)         in the case of a vehicle normally kept at a depot when not in use—the principal depot of the vehicle; or

            (b)         in any other case—the address of the place of business or residence at which the vehicle is normally kept when not in use;

"GCM" of a vehicle means the greatest possible sum of the maximum loaded mass of the vehicle and of any vehicles that may lawfully be towed by it at any one time—

            (a)         as specified by the vehicle's manufacturer; or

            (b)         as specified by an Australian Authority if—

                  (i)         the manufacturer has not specified the sum of the maximum loaded mass; or

                  (ii)         the manufacturer cannot be identified; or

                  (iii)         the vehicle has been modified to the extent that the manufacturer's specification is no longer appropriate;

"goods" includes—

            (a)         animals (whether alive or dead); and

            (b)         a container (whether empty or not),

but does not include—

            (c)         people; or

            (d)         fuel, water, lubricants and readily removable equipment required for the normal use of the vehicle in which they are carried; or

            (e)         personal items used by the driver of the vehicle, or someone else necessary for the normal use of the vehicle, in which they are carried;

"GVM" of a vehicle means the maximum loaded mass of the vehicle

            (a)         as specified by the vehicle's manufacturer; or

            (b)         as specified by an Australian Authority if—

                  (i)         the manufacturer has not specified a maximum loaded mass; or

                  (ii)         the manufacturer cannot be identified; or

                  (iii)         the vehicle has been modified to the extent that the manufacturer's specification is no longer appropriate;

"heavy vehicle" means a vehicle that is a heavy vehicle for the purposes of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) ;

"Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia)" has the same meaning as in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) Act 2013


;

"Heavy Vehicle National Regulations (South Australia)" has the same meaning as in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (South Australia) Act 2013


;

"home address" of a person means—

            (a)         in the case of a natural person—the person's residential address or place of abode in Australia; or

            (b)         in the case of a body corporate that has a registered office in Australia—the address of the registered office; or

            (c)         in any other case—the address of the person's principal or only place of business in Australia;

"installation", in relation to a traffic control device, includes the painting or formation of any marks or structure that constitute, or form part of, the traffic control device;

"intelligent transport system" means a system involving the use of electronic or other technology (whether located in or on a vehicle, or on or near a road, or elsewhere) that has the capacity and capability to monitor, collect, store, display, analyse, transmit or report information relating to—

            (a)         a vehicle or its equipment or load, the driver of a vehicle, the operator of a fleet of vehicles or another person involved in road transport; and

            (b)         without limiting the above, the operation of a vehicle in relation to its legal entitlements;

"journey documentation" means any documentation (other than transport documentation) directly or indirectly associated with—

            (a)         the actual or proposed physical transport of goods or passengers by road or any previous transport of the goods or passengers by any mode; or

            (b)         goods or passengers themselves so far as the documentation is relevant to their actual or proposed physical transport,

whether the documentation is in paper, electronic or any other form, and whether or not the documentation has been transmitted physically, electronically or in any other manner, and whether or not the documentation relates to a particular journey or to journeys generally, and includes (for example) any of the following:

            (c)         records kept, used or obtained by a responsible person in connection with the transport of the goods or passengers;

            (d)         workshop, maintenance and repair records relating to a vehicle used, or claimed to be used, for the transport of the goods or passengers;

            (e)         a subcontractor's payment advice relating to the goods or passengers or the transport of the goods or passengers;

            (f)         records kept, used or obtained by the driver of the vehicle used, or claimed to be used, for the transport of the goods or passengers, including (for example) a driver's run sheet, a log book entry, a fuel docket or receipt, a food receipt, a tollway receipt, pay records and mobile or other phone records;

            (g)         information reported through the use of an intelligent transport system;

            (h)         driver manuals and instruction sheets;

                  (i)         advice in any form from check weighing performed before, during or after a journey;

"jurisdiction" means the Commonwealth or a State or Territory;

"learner's permit" means a learner's permit under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


;

"legal entitlements" of a vehicle (or component of a vehicle) means the particulars of the entitlements, conferred under an Australian road law, that authorise the vehicle (or component) to be operated on a road, and includes—

            (a)         any entitlements arising under or as affected by a permit, registration, authorisation, approval, exemption, notice or anything else given or issued in writing under such a law; and

            (b)         any entitlements arising under or as affected by restrictions, or by the application of restrictions, under an Australian road law or other laws (for example, sign-posted mass limits for bridges, hazardous weather condition permits, and special road protection limits);

"light motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is not a heavy vehicle;

"light vehicle" means a vehicle that is not a heavy vehicle;

"light vehicle mass and loading requirements"—see section 113


;

"light vehicle mass, dimension or load restraint requirement" means—

            (a)         a light vehicle mass and loading requirement; or

            (b)         a requirement of the Australian Road Rules


relating to mass limits where the mass limits are indicated by signs (for example, sign-posted bridge limits);

"light vehicle standards"—see section 111


;

"load" of a vehicle, or in or on a vehicle, means—

            (a)         all the goods, passengers, drivers and other persons in or on the vehicle; and

            (b)         all fuel, water, lubricants and readily removable equipment carried in or on the vehicle and required for its normal use; and

            (c)         personal items used by the vehicle's driver or someone else necessary for the normal use of the vehicle; and

            (d)         anything that is normally removed from the vehicle when not in use,

and includes a part of a load as so defined;

"mass limit" means a mass limit specified in or applying under light vehicle mass, dimension or load restraint requirements;

"motor bike" means a motor vehicle with two wheels, and includes a two wheeled motor vehicle with a sidecar attached to it that is supported by a third wheel;

"motor vehicle" means a vehicle built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle;

"night" means the period between sunset on one day and sunrise on the next day;

"operator" of a vehicle means—

            (a)         in the case of a vehicle other than a combination but including a vehicle in a combination—a person responsible for controlling or directing the use of the vehicle; or

            (b)         in the case of a combination—a person responsible for controlling or directing the use of the towing vehicle in the combination,

and includes the registered operator of the vehicle; (however, a person is not an "operator" of a vehicle merely because the person does any or all of the following:

            (c)         owns the vehicle;

            (d)         drives the vehicle;

            (e)         maintains or arranges for the maintenance of the vehicle;

            (f)         arranges for the registration of the vehicle);

"owner" of a vehicle means—

            (a)         in the case of a vehicle other than a combination but including a vehicle in a combination

                  (i)         a person who is the sole owner, a joint owner or a part owner of the vehicle; or

                  (ii)         a person who has possession or use of the vehicle under a credit, hire-purchase, lease or other agreement, except an agreement requiring the vehicle to be registered in the name of someone else; or

            (b)         in the case of a combination

                  (i)         a person who is the sole owner, a joint owner or a part owner of the towing vehicle in the combination; or

                  (ii)         a person who has possession or use of the towing vehicle in the combination under a credit, hire-purchase, lease or other agreement, except an agreement requiring the vehicle to be registered in the name of someone else,

and includes a registered owner of the vehicle;

"park" includes stop;

"pedestrian" includes—

            (a)         a person driving a motorised wheelchair that cannot travel at over 10 kilometres per hour (on level ground); and

            (b)         a person in a non-motorised wheelchair; and

            (c)         a person pushing a motorised or non-motorised wheelchair; and

            (d)         a person in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy;

"photograph" includes an image produced from an electronic record made by a digital or other electronic camera, and "photographic" has a corresponding meaning;

"photographic detection device" means an apparatus of a kind approved by the Governor as a photographic detection device;

"premises" includes any structure, building, vessel or place (whether built on or not), and any part of any such structure, building, vessel or place;

"prime mover" means a motor vehicle designed to tow a semi-trailer;

"public authority" means—

            (a)         a police force or police service or the Crown in any other capacity; or

            (b)         a body established under law, or the holder of an office established under law, for a public purpose, including a local government authority;

"public place" includes a place—

            (a)         of public resort open to or used by the public as of right; or

            (b)         for the time being—

                  (i)         used for a public purpose; or

                  (ii)         open to access by the public,

whether on payment or otherwise; or

            (c)         open to access by the public by the express or tacit consent or sufferance of the owner of that place, whether the place is or is not always open to the public,

but does not include—

            (d)         a track that at the material time is being used as a course for racing or testing motor vehicles and from which other traffic is excluded during that use; or

            (e)         a place declared by the regulations not to be a public place;

"public safety" means the safety of persons or property, including the safety of—

            (a)         the drivers of, and passengers and other persons in, vehicles; and

            (b)         persons or property in or in the vicinity of, or likely to be in or in the vicinity of, road infrastructure and public places; and

            (c)         vehicles and any loads in or on them;

"records" means any documents, documentation or records, whether in paper, electronic or any other form;

"registered operator" of a vehicle means—

            (a)         in the case of a vehicle other than a combination but including a vehicle in a combination—the person registered or recorded as the operator of the vehicle by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


or by another Australian Authority on a register maintained under an Australian road law; or

            (b)         in the case of a combination—the person registered or recorded as the operator of the towing vehicle in the combination by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


or by another Australian Authority on a register maintained under an Australian road law;

"registered owner" of a vehicle means—

            (a)         in the case of a vehicle other than a combination but including a vehicle in a combination—a person registered or recorded as an owner of the vehicle by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


or by another Australian Authority on a register maintained under an Australian road law; or

            (b)         in the case of a combination—a person registered or recorded as an owner of the towing vehicle in the combination by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


or by another Australian Authority on a register maintained under an Australian road law;

"Registrar of Motor Vehicles" or "Registrar" means the person holding or acting in the office of Registrar of Motor Vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


, and includes any person acting on behalf of the Registrar in accordance with that Act;

"responsible person" means a person having, at a relevant time, a role or responsibilities associated with road transport, and includes any of the following:

            (a)         an owner of a vehicle;

            (b)         a driver of a vehicle;

            (c)         an operator or registered operator of a vehicle;

            (d)         a person in charge or apparently in charge of a vehicle;

            (e)         a person in charge or apparently in charge of the garage address of a vehicle;

            (f)         a person in charge of premises entered by an authorised officer under this Act;

            (g)         an owner or operator of a weighbridge, or weighing facility, used to weigh vehicles or an occupier of premises where such a weighbridge or weighing facility is located;

            (h)         a person who controls or directly influences the loading or operation of a vehicle;

                  (i)         an agent, employer, employee, contractor or subcontractor of a person referred to in any of the preceding paragraphs of this definition;

"ride", for the rider of a motor bike or animal-drawn vehicle, includes be in control of;

"rider" means a rider of a motor bike, bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle; the term does not include a passenger or a person walking beside and pushing a bicycle;

"road" means an area that is open to or used by the public and is developed for, or has as one of its main uses, the driving of motor vehicles;

"road authority" means—

            (a)         an authority, person or body that is responsible for the care, control or management of a road; or

            (b)         any person or body prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition, in relation to specified roads or specified classes of roads;

"road infrastructure" includes—

            (a)         a road, including its surface or pavement; and

            (b)         anything under or supporting a road or its surface or pavement and maintained by a road authority; and

            (c)         any bridge, tunnel, causeway, road-ferry, ford or other work or structure forming part of a road system or supporting a road; and

            (d)         any bridge or other work or structure located above, in or on a road and maintained by a road authority; and

            (e)         any traffic control devices, railway or tramway equipment, electricity equipment, emergency telephone systems or any other facilities (whether of the same or a different kind) in, on, over, under or connected with anything referred to in paragraphs (a)


—(d)


; and

            (f)         anything declared by the regulations to be included in this definition,

but does not include anything declared by the regulations to be excluded from this definition;

"road law" means this Act, the Motor Vehicles Act 1959


or rules or regulations under either of the Acts;

"road law offence" means an offence against a road law;

"road-related area" means any of the following:

            (a)         an area that divides a road;

            (b)         a footpath or nature strip adjacent to a road;

            (c)         an area that is not a road and that is open to the public and designated for use by cyclists or animals;

            (d)         any public place that is not a road and on which a vehicle may be driven, whether or not it is lawful to drive a vehicle there;

"seat belt" means a belt or device fitted to a motor vehicle and designed to restrain or limit the movement of a person who is seated in the motor vehicle if it suddenly accelerates or decelerates;

"semi-trailer" means a trailer that has—

            (a)         1 axle group or a single axle towards the rear; and

            (b)         a means of attachment to a prime mover that results in some of the mass of the trailer's load being imposed on the prime mover;

"single axle" means an axle not forming part of an axle group;

"single axle group" means a group of 2 or more axles, in which the horizontal distance between the centre-lines of the outermost axles is less than 1 metre;

"specifications" of a vehicle means the physical dimensions and other physical attributes of the vehicle and its fittings;

"start", in relation to a vehicle's engine, includes run the engine;

"tandem axle group" means a group of at least 2 axles, in which the horizontal distance between the centre-lines of the outermost axles is at least 1 metre, but not more than 2 metres;

"traffic" includes vehicles and pedestrians;

"traffic control device" means a sign, signal, marking, structure or other device or thing, to direct or warn traffic on, entering or leaving a road, and includes—

            (a)         a traffic cone, barrier, structure or other device or thing to wholly or partially close a road or part of a road; and

            (b)         a parking ticket-vending machine and parking meter;

"traffic speed analyser" means an apparatus of a kind approved by the Governor as a traffic speed analyser;

"trailer", in relation to a motor vehicle, means a vehicle that is built to be towed or is towed, by a motor vehicle, but does not include a motor vehicle that is being towed;

"tram" includes a light rail vehicle;

"transport documentation" means—

            (a)         any contractual documentation directly or indirectly associated with—

                  (i)         a transaction for or relating to the actual or proposed transport of goods or passengers by road or any previous transport of the goods or passengers by any mode; or

                  (ii)         goods or passengers themselves so far as the documentation is relevant to their actual or proposed transport; or

            (b)         any associated documentation—

                  (i)         contemplated in the contractual documentation; or

                  (ii)         required by law, or customarily provided, in connection with the contractual documentation or with the transaction,

whether the documentation is in paper, electronic or any other form, and whether or not the documentation has been transmitted physically, electronically or in any other manner, and includes (for example) an invoice, vendor declaration, delivery order, consignment note, load manifest, export receival advice, bill of lading, contract of carriage or sea carriage document, relating to the goods or passengers;

"tri-axle group" means a group of at least 3 axles, in which the horizontal distance between the centre-lines of the outermost axles is more than 2 metres, but not more than 3.2 metres;

"trolley" includes a shopping trolley and any other kind of handcart;

"twinsteer axle group" means a group of 2 axles:

            (a)         with single tyres; and

            (b)         fitted to a motor vehicle; and

            (c)         connected to the same steering mechanism; and

            (d)         the horizontal distance between whose centre-lines is at least 1 metre, but not more than 2 metres;

"unladen mass", in relation to a vehicle, means the mass of the vehicle without any load other than the petrol, oil, tools or prescribed equipment carried (either habitually or intermittently) on the vehicle;

"vehicle" includes—

            (a)         a motor vehicle, trailer and a tram; and

            (b)         a bicycle; and

            (c)         an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle; and

            (d)         a combination; and

            (e)         a motorised wheelchair that can travel at over 10 kilometres per hour (on level ground),

but does not include another kind of wheelchair, a train, or a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy;

"walk" includes run;

"wheelchair" means a chair mounted on two or more wheels that is built to transport a person who is unable to walk or has difficulty in walking, but does not include a pram, stroller or trolley;

"wheeled recreational device" means a wheeled device, built to transport a person, propelled by human power or gravity, and ordinarily used for recreation or play, and—

            (a)         includes rollerblades, rollerskates, a skateboard or similar wheeled device; but

            (b)         does not include a golf buggy, pram, stroller or trolley, or a bicycle, wheelchair or wheeled toy;

"wheeled toy" means a child's pedal car, scooter or tricycle or a similar toy, but only when it is being used only by a child who is under 12 years old.

        (2)         For the purposes of this Act the mass carried on an axle, or axle group, of a vehicle will be taken to be the force required to counterbalance the aggregate of the gravitational forces exerted on the surface of the road by the wheels of that axle or axle group.

        (3)         For the purposes of this Act, a vehicle will be taken to be attached to another vehicle if it is drawn by that other vehicle, despite the fact that the vehicles are not directly attached to each other.

        (4)         For the purposes of this Act, an act or omission of a person "causes" a thing to occur if the person's act or omission substantially contributes to the occurrence of the thing.



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