Can You Get a Criminal Record for Speeding in South Africa?

Can You Get a Criminal Record for Speeding in South Africa?

Yes, you can get a criminal record for speeding in South Africa if the speeding is extreme enough to be considered reckless or negligent driving.

Standard Speeding

In South Africa, standard speeding, where you exceed the speed limit by a modest amount, typically results in a traffic fine according to the National Road Traffic Act, 1996. This kind of violation is managed through traffic citations and does not appear on a criminal record. The fines vary based on how much you exceed the speed limit, but these instances are treated as minor infractions.

Excessive Speeding

Excessive speeding becomes a more serious issue when you exceed the speed limit by substantial margins, such as 30 km/h over in urban areas or 40 km/h over in rural or freeway areas. This type of speeding can lead to charges of reckless or negligent driving under the National Road Traffic Act. Specifically, Section 63 of the Act states that anyone driving a vehicle on a public road recklessly or at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public can be charged with reckless or negligent driving. A conviction here can indeed result in a criminal record.

Dangerous Speeding

Speeding that directly endangers the lives of others, such as speeding in school zones, residential areas, or near pedestrian crossings, can be classified under dangerous operations of a vehicle. This is often prosecuted under the same provisions as reckless or negligent driving, but with a greater emphasis on the potential or actual harm caused to others. Such cases are treated severely by the courts, and a conviction will typically result in a criminal record. This serves as a deterrent and a punitive measure for endangering public safety.

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In each of these cases, the consequences escalate with the severity of the offense, reflecting the potential risk to public safety. While simple speeding infractions are unlikely to affect one’s criminal record, serious instances involving reckless attitudes can lead to significant legal consequences, including the possibility of a criminal record.


Will a speeding ticket show up on a background check?

No, a regular speeding ticket for minor speeding will not show up on a criminal background check in South Africa.

Will a speeding ticket keep me from getting a job in South Africa?

No, a regular speeding ticket will not keep you from getting a job in South Africa.

Do you get a criminal record for a fine?

No, you do not get a criminal record for receiving a fine for minor offenses like simple speeding. Only serious offenses that lead to a court conviction may result in a criminal recor