South Australia will be introducing a special driver for ‘ultra-high-powered vehicles’ (UHPV) beginning 1 December 2024. This makes SA the first state to implement such changes.
The unique licence will apply to ‘U Class’ vehicles with a power-to-weight ratio of at least 276kW per tonne (1000kg), with a gross vehicle mass of less than 4.5 tonnes. Around 200 models are believed to fall into this category with the exemption of buses and motorcycle.
Individuals who wish to obtain a U Class licence will be required to complete an online training course. This will allow drivers to be aware of the risks associated with driving a UHPV as well as of the features of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
Individuals operating UHPVs will also face fines of up to $5,000 for deactivating any “automated intervention system,” including ABS, automated emergency braking, stability control, or traction control while driving on public roads.
Additionally, drivers of UHPVs involved in an accident while in “Sport More” and have caused serious bodily harm to others will be charged with an “aggravated offense” which comes with harsher penalties. According to the South Australian Government, the maximum penalty for driving without due care increases from 12 months to seven years.
These updated driving laws were introduced following the death of a 15-year-old South Australian girl who died after being struck by a Lamborghini Huracan in 2019.
Back in July, Kyam Maher, the Attorney-General of South Australia said “These reforms will ensure people who drive ultra-high-powered vehicles take greater responsibility for their actions while making sure that authorities have the power to prosecute those who flout our road laws and put others’ lives at risk.”