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Traps await interstate drivers

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by CamKawa, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=46534&vf=2&pg=2&IsPgd=0
    Traps await interstate drivers
    Richard Blackburn, 19/12/07

    Australia is supposed to have uniform national road rules, but in reality, the rules and penalties vary widely from State to State, reports RICHARD BLACKBURN.

    Interstate travellers to NSW beware: if you fall foul of the State’s tough road laws, you might pay a hefty price when you get home.

    NSW has the toughest speeding laws in the country and if you get caught, you could be fined almost five times as much as you would in Victoria. Breaking the speed limit by 45kmh in NSW will cost you $2490, while the same offence in Victoria carries a penalty of just $474.

    But it’s not just the fine that will hurt.

    A speeding offence that attracts one demerit point in Victoria could cost you half your Victorian licence if you’re caught while you’re in Sydney.

    State traffic authorities notify each other of driving offences committed by interstate travellers and can apply each other’s demerit points if they choose. A spokesman for VicRoads says double demerits will apply to Victorian drivers in NSW over the holiday period.

    NSW docks three points off your licence if you’re caught between 0 and 15kmh over the limit. During double demerit points periods such as Christmas (December 21 to January 1) it costs you six points. Exceed the speed limit by more than 15kmh and you’ve lost your licence. In contrast, most other States dock you 1 point for the least serious speeding offence.

    The big discrepancy in fines and demerit points is just one of a number of traps for unwary motorists travelling interstate for the school holidays.

    While in theory Australia operates a single set of road rules, there are a range of regulations, offences and fines that apply on a State by State basis.

    For example, you can now be fined in South Australia if you smoke in a vehicle that is carrying someone under the age of 16.

    And in Melbourne or Adelaide, you can be fined for turning right from the right hand lane, which is accepted practice in Sydney.

    On the other side of the coin, if you try to do a U-turn at a set of lights in Sydney, you’ll get fined. It’s perfectly legal in most cases in Melbourne and Adelaide, though.

    Both Melbourne and Adelaide have specific road rules that apply to trams. For example, you can never overtake a stopped tram. Drivers must stop level with the rear of the tram and wait for people to get on and off. Pedestrians have the right of way.

    Overtake across an unbroken white line in NSW and you’re in hot water. Do the same thing in Victoria and the police won’t bat an eyelid.

    It’s not just the different interstate laws that can catch out holiday drivers, though. There are a host of obscure driving offences that could ruin your holiday drive.

    For example, you can be booked for having a rear seat entertainment unit in your car, if police determine that the DVD screen is distracting other drivers.

    You can also be fined for running an amber light, not just a red one.

    And if you travel too far below the speed limit on any road, you can be booked for causing an obstruction.

    Sound your horn as a reminder the traffic lights have turned green and you can be fined as well. In fact if you use your horn for anything other than an emergency you're in trouble.

    If you strike a mean-spirited parking inspector this Christmas you could also be fined for squeezing into a tight parking spot. The law says that unless the parking spots are marked, you must be at least one metre from the cars directly behind and in front of you.

    While there are some offences that might catch people out, there are a couple of less well known loopholes.

    For example, if you are travelling in convoy with friends and want to keep in touch, buy a couple of two-way radios.

    While it is illegal to have a conversation on a mobile phone, it is legal to talk on a walkie-talkie, provided you always have proper control of your vehicle. The same applies to eating fast food. But be warned, police can book you if they think that either the two-way or the hamburger is distracting you.

    Inconsiderate behaviour is also not necessarily illegal. For example, those people who shoot up the inside lane then barge back in during traffic jams actually have the right of way if their car’s bumper is past yours. And people can hog the right hand lane if the speed limit is 80kmh or lower.

    But those slow coaches who speed up only when you’re trying to overtake are breaking the law, as are bicycle rides who ride two abreast on single lane roads.

    All in all, it pays to have a quick look through the local rule book if you’re driving interstate.
  2. :rofl:
    Somebody pinch me I must be having a dream.
  3. And possibly the value of your vehicle, 45kph over comes under the Hoon law in Victoria now.
  4. "And in Melbourne or Adelaide, you can be fined for turning right from the right hand lane, which is accepted practice in Sydney.

    On the other side of the coin, if you try to do a U-turn at a set of lights in Sydney, you’ll get fined. It’s perfectly legal in most cases in Melbourne and Adelaide, though. "

    ummm no we turn right from the right hand lane... we dont do HOOK turns in SA

    and we CANNOT do a U turn at traffic lights. nor can we turn left on a red light if no traffic is there.
  5. 45 over in Vic loses your licence and car doesn't it?
  6. With the minumum fine in NSW attracting 3 points, how many points do you start with? Wouldn't be about 48 would it?
  7. you start with zero points.
    once you accrue 12, your licence is suspended for 3 months, or you can chose to have a "probationary licence" where if you incur any further fines, your original suspension period is doubled.
    the points you accrue stay with you for 3 years from the date of infringement OR the court hearing date, should you elect to have it heard at court.
  8. It is an absurd parochial setup that only enshrines state power and money grabbing. I doubt that if common sense was the primary goal, that a proper national set of laws couldn't be achieved. But that would take primary decision making(and hence revenue control) away from the states and give it to Federal.

    The penalties in NSW for speeding are appalling. It wouldn't be quite as bad if they didn't have double demerits which to my mind is proof that the existing system is not deterrent enough to make people follow the law. It is absurd that on what is a non-public holiday working day for many people(not everyone gets 21 Dec-1 Jan off) you can lose half your licence for doing 6kph over the limit. You should still get a fine for breaking the limit but it shouldn't cost you half your licence. If the money is no issue(and there is bugger all difference between the two), you might as well speed at up to 29kph over to get value from the points you lose.
  9. that is precisely where our rules are stupid. if i was to be in a hurry, i would do 125/100 because to me, the points are more important than the fine. 3points as the minimum is ridiculous!
  10. Maybe starting at -48 points would be the go then :grin:
  11. thats telegraph reporting for you. i think compared to vic and qld to a point, NSW isnt as bad. why the fark the govt changed 0-15km/h over the limit to a 3 point offence is anyones guess. the cost for exceeding the speed limit by 45km/h is actually 1600bucks not 2400.
  12. One interesting difference relating to trailers (I am told); in Victoria, it is legal to not register a 'common garden' trailer, ie 6x4, and simply use a duplicate of the number plate from the towing car. However, this is not true for NSW or SA; the 6x4 would need to be registered. The problem occurs when a Victorian tows his/her 6x4 interstate to pickup something, that you can be booked for an unregistered vehicle.

    Sorry if this is a repost - I had this challenge when picking my bike from NSW.
  13. if the bike on the trailer was registered that could have been the issue as well.
    when looking at trailers for bikes a year or so back th trailer has to be registered if the cargo is registered :?
  14. Or even worse, when some pack of wankers like the NSW EPA(now DECC) brings in a ridiculous law like the now defunct noise label law for bikes, and if you ride your non-NSW registered bike into NSW, you could still get an on-the-spot fine for not having a label that you were not required to have!
  15. Heavy Vehicles = $2,490 and rest = $1,642

    Speeding Fines NSW
  16. Yep, that's correct. A mate got done for it at Bathurst last year. Cops had a go about Victorians flouting NSW laws etc..

    Given that they go on about the ARRs, national conformity and all that, you'd reckon that there wouldn't be any need to check up on these things prior to touring interstate. But as the article reports, you more or less gotta be a road traffic law expert for all states as they can vary wildy.

    I wonder if now that we have an all ALP governmental structure across Oz that the feds will get each of the states to truly implement laws, regs, penalties, etc. that are truly national (just don't want NSW's double demerits, is all).
  17. Might as well be hoping for free rego and CTP for all bikes. Never going to happen. This would require state governments to relinquish decision making to a federal government. Being power hungry transcends political persuasions.
  18. I've always had it from the date of the offence, even when I elected court which took 11 months.Used that loophole in the past to not exceed 12 points by delaying fines until I got more points back.

    and as for why did NSW increase the points for under 15 over... It was announced at the time that it was to show the government wasn't revenue raising but was concerned with road safety. the $$ fine dropped from $115 (??) to $73 (??) while the points went from 1 to 3.
  19. all you need to do is read the road users handbook for the state you are going to! It isn't hard, and is really no different than driving your way across Europe (and a bunch of countries that are smaller than Sydney) and expecting every single rule to be the same.