Changes to Australian Road Rules Jan09

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:25
ThreadID: 68188 Views:5026 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
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Noticed recently comments to the effect that the some users weren't aware of recent changes to the Australian Road Rules. For any who consider they may be in that group, here they are:

Changes to the Australian Road Rules
25 January 2009

On 25 January 2009, changes were made to the Australian Road Rules which were agreed on by all states and territories across Australia.

The National Transport Commission undertook a national public consultation process regarding the changes.

The majority of changes are slight variations to current road rules so as to clarify the meaning to all drivers. Most amendments do not entail a change in general driver behaviour.

Other amendments of note are as follows:

Fog lights

Drivers can only use front fog lights in hazardous weather conditions. This brings the rule into line with the existing situation for rear fog lights. Use of fog lights in other conditions can dazzle oncoming drivers. Previously front fog lights that dazzled approaching drivers were dealt with as an offence under a different rule.

Penalty $140

Riding on motorbikes

The passenger in a sidecar is to be seated safely. It is an offence for both rider and passenger if the passenger is not seated safely. Previously there was no requirement that the passenger be seated in the side car.

A rider is prohibited from carrying a passenger under 8 years old except in a sidecar. Previously the rule relied upon the passenger being able to reach footrests. This caused confusion for some riders. The amendment makes the rule more certain.

Penalty $83

Carrying people on a bicycle

This amends the existing rule that prohibits a person carrying more people on the bicycle than the bicycle is designed for. The change requires persons to be in seats or positions designed for travelling on a bicycle.

It is an offence for both the rider and the passenger if the passenger is not sitting in the position designed for the passenger. Previously there was no offence for the passenger not sitting in a seat.

Penalty $25

Travelling with animals on a motorcycle

This rule has been amended to prohibit a motorcycle rider from travelling with an animal carried on the petrol tank of the bike (excluding farm animals carried for less than 500 metres).

Penalty $95

Travelling with passenger or animal on lap

This rule creates an offence for a driver to have a passenger or animal on their lap when driving.

Penalty $95

Arrester bed (used to stop or slow specifically heavy vehicles experiencing mechanical or brake failure).

A driver must not drive in an arrester bed unless the driver must do so in the interests of safety. Arrester beds will be designated by signs.

Penalty $231

U-turns across single dividing lines

This amendment clarifies the duty of drivers not to make a u-turn across a single continuous centre line.

Penalty $248

Stop on painted island

A driver must not stop on a painted island. This amendment is in the parking provisions. It prevents parking on a painted island. It does not prevent a driver from stopping on a painted island when entering or leaving a road. A driver may have to stop on a painted island to give way to approaching traffic.

Penalty $54

Leading an animal while driving a vehicle

This rule previously prohibited a driver or rider from leading an animal while driving. The rule has been extended to cover the passenger as it is just as dangerous for the passenger to be leading the animal.

Penalty $60

Remember - Drive safetly - Arrive Safetly


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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:18

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:18
Great!!!
More bloody rules to think for those who cant think for themselves!
AnswerID: 361419

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:42

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:42
i used to ride a bike around with my bluey on the tank...we had great adventures together. I hope i thought for myself...and didnt upset any animal lovers/greenies/scroobys'/ i didnt have a bullbar on the bike, so was exempt from the pedestrican councils' crosshairs...whats Australia coming to??
Andrew
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Reply By: Roughasguts - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:45

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:45
I bet they haven't changed the distance from driving behind a car at night with high beam on.

I think it's still legal to drive behind a car at 50 metres with all your lights blazing.
AnswerID: 361427

Follow Up By: Voxson - Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 08:39

Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 08:39
200 Metres now
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 13:25

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 13:25
Its amazing isnt it ??? .... There was a time nobody turned their fog lights on .... unless it was foggy ..... pfffft

Pillion passengers to be 8yrs of age ... lol ... Maybe a height rule would have been more realistic ....... I had to make higher footpeg brackets for my shortarse kid untill he was nearly twelve ...

Arrester Beds .. ????????? .... as in "safety ramps" ... would appreciate confirmation. And whats with the $1.oo part of the fine .... obviously the fine amounts are decided on ... by grocery store shelf packers.
AnswerID: 361430

Follow Up By: tim_c - Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 16:52

Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 16:52
Arrestor beds are basically like a big sand pit, or filled with loose gravel so the truck/bus sinks in and bogs down which slows/stop it very quickly without a crash.

It is the same idea as a "safety ramp", but a safety ramp generally requires an uphill/embankment on the left side of the road. Where this is not available (ie. the LHS of the road looks out over a valley), an arrestor bed is used - you don't want a run-away truck having to cross the oncoming traffic because the safety ramp had to be on the opposite side of the road!

There is one on the highway heading from Sydney down to Wollongong - last time I drove past it, there was a "road safety officer" (cop) with his speed camera parked between the road and the arrestor bed
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 13:46

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 13:46
""Travelling with PASSENGER or animal on lap....
This rule creates an offence for a driver to have a passenger or animal on their lap when driving - penalty $95 ""

That's a good price I think?

unsigned . . .
AnswerID: 361432

Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 14:52

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 14:52
So, travelling on a motorbike with the dog sitting on the seat behind you is ok then?

That's where my old kelpie used to sit when we were out riding...



.
AnswerID: 361443

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 15:12

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 15:12
Thanks very Much for the information Dio,
I will inform our 4wd club members.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 361450

Reply By: Zebra400 - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 15:33

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 15:33
Whilst they have been agreed, I just wonder whether they have been adopted down here in Victoria. The Victorian road laws still apply in Victoria, and there are still some differences to the Australian road rules.

BTW, all the states were supposed to adopt the Australian Road Laws back in the late 90's. To date, Victoria still hasn't adopted all of them. A good example of this is in Victoria you can still overtake on a continuous unbroken line on an undivided road. Under the Australian Road Rules this is illegal.

If you head south, be aware that there are still some differences.

Laurie
AnswerID: 361455

Follow Up By: Horacehighroller - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 22:50

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 22:50
Hi Laurie,

Are you sure the single continuous line rule does not apply in Victoria.

Peter
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FollowupID: 629303

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 23:05

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 23:05
AFAIK you can't cross a single continuous line in Victoria.
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FollowupID: 629306

Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 06:15

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 06:15
Yes, I am definitely sure.

The Victorian Road Rules sees a broken line and a continuous line as the same thing. Check out the road rules on the Vic roads website.

How else do I know? Well we had an accident on the Great Ocean Road a couple of years ago whilst overtaking another vehicle from Queensland. The case went to court as the Queensland legal team told us that it was illegal to overtake under the Australian Road Rules. Our legal team responded by advising them that Victorian Road Laws still apply in Victoria where it is still legal to overtake.

Victoria does apply some of the Australian Road Rules, but not all of them. I think it is messy the way the law is applied in Victoria. It took us a while to interpret the correct laws. We finally consulted the legal people at Vic Roads who told us how the laws are applied down here.

So, yes it is still legal to overtake on a continuous single line in Victoria.

Laurie
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:24

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:24
The purpose of continuous/broken lines is to indicate when it's safe and legal to overtake.

How is this done in Victoria then ? Can you overtake anywhere ?
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FollowupID: 629404

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:28

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:28
If you have a broken line & a continuous line, you can only cross over from the broken line side.
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FollowupID: 629405

Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:56

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:56
Sorry, but you are quoting the Australian Road Rules when you say that you cant cross a continuous line. As I said before, Victorian Road Laws still apply in Victoria. Victoria has not yet adopted the Australian Road Rules in total.

If you go to the Vic Roads website & download 'Driving in Victoria - rules & responsibilities', then go to page 20 & 21 in the book (if you use the pdf search they are on page 26 & 27). Under Road Markings, it says many roads are painted with broken white lines & single continuous lines in the centre of the road. It goes on to say that you must keep to the left of the lines. You may cross these lines to enter or leave the road, but only overtake if the road ahead is clear.

Like I said before, we spoke at length to the legal people at Vic Roads before our court case last year, and they confirmed that Vic Road Rules still apply in Victoria. This was a major reason why we won our court case, as we understood the Victorian road laws. The vehicle from Qld unfortunately didn't.

I agree that Victoria needs to pull up its socks and adopt the Australian Road rules in total (not just small parts of them as we currently do), so that we dont have these inconsistencies between States and more court cases like ours.

Laurie
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FollowupID: 629408

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 18:04

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 18:04
For reasons as you experienced I think it's about time the entire country got it's act together and used *exactly* the same: laws, Rules & Regulations Australia wide.

Mainey . . .
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FollowupID: 629432

Follow Up By: Voxson - Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 08:46

Monday, Apr 27, 2009 at 08:46
In SA it is illegal to cross a single white line in the centre of road for the purpose of overtaking, u-turn or 3 point turn..... UNLESS you are starting or finishing your turn from a parking bay,,,, then it is ok to crack a u-turn over a single white....
It is also ok to leave or enter the road over a single white line.
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FollowupID: 629528

Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 05:01

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 at 05:01
As a final comment on this thread, I think the most important thing to come out of our discussions is that we need to be very cautious when accepting information we receive from various sources, govt & television news for example.

This issue is a great example of how the concept of having uniform road rules across Australia is just not possible while we still have State Governments wanting to have their own say on what parts of the Road rules they will apply. Even the States that have adopted the rules, still have their own laws relating to vehicle registration issues.

Whilst the majority of States have adopted the Australian Road Rules, in reality, Victoria's population of 5.3M means that 25% of the Australian population 21.5M do not conform to these rules.

It is one thing to say that all states have agreed to adopt the rules - it is another for each State to actually pass legislation to adopt the rules.

Laurie

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FollowupID: 629757

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:31

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:31
For those that are in doubt, here is the link.
It is a S>A> Site but it is also the easiest to read just scroll down to Jan 25th
Road Rules
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 361483

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:34

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 15:34
The indidual application of Road Rules in States is yet another reason to get rid of State Governments.

With modern communications there is no need for three levels of government - Federal and Local is all we need.
.
AnswerID: 361669

Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 16:02

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 16:02
Mike

I totally agree with you. There are still issues with what laden weights your trailer can be. Technically Victorians can be fined when they cross interstate as the laws are different.

One set of laws for the whole country is a must. It is time prseeure was put on the State Governments to all conform.

Laurie
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