Following our last blog about Queensland parking rules that you might not be aware of, this month we thought we’d highlight some of the new or updated driving legislation that has been introduced in Australia in 2020. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes that happen, particularly if you drive inter-state. However, there are a few new road rules or rules that have been recently changed that could cost you hundreds of dollars in fines, not to mention demerit points, if you are not aware of them.
Mobile Phone Laws
One of the biggest new road rules that have recently come into effect in Queensland is the increased fine for using your mobile phone whilst driving. From February 1st 2020, any driver caught using their mobile phone whilst driving will be fined $1000 and 4 demerit points. What’s more, if you are caught twice within 12 months, you will receive double demerit points and face the possibility of losing your licence altogether. Before this month the fine was $400 and 3 demerit points. The new fine is the highest anywhere in Australia for illegal mobile phone use.
In New South Wales, new mobile phone detection cameras have been rolled out to capture images of offenders using mobile phones while at the wheel of a car. The system is smart enough to operate day and night and in all weather conditions. Up until now, drivers caught using or touching their mobile phones by the cameras. However, the new road rules enforced from this month are that if you are caught using your phone you will be fined $344, increasing to $457 if you are in a school zone. Not only that but you will lose 5 demerit points, increasing to 10 when double demerits apply.
Disability Parking Fine
Among the new road rules being introduced in Queensland, from the middle of this year, the Queensland Government is set to double the fine for illegally parking in spaces reserved for those with disabilities. While not yet enforced, it’s expected the legislation will pass in the middle of this year and the fine will increase from $266 to $533.
In addition to increasing the fine, the Government has also indicated that it intends to increase the eligibility of those able to apply for the permit to include those who are vision impaired. This should mean some 18,000 more people could apply for disability parking permits.
Reduce Speed For Emergency Vehicles
Another NSW road rule that has recently been introduced that you may not be aware of is that drivers must slow down to a speed of 40km/h when passing emergency services vehicles with red and blue lights flashing or a stationary police vehicle. This rule also applies if you are passing tow truck vehicles on the side of the road.
This rule only applies on roads where the speed limit is 80km/h or less. However, it’s a hefty fine if you are caught breaking the rule: $448 and three demerit points.
Sydney Light Rail Rules
And if you happen to be in Sydney, the new light rail system was launched last year and Speed Humps Australia are proud that our rumble bars were used to try and improve driver and pedestrian safety. However, one of the NSW road rules that have recently been introduced is that pedestrians cannot cross the light rail tracks unless at a designated crossing or at their own discretion 20 or more metres away from a crossing. The only places pedestrians are exempt from the rule is the pedestrianised area of George Street and Central Station. If you are caught flaunting the rules you could be fined $76.
Our speed humps and rumble bars are being used in a number of different situations, to help local councils and businesses alert drivers to changed road conditions or parking areas, helping people avoid significant fines and improving road safety for all.