We are always taught in driving lessons that “speed kills” but it turns out the same may be true for those driving too slowly on the roads too.
It’s why driving at inappropriately slow speeds can be punished just as strictly by police as excessively breaking the speed limit.
There are always times when caution is necessary, but crawling along on the open road could cost you a pretty penny if you're caught. So just how much could you stand to lose?
An unnecessary obstruction
First and foremost, there are no strict definitions as to what is considered too slow. No matter where you go, you won’t find any signs dictating what the minimum speed limit is.
Instead, authorities will class unnecessarily slow drivers as someone who is obstructing the path of drivers or pedestrians.
This will then see the offending driver punished under part 2 of Rule 125 of the Australian Road Rules.
The rule, which is adopted by all Australian states, doesn’t specify a specific speed which is too slow, but it does give an example of doing 20km/h in an 80km/h zone.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules and the laws won’t be applied in situations where common sense would suggest it wouldn't apply, such as:
During heavy congestion
Trucks travelling down steep slopes
Driving in extreme conditions
So, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t get punished whilst stuck during the peak hour traffic jam.
However, it might not be the case if you are slowing down traffic with only a few cars on the road.
Punishing an unnecessary danger
As to be expected, drivers are punished severely should they be caught trundling along at slow speeds and police will hand out fines to anyone they pull over.
Drivers won’t find themselves slapped with demerit points although the financial penalties handed out can be rather costly. Some of these include:
NSW: New South Wales drivers face one of the harsher fines for being caught driving too slow. Police will hand out a fine of $272.
VIC: Victoria is the only state to judge the offence using penalty units. Drivers in The Garden State will be fined two Penalty Units, or $364, for driving too slowly.
QLD: In Queensland, authorities will fine any driver $137 if they are causing a hazard by travelling too slowly no matter what form of transport they are using.
SA: With the inclusion of the additional $92 penalty levy, South Australians will be fined $219 for moving slowly and causing an obstruction.
WA: In Western Australia, drivers whose slow speeds causes a hazard will be issued a $100 by the local authorities.
TAS: Any Tasmanian caught driving too slow in The Apple Isle will find themselves slapped with a $130 fine for obstructing fellow drivers.
ACT: Around Canberra, any drivers found to be travelling too slowly will be given a $193 fine by police for causing an unnecessary obstruction.
NT: Like most driving offences in the Northern Territory, offending drivers will find themselves punished under the General Offences rule and issued a fine of $157.
As you can see, it can be just as costly to drive too slow as it is too fast.
It helps ensure that all drivers are travelling safely around one another and avoid potentially dangerous incidents when someone has to go around an unnecessarily slow-moving vehicle.
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