School crossings are designed to be safe zones on the roads allowing children to cross these areas safely without being put at risk from moving traffic.
That's why it is not surprising to see that there are rules in place to punish anyone who stops too close to crossing areas providing an unsafe obstacle for children to contend with.
Thankfully, substantial penalties await those who are caught in the act, serving as a nasty reminder not to be so reckless anytime soon. So just what rules are in place to protect school kids?
Don’t get too close
With school crossings designed to be a safe zone, it won’t be a massive shock to discover that all Australian states have rules about stopping too near a school crossing.
Included as part of Rule 171 of the Australian Road Rules, drivers are given strict rules about the distances they should maintain when stopping close to an active school crossing.
If you are approaching a crossing, your vehicle must be at least 20 metres away from the crossing limits. If you have passed it, then your car must stop at least 10 metres past the crossing zone.
These distances provide children with a safe buffer to cross a busy road without having to negotiate live traffic and reduce the risk of injury no matter if they are supervised or not.
Punishing pushy drivers
Should you get caught stopping too close to a crossing, don’t expect much sympathy from the authorities.
Most states will issue drivers with a fine, but one even adds on demerit points to your licence:
NSW: New South Wales is the only state to issue demerit points for the offence with drivers in The First State getting two demerit points added to their licence as well as a $349 fine.
Drivers in other states don’t get off too easily either though, with many states including hefty amounts for anyone caught getting too close to a children’s crossing. These penalties include:
ACT: The harshest fine can be found in the ACT where drivers face a penalty of $422 if they are caught stopping too close to a crossing.
QLD: Drivers in Queensland face punishing fines too as anyone caught stopping within 10m of a school crossing can be fined two penalty units, an amount currently worth $275.
VIC: Offending drivers in Victoria are punished with a fine of $183 should they be found stopped too close to a school crossing regardless of which side of it they are on.
SA: Combined with the extra $92 levy for committing an offence, South Australian drivers are looking at an overall fine of $198 for stopping near a school crossing.
TAS: In Tasmania, drivers are hit with a fine of $130 for stopping too close to a school crossing both before and after they have passed it.
WA: Anyone in Western Australia caught stopped too close to a school crossing will be punished with a fine of one penalty unit which is currently worth $50.
NT: Like many other General Offences in the Northern Territory, anyone caught stopped too close to a children’s penalty is liable to a minimum fine of one penalty unit which is $157.
If it wasn’t already obvious, the authorities are taking no chances to ensure that children are safe at all times when crossing the road in designated safe areas.
Even with lollipop ladies and minimum stopping distances, it is always worth taking extra caution around school crossing areas to ensure that children are always safe and protected when crossing a road – no matter how busy it may be.
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