For many commuters, there is always a nervous moment when hopping off a tram where you fear there may be a driver may not see you emerging from its doors.
It’s no surprise then that there are rules and penalties in place for drivers who are caught driving through a safety zone as passengers are getting off trams.
There are some surprisingly hefty penalties for those caught not paying attention with both fines and demerit points in store for those caught by the police. So just how much could causing this hazard cost you?
Paying close attention
Most Australian major cities have a tram or light rail system in their CBDs meaning that there are plenty of road rules for driver behaviour around this form of transport.
In the Australian Road Rules, there are regulations specifically designed to protect disembarking tram passengers from getting hit by drivers who may have missed signs that the tram has stopped.
In Rule 164, it’s made clear that drivers must stop if passengers are getting off the tram onto the road if there is no designated stop or space for them to access.
It’s an all too common problem that can be found across Australia even though trams display warning bells, sirens and flashing lights to warn motorists about passengers exiting onto the road.
A costly misjudgment
Should anyone be caught driving straight through a safe area when tram passengers are disembarking, some surprisingly large fines can be dished out.
On top of that, some states also issue demerit points for anyone pulled over for a lack of concentration. Some of the toughest state rules include:
NSW: In New South Wales, anyone who fails to give way to alighting tram passengers faces a fine of $194 as well as two demerit points on their licence.
VIC: Anyone in Melbourne who doesn’t give way to passengers as they get off a tram faces a massive $454 fine and three demerit points to add to their troubles.
QLD: For drivers in Queensland, failing to stop for passengers getting off a train will result in a $192 fine and the awarding of two demerit points to your licence.
SA: South Australia has harsh penalties for anyone who drives past disembarking tram passengers. Combined with the $92 crime levy, offending drivers face a fine of $559 and three demerit points to ponder.
ACT: In Canberra, drivers who ignore tram signals and put exiting passengers at risk could find themselves getting hit with a fine of $205 and three demerit points added to their licence.
Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have no tram systems in place so these rules have not been implemented anywhere in those states.
Furthermore, you won’t find these rules being implemented in country towns as tram systems are only found in the centres of Australian state capitals.
However, when you do encounter trams in our major cities, remember to give way to passengers exiting the doors in order to avoid any major incidents.
This way, everyone can enjoy a safe trip to work and not have to worry about unnecessary penalties, injuries, or any other misfortune no matter their mode of transport.
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