If you are in a hurry and need to quickly change direction, it is more than tempting to make a quick U-turn in the road especially if you think that the coast is clear.
However, it’s not always possible to see everything when you act too quickly and making a U-turn that puts others at risk is a manoeuvre that is deemed highly dangerous by the authorities.
Should you be caught doing a U-turn and putting others at risk, then there are severe fines and demerit points looming in most Aussie states. So how much could that quick U-ie cost you?
A dangerous decision
U-turns are tricky to judge for drivers as different states have different rules about where you can do them however, all Australian states make it abundantly clear that they need to be done safely.
That’s why all states have adopted Rule 38 of the Australian Road Rules into their state laws ensuring that drivers who don't give way when making a U-turn are punished accordingly.
This means that drivers need to ensure that they aren’t putting fellow drivers, cyclists or pedestrians at risk when they make a U-ie on the open road.
It’s generally a risky move anyway with most states deeming U-turns illegal in most places unless signposted apart from Victoria where they are generally allowed.
Laying down the law
With the potential to put multiple parties at risk, anyone caught making an unsafe U-ie will find themselves getting hit with a significant combination of both fines and demerit points.
All states across Australia have substantial penalties that drivers will not enjoy receiving should the authorities catch them in the act. Some of these tough penalties include:
NSW: In New South Wales, the penalties for unsafe U-turns are very strict with offending drivers getting hit with a $349 fine as well as three demerit points to their licence.
VIC: While U-turns are generally legal in Victoria, unsafe attempts are heavily frowned upon. Anyone caught trying this in The Garden State will cop a fine of $318 and three demerit points for their troubles.
QLD: Queensland has some of the harshest penalties involving road safety and anyone caught making an unsafe U-turn will find themselves being given three demerit points and a $413 fine from the cops.
SA: It’d be a wise move to give way when making an unsafe U-ie in South Australia as the authorities can issue offending drivers with a whopping $513 fine as well as adding two demerit points to their licence.
WA: Although drivers caught by cops in Western Australia may only get a $100 fine for their unsafe U-turn, they will still get three points added onto their licence.
TAS: If you put others at risk when making a U-turn on Tasmanian roads, the cops will dish out a fine of $173 as well as issuing three demerit points to your licence.
ACT: In Canberra, anyone caught making an unsafe U-turn near other road users will find themselves getting a $491 fine as well as receiving three points to their licence.
As you can see, the authorities have zero tolerance for anyone who may put other road users at risk when they are looking to make a U-turn in the middle of the road.
These actions are just one way to ensure that drivers think carefully before trying to pull a fast one on the roads without considering all the consequences.
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