$91 fine awaits pedestrians caught breaking this obscure road rule

Pedestrians are always at risk when they try to cross a busy road and the risk doubles if they deliberately try to get the attention of passing motorists.

It’s why there are road rules in place to stop pedestrians from doing any commercial or physical activity that may directly distract motorists on our roads.

With the safety of all parties involved potentially in jeopardy, it makes sense that these restrictions exist. So just how do these rules work?

Woman hitchhiking on empty roads. Source: Getty Images
Hitchiking is illegal in all states across Australia. Source: Getty Images

Stopping pedestrians in their step

It might seem crazy to think that a pedestrian would try to benefit from flagging down passing motorists but it happens more than you know.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to find that the fourth section of Rule 236 in the Australian Road Rules bans any pedestrians from any commercial or physical activity that might hinder passing motorists.

There are a lot of actions that fall under the banner of this rule and it outlaws several direct actions from anyone on the roads including:

  • Hitchhiking

  • Cleaning vehicles

  • Selling goods

  • Advertising jobs

While it might seem brave for anyone to even consider trying to gain commercial profits by selling products actively on the roads, it is something that everyone has seen on film or TV.

However, these actions are banned virtually all across Australia as the laws have been absorbed into road regulations in every Australian state in some capacity.

Busy street junction. Source: Getty Images
Pedestrians can't try selling any goods on roads anywhere across Australia. Source: Getty Images

Police waiting to take profits

Anyone who tries to gain money from passing drivers on the road may not enjoy their fortunes for very long as the police can issue fines if they catch someone in the act.

With the fines totalling triple figures in some states, it may mean that the offender could be set to lose more than they've earned. Some of the possible penalties include:

VIC: Victoria Police can stop pedestrians in their tracks with a $91 fine if they catch them trying to solicit any goods in the middle of the road.

NSW: In New South Wales, police can give anyone selling goods on the road a $78 fine.

QLD: Should anyone in Queensland be caught hitchhiking or selling things on the road by foot, they could be hit with a fine worth a minimum of one penalty unit which equates to $137.50.

SA: If anyone in South Australia is caught using the road to sell goods as a pedestrian, they will be hit with a combined fine of $145.

WA: Western Australian police will punish hitchhikers and pedestrians selling goods on the road with a fine of one penalty unit – worth $50.

TAS: Anyone in Tasmania who attempts to hitchhike or sell goods in the middle of the road by foot will find themselves getting hit with an $87 fine from local police.

Woman stands in the middle of the street. Source: Getty Images
Victoria Police can fine hitchhikers $91 for trying this on any road in the state. Source: Getty Images

ACT: If any pedestrian in Canberra tries selling goods on the road and obstructs drivers, they could find themselves getting slapped with a $75 fine from ACT Police.

Seeing that these fines can extend into triple figures, it should serve as a direct warning to any pedestrians who may have thought about making some quick cash on the local street corner.

It also ensures that pedestrians use roads safely and aren’t caught trying risky acts that may cause themselves or drivers to get injured just to make a quick buck.

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