Aussie woman's shock over $500 traffic fine divides: 'News to me'

A young Melbourne woman has learned a valuable lesson after breaking a misunderstood road rule and copping a huge fine for it.

Lucinda McGarrity found out in "very dramatic fashion" that it's illegal to drive through a yellow (amber) light when cruising along Rathdowne St, Carlton, on a Monday morning.

"They say you learn something new everyday," she said on Monday on TikTok. "And today I learnt that it is illegal to drive through an amber light unless it's 100 per cent necessary to do so."

A photo of the Melbourne woman who was surprised to get fined by police for driving through a yellow light. A Google Maps image of Rathdowne St.
A Melbourne woman was surprised to get fined by police for driving through a yellow light in Carlton. Source: TikTok/c1ndarella/ Google Maps

"There were police sirens, I was pulled over in front of Florian — mind you if you’re from Melbourne you know, so that was embarrassing. Everyone’s eating their salmon gravlax and tomato tartan while getting the show of their life."

She claimed to then be "drug tested and breath tested while bawling (her) eyes out and receiving a $500 fine".

"It was so full on," she said. "So anyway, don’t drive through amber lights."

Social media users react to Melbourne woman's story

The video was viewed more than 41,000 times, with the response being quite divided.

"Fight the fine, it’s so extreme. Try to get out of it!" one person said. To which Ms McGarrity replied "I won’t fight it, I did the wrong thing. Good to know for the future though."

"How do they justify such a high fine for such a small offence," another said.

"Cops have seen me do this and haven’t stopped me. Do they just pick and choose when to fine you?" a third person speculated.

Some didn't know they could get stopped for driving through a yellow light, which according to the NSW Government is one of that state's top 10 misunderstood road rules.

"I drive for work all day and I did not know this," one person said. "I thought the rule was as long as the light doesn’t turn red you’re good?!!!"

"This is news to me," another said.

However others struggled to understand how people didn't know this.

"How do so many people not know this," one said. "I’m pretty sure I was taught in driving lessons."

How much is the fine amount in each state?

According to Transport NSW, drivers can get fined for failing to stop at a yellow light, unless it's unsafe to do so.

A yellow light is treated the same as a red light when it comes to penalties, which differs slightly in each state.

NSW: There is a two-part penalty for running an amber light in NSW. If the incident occurs on general roads, it’s a $469 fine and three demerit points. The fines increase if you get caught in a school zone where the fee increases to $587 and four demerit points.

QLD: The Sunshine State is very clear on their rules regarding traffic lights. Anyone who is caught driving through a yellow light earns a $575 fine and three demerit points – the same penalty for running a red light.

VIC: Any driver in Victoria caught running a yellow light faces a penalty combination of three demerit points and a $462 fine.

SA: The South Australia yellow light penalty is just like a red light one, with offending drivers facing a $515 fine and three demerit points.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.