Breaking this road rule could cost pedestrians a $76 NSW Police fine

When it comes to waiting to cross at a set of traffic lights, there are always going to be pedestrians who are too impatient to wait for the green signal and cross even if it breaks basic road rules.

Unsurprisingly, jaywalking is illegal in most states across Australia with fines looming for those caught in the act.

We all see people breaking this road rule daily as pedestrians look to seize the moment and cross whenever they see a suitable gap. So exactly how much could this bad habit cost you?

Pedestrian and cyclist traffic signal. Source: Getty Images
Pedestrians are only allowed to cross when a green signal is present. Source: Getty Images

Breaking an everyday road rule

Pedestrians are always going to be vulnerable to road traffic so it’s obvious why rules are in place to ensure they cross the road safely.

When it comes to crossing at traffic lights, Rule 231 of the Australian Road Rules makes it clear that pedestrians should only cross the road when there is a green man signal at the lights.

Should the man be red or flashing red, it means that pedestrians shouldn’t attempt to cross the road as traffic is free to move and that they have right of way.

As this rule is in place across Australia, it means that anyone crossing the road when there is a red man signal active could be found to be breaking the law.

People crossing road at traffic lights. Source: Getty Images
Pedestrians are not allowed to cross at traffic lights if the signal is red. Source: Getty Images

Police ready to stop unsuspecting pedestrians

It only takes one quick look at a busy CBD during rush hour to see police happily stop any pedestrian flouting this road rule and fine them for crossing when there’s no green signal.

The fines are generally fairly low but they can be a stark reminder of what can happen when someone is not willing to wait a few seconds for a light to change from red to green. Some of the possible fines include:

NSW: Pedestrians in New South Wales could be slapped with a $76 fine by NSW Police if they are caught crossing at traffic lights when there is a red man signal.

VIC: Victoria Police will give out a $91 fine to anyone they find breaking local road rules and crossing a road incorrectly at a set of traffic lights.

QLD: In Queensland, police can issue pedestrians with a $53 fine for not crossing a road correctly at a set of traffic lights.

SA: South Australia has one of the harshest fines for pedestrians as SA Police can give out a combined fine of $145 to anyone who crosses a road when there is a red man signal.

WA: If any pedestrian in Western Australia crosses a road when a red signal is given at a set of lights, they could be given a $50 fine by the local authorities.

TAS: Anyone in Tasmania who crosses at a set of traffic lights when a red signal is present may be hit with a $43 fine by Tasmania Police.

Green walk light to cross the road. Source: Getty Images
Pedestrians in the ACT can be fined $154 for not crossing correctly at traffic lights. Source: Getty Images

ACT: ACT Police will take no prisoners when it comes to crossing the road safely as anyone caught crossing incorrectly at a set of lights will be hit with a massive $154 fine.

By seeing that the police can issue fines stretching into triple figures, it shows that the authorities take the safety of pedestrians seriously.

These penalties are designed to snap pedestrians out of a potentially dangerous bad habit and ensure they follow the road rules and cross safely whenever they are waiting at a set of traffic lights.

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