Cars, trams and roundabouts: How drivers can avoid a $349 fine

There are very few vehicles on the roads larger than a tram so it's always a good idea to be mindful when driving near one.

This awareness needs to be doubled when approaching a roundabout, so it’s not surprising to find trams are given right of way over cars.

If someone attempts to get their way over a tram at a roundabout, the authorities will be ready to pounce and issue substantial penalties to the offending individual. So how much could the error cost you?

Tram and road junction. Source: Getty Images
Trams are given right of way over cars at roundabouts. Source: Getty Images

Battling a behemoth

With the mix of cars and trams entering from multiple directions, it is only natural for the heavier and bulkier trams to be given right of way over cars entering a roundabout from the same direction.

It’s a logic that is shared within the Australian Road Rules. The second part of Rule 114 states that drivers must give way to trams whenever they are both approaching a roundabout.

The rule makes sense as drivers trying to nip past a tram at a busy roundabout junction are more likely to cause a serious accident.

Unsurprisingly, the laws have been adopted anywhere trams are used, including in many of Australia’s more populous states such as New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

Double dose of pain

For drivers in states where these rules apply, you can be certain the police won’t hesitate in issuing both demerit points and large fines to anyone caught trying to beat a tram.

Most states that enforce these rules have double penalties, meaning that anyone caught in the act will be instantly regretting their rash actions. Some of these harsh penalties include:

NSW: Anyone in NSW who doesn’t give way to a tram at a roundabout will find themselves getting issued a fine of $349 and getting three demerit points added to their licence.

Trams moving down a street. Source:Getty Images
Drivers will be issued demerit points and fines for not giving way to trams. Source: Getty Images

VIC: With the abundance of trams scattered across Melbourne streets, drivers should be aware that if they don’t give way to trams at a roundabout, they will be facing a penalty of a $318 fine and three demerit points.

QLD: Trams can be found throughout Brisbane and the Gold Coast so if anyone fails to give way to them at a roundabout, the police will give them a $413 fine and three demerit points to their licence.

SA: In South Australia, drivers will instantly regret not giving way to trams at a roundabout as they will be hit with a whopping $559 fine as well as three points on their licence.

ACT: Should anyone fail to give way to trams at roundabouts in Canberra, they can expect to be given a fine of $491 as well as three points on their licence.

Unsurprisingly, the police are ready to hand out huge penalties to anyone who risks creating a serious accident by not giving way to trams when near a roundabout.

However, these large penalties should deter motorists from making a grievous error in such a busy area on the roads and ensure everyone completes their journey safely, no matter what type of vehicle they are in.

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