Could you answer this NSW learner driver question from the RMS?

·News Reporter
·4-min read

You may think you're an experienced driver that's not surprised by too much on the road, but how would you go with this question from the NSW learner driver test?

This question tests a driver's knowledge surrounding buses with a picture showing a green bus with a large arrow going over a red car with a “give way” message above it.

Bus test Screenshot. Source: Service NSW
The question facing learner drivers in Drivers Knowledge Test. Source: Service NSW

It is accompanied by a question asking: “You are driving in a 60km/h zone, with only one lane of traffic in your direction. You see a bus ahead signalling its intention to pull out from a bus stop".

You are then given these potential answers to choose from:

  1. Sound your horn to stop the bus from pulling out

  2. Continue at your normal speed as the bus does not have priority

  3. Slow down and give way to the bus as it has priority

So, do you know what the right answer is? 

RMS tests driver's knowledge on buses

When it comes to dealing with this situation, there is only one correct answer. Option 3.

The sign pictured indicates that buses have right of way when pulling away from a curb and drivers must slow down and let them through.

This is backed up by Rule 77 of the Australian Road Rules which dictates that buses pulling out from a bus stop are given priority over other motorists travelling in the same direction in any 70km/h (or under) speed limit.

This road rule is unilaterally adopted by all states across Australia and is designed to ensure that motorists don’t clash with buses while they are stationary.

Give way to bus sign. Source: Getty Images
This sign indicates that drivers should give way to buses pulling out from a bus stop. Source: Getty Images

Harsh penalties loom for drivers who break bus road rule

With a serious accident awaiting anyone who doesn’t give buses right of way as they pull out, police can issue significant penalties to motorists disregarding this sign.

Every state issues a combination of demerit points and fines to offending drivers to act as a deterrent for ignoring other vehicles around them. Some of the penalties include:

NSW: NSW Police will issue drivers with both a $349 fine and three demerit points should they not give way to a bus pulling out from a bus stop.

VIC: In Victoria, police can give drivers three demerit points and a $318 fine for not giving buses the right of way as they leave a bus stop.

QLD: Authorities in Queensland will hit drivers with a $248 fine and three demerit points for ignoring buses as they pull out from a bus stop.

SA: South Australian drivers could face a combined fine of $323 and three demerit points on their licence if they don’t give buses the right of way as they rejoin the road after stopping.

WA: Police in Western Australia can fine drivers a minimum of four penalty units ($200) as well as issue three demerit points for not giving way to buses as they leave a bus stop.

TAS: Tasmanian drivers may get slapped with a fine of $130 as well as getting three points on their licence if police catch them ignoring buses leaving a bus stop.

ACT: If drivers in Canberra do not give way to buses as they leave a bus stop, they will be issued with a fine of $301 as well as earning three points on their licence.

Bus driving down a street. Source: Getty Images
Police can give drivers three demerit points for not giving way to buses on the road. Source: Getty Images

NT: As a general offence in the Northern Territory, police can issue drivers with a minimum penalty of one penalty unit ($157) for not giving way to buses leaving a bus stop.

With such hefty penalties threatening any motorist not giving way to buses, it acts as a reminder to experienced motorists as well as learner drivers not to ignore even the most basic of road rules.

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