You may think that handling level crossings is a simple enough affair but would you find yourself picking the right answer in this NSW learner test question about them.
The question shows a diagram of a car stopped with arrows pointing between the vehicle and the crossing itself.
It then asks you: “Looking at the diagram, how far from the approach side of a railway crossing are you allowed to park your vehicle?”
You are then given three answers to select from:
At least 20 metres
At least 50 metres
At least 5 metres
Would you know the correct answer?
RMS testing parking and hazard awareness
You may think that the distance doesn’t particularly matter however, authorities in New South Wales have set a limit with the correct answer being option 1 – 20 metres.
Rule 175 of the Australian Road Rules states that drivers must leave a 20-metre gap from the level crossing to the nearest safe stopping area.
The set distance is measured from the nearest piece of railway track to the road itself and is applied on either side of the crossing for both directions of traffic.
The only exception given to the ruling is if a car is parked in a designated parking spot and there is a sign that allows for parking in that specific area.
By doing this, the rules aim to minimise any potential incidents between trains and cars at a level crossing and ensure that road vehicles don’t directly interfere with a speeding train.
NSW Police ready to issue points and fines
The road rules regarding level crossings are applied across Australia meaning drivers can expect severe reprimands from the police if they are found stopping too close to a level crossing.
Most police forces will issue fines to ensure that drivers learn their lesson if they are caught in the act although some also dish out demerit points too. Some of these hefty punishments include:
NSW: NSW Police don’t take this offence lightly and anyone caught stopping near a level crossing can expect to be given a $349 fine and issued one demerit point.
VIC: Drivers in Victoria caught stopped on either side of a level crossing will escape getting demerit points on their licence but they will still be given a $109 fine.
QLD: While the authorities in Queensland won’t give drivers demerit points for stopping near a level crossing, they will still give drivers a fine of 1.5 penalty units which equates to $206.
SA: In South Australia, any driver caught stopped near a level crossing illegally will be hit with a fine of $196 from local police.
WA: Should anyone in Western Australia be found stopped near a level crossing, police will dish out a fine equating to one penalty unit which equals $50.
TAS: Anyone found stopped within 20m of a level crossing in Tasmania will find themselves being handed a $130 fine by local police.
ACT: Drivers in Canberra could find themselves getting a $125 fine if they are found to be stopped within a 20m distance of a level crossing by ACT Police.
NT: In the Northern Territory, anyone caught stopped near a level crossing will be hit with a fine of one penalty unit which is worth $157.
With a range of penalties on offer, drivers ought to be wary if they should decide to stop too close to a level crossing regardless of what the reason may be.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.