The road marking confusing Aussie drivers: 'Absolutely not!'

When drivers see marked areas on the roads such as painted traffic islands, there is always a furious debate around the road rules associated with them and a recent Queensland government question proved just that.

On a recent Facebook Post, Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Queensland posted a picture of several cars looking to turn right with a blue car sitting on a traffic island.

It is then accompanied with the following question: “The driver of the blue car wants to join the turning lane so they’ve driven onto the painted traffic island. Is that allowed?”

What answer would you choose?

A Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads question quizzed drivers about driving over a painted traffic island.
A Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads question quizzed drivers about driving over a painted traffic island.

Traffic island rule drives debate

Many people were divided as to how they interpret the rules with a host of different answers put forward by curious responders.

Several were adamant they were allowed to sit in there because the island led directly to a turning lane and they could drive on the island for up to 50 metres.

However, some people weren’t quite so convinced as some users stated they had been taught differently.

One person thought that the rules have changed over the lines stating: “ No – that’s what I got taught in the late 1970s.”

Another driver felt much more strongly about the matter stating “Absolutely not in QLD – the same counts for bus lanes!”

With many of the replies split clearly down the middle, it shows there is some confusion as to what the rules state about sitting in a painted traffic island. So what are the actual rules?

Most drivers know their island road rules

Like what many of the responses suggested on TMR Queensland’s post, the blue car is allowed to sit in the painted traffic island to turn off the road.

Australian Road Rule recommendation 138 says drivers can sit on a painted traffic island if a turning lane begins straight after the island, and they aren’t travelling any more than 50 metres after it ends.

It’s a good thing that many drivers know their road rules as breaking painted traffic island rules on Queensland’s roads brings a $248 fine as well as three demerit points.

However, it’s not the harshest penalty dished out for this act in Australia. Victoria Police will give drivers three demerit points and a $363 fine for ignoring painted traffic island rules.

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