'Cannot be seen': The unusual road rule that could catch drivers out TODAY

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

With the school summer holidays coming to an end, parents across the nation are busy ensuring their kids are ready for their first day back.

However they, like all other motorists, may be unaware the opening of schools today could come with a hefty fine on the roads.

While the majority of students return to school on Wednesday in NSW and Victoria, the official start date of the school term according to the two state governments is Tuesday – a teacher-only day, or school development days, for most schools.

This means all traffic and parking laws that are in place during school time will be in effect on Tuesday despite there being no students in sight.

Among a raft of offences that are school-term dependent, the obvious one is the 40km/h speed limit implemented around schools during certain times.

Drivers should be alert school zones are being enforced today. Source: AAP

Offending drivers in NSW who breach the limit by under 10km/h will be slapped with a fine of $200 and two demerit points.

Over 10km/h sees a fine of $360 and four demerit points.

“Under the NSW Road Rules, where a sign indicates it applies on school days, it applies on school term dates listed on the NSW Department of Education website,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

“On some occasions, this may mean that a sign or 40km/h school zone applies even if students cannot be seen.”

Another common misunderstanding is parking in a school-term bus space.

During school holidays, vehicles can be parked in this bus zone all day. However, Tuesday does not classify as a school holiday. Source: Facebook

In a community Facebook group in Sydney’s south last year residents shared their confusion over a parking sign outside a school.

While one puzzled motorist questioned when she could park under the restrictions, she was warned to watch out for student-free term dates.

“If it was a pupil free day you would be in trouble,” one person warned.

According to Transport for NSW, motorists cannot park in such zones on Tuesday.

Stopping or parking in the school bus zone within the signposted time frames results in a $344 fine and two demerit points.

A detailed list of all school zone offences for NSW can be found here.

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