Surprising ways you can be fined when driving

Nothing puts you in a foul mood in quite the same way that receiving a fine does.

I know this from bitter, bitter experience. In fact, I blew off steam earlier this year on this very website when I was slapped with a $126 fine for having bald tyres.

“This is pure revenue raising!” I ranted, before begrudgingly handing over the cash. I shared the story publicly in the name of education. I wanted to help others avoid the same fate.


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Now, in that same spirit of community sharing, I want to let you in another little-known road rule that could strip you of your hard-earned cash.

It’s the “slow down to 25km/hour when you’re passing an emergency vehicle” rule.

It’s a rule that cost one Adelaide driver over $1000 and a ban on driving for 6 months!

The driver was unaware that in South Australia, you must slow to 25km/hour when passing an emergency service vehicle (ESV) with flashing lights. In Canberra and New South Wales, the official ‘passing ESV’ speed limit is 40km/hour.

Here on the Gold Coast, well, there are no official rules around this.

But, police are putting pressure on the Queensland government to introduce laws that will force motorists to pump the brakes around emergency vehicles.

To be honest, I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary – if you’ve ever been stuck on the M1 after a traffic accident, you’ll be familiar with the habit Gold Coasters seem to have of rubber-necking for a good 2km either side of the incident.

That said, it’s good practice to be aware of other drivers on the road, particularly considering our appalling local record: Queenslanders have recently been slapped with around $90m in fines for “slow speeding” over a 12 month period.

The breaches were issued for low range speeding, which is less than 13 km/h over the limit.

Copping a fine for being 7km over the speed limit? Now that would put me in a bad mood!

And as RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith says, “It’s a waste of money frankly – and it does little to get you to your destination any quicker.”

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Road rules are in place for consistency. Failure to indicate, not staying in left lane on multi lane roads and failing to merge correctly are huge congestion builders.. Due to creating incidents.. Yes they are incidents, not accidents. “Because someone cause’s them”. Having a license is a privilege and drivers need to be competent. If police fined people for not obeying our road rules, we eventually would end up with consistent driving. Remember it is a driver’s responsibility to keep abreast of road rules. Ask yourself, when was the last time you updated your knowledge of the road rules. People are injured and worst die on our roads every day. Please consider the impacts our driving makes on others.

What we NEED is NATIONAL road rules…

But as one news article I read yesterday pointed out, it’ll never happen because each state/territory will have some form of revenue they’ll miss out on, due to the fact that each state/territory has different views on what things are illegal and/or to what degree things are illegal (getting national road rules through Parliament WITHOUT the support of the states/territories would be extremely difficult).

The Government could have some luck however, pushing individual road rules through as Federal Legislation – such as a 25KM/h speed limit when lights & sirens are in operation.

I disagree – the road is effectively a policeman/policewoman’s office and you’ve only gotta have a quick search on Live Leak/YouTube/etc to see how often idiot drivers strike or almost strike officers whilst they (the officers) are conducting their Official business… The fact that people often slow down to “rubberneck” (have a good look) at what the police are doing is irrelevant – there have been plenty of times where people (not just the police) have been injured or killed as a result of low-speed impact, and drivers not paying attention because they’re being nosey is a perfect example.

Or here’s another example – yesterday I nearly had an accident because the driver a couple of cars in front of mine slammed on their brakes at the last minute to check out what the police were doing on the opposite side of the M1… Fortunately for me, the driver immediately in front of me and myself were paying attention, so we veered into the emergency lane to avoid an accident, whilst the (heavy rigid) truck behind me went into the right lane to do the same.

But what if a cop was in either of those lanes (the emergency lane or the right lane)?

Game over for the cop – some vehicles around me were doing 110KM/h, whilst others were doing 60-80KM/h as they prepared to exit.

I can understand the frustration with the Adelaide thing – until last year I was posted to Adelaide as part of my former job and I did the same thing (though thankfully, I wasn’t fined), but that law is there for a VERY good reason… Bring it to Queensland – not only will it make a safer workplace for the cops out there, but it’s not going to change too much anyway, seeing as the vast majority of fellow Queenslanders have never seen an accident before and need to take their time having a look.

You wouldn’t feel safe if people were whizzing past you at 60-80KM/h+ in your workplace, with just 1-2 meters separating you, particularly when you’re out there putting your life on the line to keep the Community safe… So why should it be different for our Everyday Heroes?

25KM/h Mandatory speed limits are needed when lights and sirens are in operation, end of story.