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.”