What you’ll pay for crossing the line
THE State Government has quadrupled on-the-spot fines for motorists who block intersections and crossings, in an attempt to bust congestion and protect pedestrians.
A Department of Transport spokeswoman confirmed that from yesterday fines had jumped to $200 for a range of driving offences at intersections and crossings.
"The changes were needed to deter irresponsible driver behaviour resulting in reduced traffic flow, increased congestion and risks to pedestrians," she said.
The new fines will apply for motorists who enter a blocked intersection, enter crossings such as for bicycles, children or pedestrians if the road beyond is blocked, stopping on or near a level crossing or stopping on a clearway.
Fines for all offences have jumped from $52 to $200.
Motorists who stop on an area of road with a "keep clear" marking will also be fined $200, up from $156.
The harsher penalties were designed to "send a clear message of deterrence" to motorists, according to the amended regulations.
RACQ spokeswoman Kirsty Clinton said queuing across intersections and crossings was "infuriating" to other drivers and exposed drivers to traffic coming from other directions.
"If you're blocking a level crossing the dangers are obvious, and a fine will be the least of your worries," she said.
But she said the peak motoring body would have preferred the Government's focus to be on improved education and enforcement rather than stiffer penalties.
The Government also flagged in the regulations that it would continue focusing on improving safety at intersections with a crackdown on drivers who lose patience waiting to turn right at a red arrow and instead travel straight on a green light.
Authorities said they were seeking to clarify rules about when it was an offence to proceed when a traffic arrow was red so they could more easily prosecute offenders.
"This driver behaviour is not in keeping with the intent of the legislation, is potentially dangerous and can endanger other road users," the regulations say.