Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Road Transport Safety and Traffic Management Road Rules - DOC by jrj48313

VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 17

Road Transport Safety and Traffic Management Road Rules document sample

More Info
									   AUSTRALIAN ROAD RULES
AMENDMENT REGULATIONS 1999 (No. 2)
      Regulatory Impact Statement


            September 1999




                                              Report to:
                     National Road Transport Commission

                                           Prepared by:
                                              R Ungars
Report to: National Road Transport Commission

Australian Road Rules Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 2)

Regulatory Impact Statement

Prepared by: R Ungars


ISBN: 0 642 54440 9
                            REPORT OUTLINE

Date:               September 1999

ISBN Number:        0 642 54440 9

Title and Sub-title: Australian Road Rules Amendment Regulations 1999 (No.2)

Performing Organisation and Address Details
Mr R Ungars
9 Yarilla Road
SASSAFRAS VIC 3787

NRTC Contact:       Ian Shepherd, Senior Project Manager, Phone (03) 9321 8444

Type of Report:     Regulatory Impact Statement

Objectives:         To ensure that the Australian Road Rules clearly reflect the
                    principles and policy agreed to during the extensive
                    consultation process leading to their acceptance by the
                    Australian Transport Council in January 1999, and enable
                    implementation of the Rules by all States and Territories from 1
                    December 1999.

NRTC Programs:      Implementation of Reforms.

Key Milestones:     Approval of the Australian Road Rules by the Australian
                    Transport Council in January 1999. Consideration of
                    amendments to the Rules by representatives of all jurisdictions,
                    meeting as the Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group
                    during March to September 1999 and Parliamentary Counsel of
                    each State and Territory.

Abstract:           Amendments are required to clarify the intent of particular
                    provisions in the Australian Road Rules; to incorporate
                    corrections and rectify omissions largely of a minor nature; to
                    enable the finalisation and subsequent publication of the
                    amended Australian Road Rules, so that States and Territories
                    can proceed without delay to their implementation on 1
                    December 1999; and to ensure that the Australian Road Rules,
                    when implemented, make the maximum contribution to road
                    safety and the efficient movement of traffic on Australia‟s
                    roads.

Purpose:            For information.

Key Words:          Drivers, road rules, road signs, give way rules, traffic signals,
                    turning at intersections, T-junctions, parking, bicycle lanes, bus
                    lanes, tram lanes.
                                 FOREWORD

A major responsibility of the National Road Transport Commission is to develop and
implement national road transport reforms which promote the safety and efficiency of
road transport in Australia.

The Australian Road Rules were approved by State and Territory Roads and
Transport Ministers in January 1999. They are a significant contribution to meeting
the requirements for nationally uniform or consistent road transport reform.

All States and Territories are seeking to implement the Rules from 1 December 1999.
In order for this goal to be achieved, a number of amendments identified by the
Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group need to be made to clearly reflect agreed
policies and principles - enabling the publication of the updated Rules which
jurisdictions may adopt by reference, or incorporation in their own legislation.
                                     TABLE OF CONTENTS




1. DESCRIPTION ..................................................................................................... 1

2. OBJECTIVES AND NECESSITY ...................................................................... 1

3. IDENTIFICATION OF ALTERNATIVES........................................................ 1

4. CONSULTATION ................................................................................................ 2

5. IMPACT ANALYSIS ........................................................................................... 2

6. SUMMARY JUSTIFICATION ......................................................................... 11

7. IMPLEMENTATION ......................................................................................... 11
1.      DESCRIPTION

This Regulatory Impact Statement assesses the impact of introducing the Australian
Road Rules Amendment Regulations 1999 (No. 2). The amendments, largely to
achieve improved clarity, the rectification of minor omissions and the removal of
ambiguity, have been formulated on the basis of consensus by State and Territory
representatives.


2.      OBJECTIVES AND NECESSITY

The adoption of a set of uniform or consistent Australian Road Rules is a significant
achievement. When Ministers gave their approval in January 1999, they also agreed to
a strategy to keep the Rules up to date. All jurisdictions recognised that there will be a
continuing need to deal with amendments, to support the proper operation of the
Rules. Over time, these may comprise simple improvements, inclusion of new rules,
and exclusion or amendment of rules found to be inappropriate. In this instance,
amendments largely of a machinery nature are required to clearly express agreed
policies and principles.

The Australian Road Rules Amendment Regulations 1999 (No.2) are necessary for
the following reasons:

    To clarify the intent of particular provisions in the existing Australian Road Rules;

    To incorporate corrections and rectify omissions which are largely of a minor
     nature;

    To enable the finalisation and subsequent publication of the amended Australian
     Road Rules, so that States and Territories can proceed without delay to their
     scheduled national implementation on 1 December 1999;

    To ensure that the Australian Road Rules, when implemented, make the maximum
     possible contribution to road safety and the efficient movement of traffic on
     Australia‟s roads.


3.      IDENTIFICATION OF ALTERNATIVES

There is no practical alternative to making the amendments, as agreed by
representatives of State and Territory road and police authorities. Leaving the
Australian Road Rules in their present form is not an option. Although the changes
are relatively minor in nature, doing so would result in:

    Ambiguity in the meaning of some provisions, which defeats the purpose of
     developing a clear and comprehensive set of national road rules;

    Enforcement difficulties arising from lack of completeness or clarity of particular
     provisions;



                                                                                   Page 1
 Uncertainty arising from the potential for different interpretations of rules by the
  courts, which could be attributed to some existing lack of clarity;
 The likelihood of confusion if jurisdictions were forced to apply their own
   meanings and interpretations to those rules which needed clarification.


4.       CONSULTATION

Extensive consultation was undertaken prior to the development of the current
Australian Road Rules, particularly between States and Territory road and police
authorities. A draft of the Rules was widely circulated for public comment in 1995,
with 460 submissions received. Consultations have been held with motoring
organisations, local government and other interested parties. Similarly, the Office of
Legislative Drafting has consulted extensively with State and Territory Parliamentary
Counsel in the development of the current Rules.

Since the adoption of the Australian Road Rules, extensive consultations between
State and Territory representatives - meeting as the Australian Road Rules
Maintenance Group - have taken place. The changes proposed have been developed
in conjunction with road authorities, police, the Office of Legislative Drafting and
State and Territory Parliamentary Counsel, and are broadly agreed at officer level.


5.       IMPACT ANALYSIS

A Regulatory Impact Statement assessing the impact of the Australian Road Rules
was prepared in November 1998. It accompanied the Rules when being considered
by the Australian Transport Council, prior to the granting of Ministerial approval. An
appraisal of the estimated costs and benefits of their introduction and their impact in
different jurisdictions was included.

The Australian Road Rules are largely based on current State and Territory law.
Nevertheless, some changes to current practice had to be accepted by all governments.
The Rules will eliminate the vast majority of existing differences. A small number
provide for local variations. It is expected that over time these will be reduced as
practices in jurisdictions become more uniform. In the meantime, State and Territory
traffic regulations will continue to apply until the commencement of the Australian
Roads Rules from 1 December.

The proposed amendments are largely of a machinery nature and will help to clarify
the operation of a number of individual rules. Some require new or amended
diagrams to clearly illustrate their application. At this stage, the proposed
amendments have no direct impact on road users as such. However, they are seen as
essential by all jurisdictions to enable the implementation process to be met. This
includes the training and familiarisation of enforcement officers with the content of
the Rules, and the preparation of publicity material associated with their introduction.

Taken as a whole, the introduction of the Australian Road Rules will eliminate the
great majority of current differences between jurisdictions and make driving easier
and safer. The main benefits include:


Page 2
   More consistent traffic laws for all road users - with particular benefit for
    interstate travel, transport operators (currently interstate truck drivers have to
    know the laws of every state), people re-locating interstate and international
    tourists;

   Improved road safety by simplification of traffic laws, promoting safer behaviour
    and reducing confusion over what the laws are;

   Savings in time and reduction in the likelihood of fines for breaching laws in other
    jurisdictions;

   Reduction in the cost of administration such as the printing of road rules,
    information and education materials and answering queries from the travelling
    public;

   Making the law more accessible by bringing together numerous other pieces of
    legislation (eg transport, local government) into one source which is well-
    structured, clearly laid out and easier to understand. Clear diagrams are included
    for this purpose.

The principles of safety, traffic efficiency, consistency, accessibility and reduced
administration cost on which the Australian Road Rules are based have been taken
into account during consideration of the proposed amendments by the Australian
Road Rules Maintenance Group. Group members reflect many disciplines and
backgrounds including road and traffic engineering, the legal profession, psychology,
enforcement and management. No adverse impacts from adoption of the amendments
have been identified during extensive and detailed discussions by the Group
(members represent each state and territory, and the Office of Legislative Drafting).

The Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group was particularly mindful of the need
for clarity, consistency and completeness of the rules governing giving way. Their
clarification under the proposed amendments will ensure that safety and traffic
efficiency are re-enforced. For example, the amendments to Rule 67 (giving way
where the driver of an oncoming vehicle faces a stop sign) clarify a situation
previously left open. In a similar way, amendments to Subrules 45 (2) & (3)
(changing direction at T-intersections) clarify the position in relation to some
“anomalous” situations and enhance safety at these locations.

Given the nature of the proposed amendments, essentially to better express the intent
of already agreed policy, the likely impact on road users - whether drivers/riders or
pedestrians - is not great. Significantly, none of the amendments have been identified
by the Australian Road Rules Maintenance Group as creating a disadvantage to any
particular road user group. On the other hand, the advantages can be summarised as
follows:

   Clearer rules (with the inclusion of illustrative diagrams) will be easier for all road
    users to understand - resulting in the re-enforcement of the desired on-road
    behaviour by all road user groups;



                                                                                   Page 3
   Removal of ambiguities will result in savings in time and cost of administration
    by road and traffic authorities, and facilitate the enforcement and interpretation of
    traffic rules by police and courts.
Turning at B Lights:
Paragraph 28 (1) (b); Subrule 28 (1), note 1; Subrule 28 (1), after note 2;
Paragraph 32 (1) (b); Subrule 32 (1), note 1; Subrule 32 (1), after note 2; Part 17,
heading, note 1; Regulation 280.

These amendments are made for the purpose of clarification. They allow for a law of
a jurisdiction to apply the same rules for the use of bus lanes to the drivers of vehicles
other than public buses. If permitted to use a bus lane to which B lights apply, such
vehicles must obey the B lights in the bus lane.

Changing Direction at a T-intersection:
Paragraph 45 (2) (f); After paragraph 45 (2) (f); Paragraph 45 (3) (g); After
paragraph 45 (3) (g); Subrule 45 (3), after note 2.

These amendments clarify the need for change of direction signals to be given by the
driver of a vehicle going straight ahead at a T-intersection, in those cases where the
continuing road curves to the left or to the right. Two diagrams are included to
illustrate the application of subrule 45 (2).

Stopping at a Stop Here on Red Signal Sign:

Subrule 56 (1), example for subrule (1) (b).

The existing example for subrule 56 (1) (b) is to be modified by enlargement, and
better presentation of the arrows, to improve its legibility. There is no change in the
application of the rule.

Proceeding through a Red or Yellow Traffic Light or Arrow:

Rule 59, heading; Subrule 59 (1); After Subrule 59 (1) notes 1 and 2; Subrule 59
(2); Subrule 59 (3); After Subrule 59 (3) note 3; Rule 60, heading; Rule 60; After
Rule 60, note 1; Subrule 61 (2); After Subrule 61 (2), note; Subrule 61 (3);
Subrule 61 (4); After Subrule 61 (4) note; Subrule (5).

Most jurisdictions use red light cameras as an enforcement tool. If a driver runs a red
light, an offence has been committed and the driver can be charged. A photograph
taken by the camera provides evidence of the offence. Generally, jurisdictions have
only one offence of disobeying a traffic light (whereas the Australian Road Rules
separate out a number of obligations that apply to drivers at traffic lights). The issue
of the specific offence that applies when it is detected by a traffic camera, under the
current wording of the relevant Rules, has been identified by jurisdictions as requiring
clarification. To achieve this, amendments are proposed to Rules 59, 60 and 61. In
essence, the changes to these rules will set up an offence of entering an intersection on
a red light (Rule 59) and an offence of entering an intersection on a red arrow (Rule


Page 4
60). Rule 61 amendments provide for a consequential clarification of the obligations
on a driver while he is stopped but has not entered the intersection, when the traffic
lights or arrows change from green to yellow or red. These changes will remove the
uncertainty regarding the application of the Rules to red light camera offences.

Turning at an Intersection with Traffic Lights:
Paragraph 62 (b).

This amendment corrects an anomaly by adding a requirement to give way to
pedestrians on the road the driver is leaving, if the driver is turning left at a left turn
on red after stopping sign.

Rule 62, examples 1, 2 and 3.

The existing illustrations for Rule 62, examples 1, 2 and 3 are modified by
enlargement, and better presentation of the arrows, to improve their legibility. There
is no change in the application of the rule.

Giving Way:
Subrule 63 (3); Subrule 63 (3), note 2; Part 7, Division 1, heading; Subrule 67 (1),
note 1; Subrule 67 (3); After subrule 67 (4); Rule 67, example 2; After rule 67,
example 2; Subrule 69 (1), note 1; Subrule 69 (2); After subrule 69 (3); Rule 69,
example 2; Rule 69, example 3; Part 7, Division 2, heading; Subrule 72 (1),
except notes 1 and 2; Subrule 72 (2); Paragraph 72 (3) (a); Subrule 72 (4),
example 5; Paragraphs 72 (5) (a) and (b); Subrule 73 (1), except notes 1, 2 and 3;
After subrule 73 (6); Rule 73, example 5, except the end note; Subrule 74 (1);
Paragraph 74 (1) (c); Subrule 75 (1).

These amendments cover the application of give way rules. Their purpose is to ensure
that the Australian Road Rules incorporate the appropriate wording to express the
agreed policy on giving way requirements. The intent of the amendments is to:

   Rectify an ambiguity by providing that the designated signs and lines apply to a
    driver;
   Clarify the application of the give way to the right rule where the other oncoming
    driver is facing a stop sign/line or give way sign/line;
   Clarify driver obligations at a modified T-intersection, in relation to the
    terminating or continuing road;
   Clarify give way rules in some specific or unusual circumstances.

The main changes are summarised below:

       Part 7, Division 1, heading.
       Inclusion of a note which states that a reference to a traffic sign or road
       marking in Part 7, Division 1 applies to the driver.

       Subrule 67 (1), note 1.


                                                                                   Page 5
         Inclusion of a note which states that the rule also applies at T-intersections.


         Subrule 67 (3).
         Clarification of the application of the rule in terms of vehicles to which the
         driver must give way.

         After subrule 67 (4).
         Clarification of the application of the rule at a T-intersection.

         Rule 67, example 2; After rule 67, example 2.
         Substitution of illustrations to show more clearly the application of the rule,
         comprising a re-adjusted example 2 and new examples 3 and 4.

         Subrule 69 (1), note 1.
         Inclusion of a note which states that the rule also applies at T-intersections.

         Subrule 69 (2).
         Clarification of the application of the rule in terms of vehicles to which the
         driver must give way.

         After subrule 69 (3).
         Clarification of the application of the rule at a T-intersection.

         Rule 69, example 2; Rule 69, example 3.
         Substitution of illustrations to show more clearly the application of the rule,
         comprising a re-adjusted example 2, re-numbered example 3 (changed to
         number 5), and new examples 3 and 4.

         Part 7, Division 2, heading.
         Inclusion of a note which states that a reference to a traffic sign or road
         marking in Part 7, Division 2 applies to the driver.

         Subrule 72 (2).
         Clarification of the application of the rule to a driver going straight ahead, at
         intersections without traffic lights, stop signs and lines, and give way signs
         and lines.

         Paragraph 72 (3) (a).
         Clarification of the application of the rule to a driver turning left, at
         intersections without traffic lights, stop signs and lines, and give way signs
         and lines.

         Subrule 72 (4), example 5.
         Substitution of an illustration to show more clearly the application of the rule.

         Paragraphs 72 (5) (a) and (b).
         Clarification of the application of the rule to a driver turning right, at
         intersections without traffic lights, stop signs and lines, and give way signs
         and lines.


Page 6
       After subrule 73 (6).
       Inclusion of definitions to clarify the application of the rule to a driver turning
       left or right at a T-intersection, from a continuing road into a terminating road.


       Rule 73, example 5, except the end note.
       Substitution of an illustration to show more clearly the application of the rule.

       Paragraph 74 (1) (c).
       Clarification of the requirement to cover giving way to vehicles and
       pedestrians, where the driver comes from private land, ensuring that the driver
       gives way before or at the time of crossing a road related area.

Tram Lanes:
Subrule 76 (1); Subrule 76 (2); Paragraph 155 (3) (a); Subrule 155 (3), note;
Subrule 155 (3), example.

These amendments clarify the definition of a tram lane, and provide a substitute
illustration for the amended definition, in relation to a driver moving into the path of
an approaching tram. The amended definition provides for a continuous yellow line
along the left side of the tram tracks, replacing a reference to a line on both sides.

Stopping at a Pedestrian Crossing:
Rule 82, example.

The current illustration of a driver not being permitted to pass or overtake a vehicle
that has stopped to give way to a pedestrian at a pedestrian crossing is misleading. It
is amended by the removal of the arrow in front of vehicle B.

Entering a Roundabout from a Multi-lane Road:

After subrule 111 (6), before examples 4 and 5.

The current rule does not fully express the intent of the requirements as they apply to
a bicycle rider travelling through a roundabout. The amendment provides an
exemption for the rider of a bicycle (or animal), from complying with subrule (5)
which requires a driver to travel in the direction indicated by lane arrows before
entering the roundabout. This amendment is consistent with the current exemption as
provided by subrule (6).




                                                                                  Page 7
Bicycle Lanes:

Subrule 153 (2); Paragraph 158 (3) (b).

These amendments permit stopping or parking in a bicycle lane if a law of a
jurisdiction allows, and provide for a defence against driving in a bicycle lane if the
driver is permitted to stop in the lane by a law of a jurisdiction.


Subrule 153 (3); After paragraph 158 (3) (b).

The current rule does not restrict the distance over which a driver of a public bus or
minibus, or taxi, may drive in a bicycle lane when dropping off or picking up
passengers. The amendment provides that a limit of 50 metres be specified, and
consequential amendments.

Safety Zone:
Paragraph 162 (2) (a).

The current rule enables the non-restricted use of a safety zone sign to designate a
safety zone on a road. The amendment provides for the use of safety zone signs at or
near tram stops only.

Stopping Near a Children’s Crossing:
Subrule 171 (1).

The current rule does not permit a driver to stop on the road for a distance of 20
metres before and 10 metres after a children‟s crossing. It is considered necessary to
permit jurisdictions to over-ride this restriction by signage, in light of the design
features of some children‟s crossings (for example, in Victoria some children‟s
crossings jut out, allowing indented parking at a closer point if signed).

Stopping in a Bicycle Lane:
Rule 187.

This amendment extends to a bicycle lane the stopping provisions that apply in the
case of a bus lane, transit lane or truck lane, allowing parking in bicycle lanes - where
this is permitted by law in individual jurisdictions.

Stopping in a tram lane or on tram tracks (except by the driver of a tram or a public
bus) is made an offence.




Page 8
Double Parking:
Rule 189.

The purpose of this amendment is to clarify the intent of the double parking rule, with
the inclusion of appropriate wording and two illustrations by way of example, to
ensure its proper interpretation.

Obstructing Access:

Subrule 198 (2), note; Subrule 350 (3); Before subrule 350 (4).

This amendment clarifies the existing provision in relation to the blockage of a
driveway or other access, by specifying that no part of the vehicle may be on or across
the driveway or access, and consequential changes arising from this amendment.

Parking for People with Disabilities:
Subrule 206 (2); Subrule 206 (2), at the foot.

This amendment clarifies that the driver of a vehicle which has a parking permit for
people with disabilities may park for twice as long or a longer period than indicated
by normal parking signs - however, the same provision does not apply in a parking
area for people with disabilities, where the appropriate times are specified.

Wheeled Recreational Devices and Toys on Roads:

Subrule 240(4).

Subrule 240(1) makes it an offence for wheeled recreational devices or toys (eg
skateboards) to be used on certain roads. It was not intended, however, for this to
apply as a blanket provision to road-related areas such as car parks or footpaths.
Jurisdictions can still declare roads on which wheeled recreational devices are not
permitted, but this would need to specify whether road-related areas are included or
not. The addition of the new Subrule 240(4) makes the necessary correction to
express the original intent of the rule.

Wearing of Bicycle Helmets:

Subrule 256 (3).

The existing rule requires the wearing of an approved helmet by the rider and
passenger of a bicycle (unless exempted) with the exclusion of a rider of a three-
wheeled bicycle who is carrying a paying passenger. This amendment extends the
exclusion to cover a four-wheeled bicycle.




                                                                                Page 9
Driving on a Nature Strip:
Paragraph 289 (1) (d)

The existing rule allows a driver of a vehicle, motorised wheelchair and a ride-on
lawnmower, as well as a rider of a bicycle or animal, to travel on a nature strip. The
purpose of the amendment is to allow a law of a jurisdiction to prohibit the riding of a
bicycle or animal on the nature strip, where this is deemed necessary (eg enabling
councils to ban horses on the nature strip).

Traffic Sign Compliance with the Rules:

Paragraph 316 (4) (i); After paragraph 316 (4) (i).

The existing rule specifies the conditions under which a traffic sign complies
substantially with the Australian Road Rules. The amendment ensures that a variation
in shade or brightness (eg due to fading) between a colour on the traffic sign, and its
equivalent in a diagram in the Rules, does not render the sign inoperable.

Parking Control Signs:

Paragraph 332 (1) (b) and (2) (b).

This amendment clarifies that a parking control sign that displays an arrow applies to
the length of road between the sign (in the direction indicated by the arrow) and a
yellow edge line on the road. The rule currently does not refer to the colour of the
edge line.

Schedule 3 - Other Permitted Traffic Signs:

Schedule 3, after end freeway sign (fourth occurring); Schedule 3, after freeway
sign (fifth occurring); Schedule 3, after road access sign (third occurring).

These amendments provide for the inclusion in Schedule 3 - Other Permitted Traffic
Signs - of blue and yellow tollway signs, and a new black and white road access sign,
which will be used on City Link tollway roads in Victoria, thereby enabling freeway
rules to apply;

Schedule 3, end shared zone sign (second occurring); Schedule 3, shared zone
sign (second occurring).

The existing illustration of the end shared zone sign is inaccurate through non-
inclusion of the words „shared zone‟ after „end‟. The amendment corrects this
anomaly.

Schedule 3, after left turn only sign.

This amendment provides for the inclusion in Schedule 3 of a sign omitted by
oversight from the Australian Road Rules.


Page 10
Schedule 3, tram lane sign (second occurring).

The amendment provides for the sign to be omitted.

Dictionary:
Dictionary, after the definition of bicycle.

This amendment provides for the inclusion of a new definition of a bicycle crossing
light.

Dictionary, definition of bicycle crossing lights.

This amendment clarifies the existing definition of bicycle crossing lights through an
appropriate change in wording.

Dictionary, after the definition of parking area.

This amendment provides for the inclusion of a reference to parking area for people
with disabilities as referred to under rule 203, but omitted by oversight from the
Australian Road Rules Dictionary.

6.     SUMMARY JUSTIFICATION

The proposed amendments are necessary to express fully, clearly and unambiguously
the intent of the provisions of the Australian Road Rules.

The adoption of the amendments will enable the finalisation and subsequent
publication of the Rules, so that States and Territories can proceed without delay to
their implementation on 1 December 1999.

It is important to ensure that the Australian Road Rules, when implemented, make the
maximum possible contribution to road safety and the efficient movement of traffic
on Australia‟s roads. This goal is compromised if the necessary changes to ensure
their clarity are not made.

7.     IMPLEMENTATION

If approved, the Australian Road Rules Amendment Regulations will be incorporated
in a finalised set of Australian Road Rules, and published as soon as possible.

The Rules are intended to be implemented by all States and Territories from 1
December. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have indicated that
they will adopt the Rules by reference as an external document. The remaining States
and Territories have advised that they will give effect to them primarily by rewriting
the Rules into their own legislation. In both cases, the implementation procedure
necessitates that the proposed changes be made.




                                                                              Page 11

								
To top