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Easter and the roads.

When it comes to public holidays, they’re much more visible when it comes to a police presence and news of fatal accidents. Yet there’s no real reason as to why these should be, as there are no real reasons why people should die on the roads. At the time of writing there’s been close to ten lives lost, large single vehicle and single person crashes. Yet, on a 600 kilometre round trip to north on Newcastle, NSW, covering Good Friday and Saturday, the amount of truly and utterly pathetic, dangerous driving I witnessed begs the question of why weren’t there more crashes? This includes a woman in her white LandRover Discover 4, travelling at 150 km/h, tail gating and failing to indicate in packed traffic. There was the young lass in her bright mauve Toyota Yaris with the words “Hahaha you just been passed by a girl” proudly stickered to the back window….except she was doing 90 in a 110 kmh zone, sitting in the right lane with two kilometres of traffic behind her and having angry drivers pass her on her left…

Police presence? Yes, plenty sitting in their usual spots and certainly not helping traffic flow at the twin servos on the M1, forcing speeds down to 40 kmh or so, whilst plenty of other drivers continued to fail to adhere to the basics of driving. State and federal roads ministers continually bleat about road safety, yet wonder why there’s increased public backlash when more and more speed cameras are rolled out. Driver safety and education groups shake their heads in disbelief yet more and more drivers get away with such as: failing to indicate, running amber and red lights, not giving sufficient lighting to a vehicle. Here’s the wording about indicating straight from the NSW Government Legislation website:

Division 1 Change of direction signals

44   Division does not apply to entering or leaving a roundabout

This Division does not apply to a driver entering, in or leaving a roundabout.

Note. Part 9 deals with giving change of direction signals when entering or leaving a roundabout.

45   What is changing direction

(1)  A driver changes direction if the driver changes direction to the left or the driver changes direction to the right.

(2)  A driver changes direction to the left by doing any of the following:

(a)  turning left,

(b)  changing marked lanes to the left,

(c)  diverging to the left,

(d)  entering a marked lane, or a line of traffic, to the left,

(e)  moving to the left from a stationary position,

(f)  turning left into a marked lane, or a line of traffic, from a median strip parking area,

(g)  at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the right—leaving the continuing road to proceed straight ahead onto the terminating road.

Note 1. Marked lane and median strip parking area are defined in the Dictionary.

Note 2. For the meaning of left, see rule 351 (1).

(3)  A driver changes direction to the right by doing any of the following:

(a)  turning right,

(b)  changing marked lanes to the right,

(c)  diverging to the right,

(d)  entering a marked lane, or a line of traffic, to the right,

(e)  moving to the right from a stationary position,

(f)  turning right into a marked lane, or a line of traffic, from a median strip parking area,

(g)  making a U-turn,

(h)  at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the left—leaving the continuing road to proceed straight ahead onto the terminating road.

Note 1. U-turn is defined in the Dictionary.

Note 2. For the meaning of right, see rule 351 (2).

Examples for subrules (2) (g) and (3) (h).

Example 1

Driver indicating change of direction at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the right and the driver is proceeding straight ahead onto the terminating road

Example 2

Driver indicating change of direction at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves to the left and the driver is proceeding straight ahead onto the terminating road

46   Giving a left change of direction signal

(1)  Before a driver changes direction to the left, the driver must give a left change of direction signal in accordance with rule 47 for long enough to comply with subrule (2) and, if subrule (3) applies to the driver, that subrule.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

Note. Changes direction to the left is defined in rule 45 (2).

(2)  The driver must give the change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians.

(3)  If the driver is about to change direction by moving from a stationary position at the side of the road or in a median strip parking area, the driver must give the change of direction signal for at least 5 seconds before the driver changes direction.

Note. Median strip parking area is defined in the Dictionary.

(4)  The driver must stop giving the change of direction signal as soon as the driver completes the change of direction.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

(5)  This rule does not apply to a driver if the driver’s vehicle is not fitted with direction indicator lights.

Note. Driver’s vehicle is defined in the Dictionary.

47   How to give a left change of direction signal

The driver of a vehicle must give a left change of direction signal by operating the vehicle’s left direction indicator lights.

48   Giving a right change of direction signal

(1)  Before a driver changes direction to the right, the driver must give a right change of direction signal in accordance with rule 49 for long enough to comply with subrule (2) and, if subrule (3) applies to the driver, that subrule.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

Note. Changes direction to the right is defined in rule 45 (3).

(2)  The driver must give the change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians.

(3)  If the driver is about to change direction by moving from a stationary position at the side of the road or in a median strip parking area, the driver must give the change of direction signal for at least 5 seconds before the driver changes direction.

Note. Median strip parking area is defined in the Dictionary.

(3A)  Subrule (3) does not apply to the rider of a bicycle that is stopped in traffic but not parked.

(4)  The driver must stop giving the change of direction signal as soon as the driver completes the change of direction.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

(5)  This rule does not apply to:

(a)  the driver of a tram that is not fitted with direction indicator lights, or

(b)  the rider of a bicycle making a hook turn.

Note 1. Bicycle and tram are defined in the Dictionary.

Note 2. Rules 34 and 35 deal with bicycles making hook turns.

49   How to give a right change of direction signal

(1)  The driver of a vehicle must give a right change of direction signal by operating the vehicle’s right direction indicator lights.

(2)  However, if the vehicle’s direction indicator lights are not in working order or are not clearly visible, or the vehicle is not fitted with direction indicator lights, the driver must give the change of direction signal by giving a hand signal in accordance with rule 50, or using a mechanical signalling device fitted to the vehicle.

Note. Mechanical signalling device is defined in the Dictionary.

50   How to give a right change of direction signal by giving a hand signal

To give a hand signal for changing direction to the right, the driver must extend the right arm and hand horizontally and at right angles from the right side of the vehicle, with the hand open and the palm facing the direction of travel.

Example.

Giving a hand signal for changing direction to the right

51   When use of direction indicator lights permitted

The driver of a vehicle must not operate a direction indicator light except:

(a)  to give a change of direction signal when the driver is required to give the signal under these Rules, or

(b)  as part of the vehicle’s hazard warning lights.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

And: 57   Stopping for a yellow traffic light or arrow

(1)  A driver approaching or at traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light must stop:

(a)  if there is a stop line at or near the traffic lights and the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the stop line, or

(b)  if there is no stop line at or near the traffic lights and the driver can stop safely before reaching the traffic lights—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the nearest or only traffic lights, or

(c)  if the traffic lights are at an intersection and the driver cannot stop safely in accordance with paragraph (a) or (b), but can stop safely before entering the intersection—before entering the intersection,

and must not proceed past the stop line or nearest or only traffic lights, or into the intersection (as the case may be), until the traffic lights show a green or flashing yellow traffic light or no traffic light.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

Note. Enter, intersection, stop line and yellow traffic light are defined in the Dictionary.

(2)  A driver approaching or at traffic arrows showing a yellow traffic arrow who is turning in the direction indicated by the arrow must stop:

(a)  if there is a stop line at or near the traffic arrows and the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the stop line, or

(b)  if there is no stop line at or near the traffic arrows and the driver can stop safely before reaching the traffic arrows—as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the nearest or only traffic arrows, or

(c)  if the traffic arrows are at an intersection and the driver cannot stop safely in accordance with paragraph (a) or (b), but can stop safely before entering the intersection—before entering the intersection,

and must not proceed past the stop line or nearest or only traffic arrows, or into the intersection (as the case may be), until the traffic arrows show a green or flashing yellow traffic arrow or no traffic arrow.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

Note. Enter, intersection, stop line and yellow traffic arrow are defined in the Dictionary.

(3)  If the traffic lights or traffic arrows (as the case may be) are at an intersection and the driver is not able to stop safely under subrule (1) or (2) (as the case may be) and enters the intersection, the driver must leave the intersection as soon as the driver can do so safely.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

Note 1. Intersection does not include a road related area—see the definition in the Dictionary.

Note 2. This rule applies to a driver turning left using a slip lane only if the yellow traffic light or yellow traffic arrow (as the case may be) applies to the slip lane—see Part 20, Divisions 2 and 3, especially rules 330 and 345.

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