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Rules, Roads and Reality





You can witness double parking of vehicles with their drivers not having a care in the world. Less people would dare to park or stop in stipulated bus zones, especially in built up areas of capital cities, for the rights and power of bus drivers are never to be under estimated. Interesting enough, the above behaviours do not attract driver demerit zones in New South Wales, unless they are committed within a school operating zone.

What attracts the most number of driver penalty points in NSW?  Nine points that is, for driving a vehicle with no one wearing seat belts, with two or more unrestrained passengers aboard. 

If you drive in the dark without a head light, it is amazing you are penalised for one point. This compares the risks of creating carnage and damage on the roads.  A failure to dip headlights also costs only a single driver demerit point.

Driving on the wrong side of a dividing line only involves three demerit points.  Crossing a continous line separating marked lanes incurs two points, just as failure to give proper signal when drawing out from the side of road.  These call for a review to increase the demerit points.

There is an interesting situation for a driver to be fined three penalty points - driving with part of body outside the vehicle.  Where do we stand with doggie pets jutting out their paws, head or tongue to enjoy the passing breeze?

In some foreign countries, it is easy to observe drivers make illegal U turns - if caught, such driver action costs only 2 demerit points and 3 in a school operating zone.

The following have shown increased incidence on NSW roads:

a) Use of mobile phone when not permitted - 4 points
b) Turn or stop without signalling - 2 points
c) Drive behind other vehicle too closely to stop safely - 3 points
d) Increase speed while being overtaken - 3 points
e) Drive in right hand lane when speed limit is over 80 km per hour.

All these rules have a purpose but sadly are often breached due to lack of resources in monitoring.    Driver behaviour is often an outcome of other issues in society - personal stress, reduced ethics, over crowding, depersonalisation, individualism and more.

Three points penalty are imposed for episodes of burnout, having someone alive but travelling in your car boot and starting or driving a vehicle with unnecessary noise or smoke.   I  do not like the use of subjective phrases like unnecessary - but I reckon that was necessary to cover the range of vehicles and scenarios, countryside or urban.

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