Unsuspecting Sydney road users face being slapped with hefty penalties for driving in new light rail safety areas.
Penalties include fines of $344 and three demerit points for disrupting the new light rail system and putting pedestrians and other motorists in danger.
Motorists who drive on yellow marked tram safety zones near tram stops, overtake turning trams, or don’t give way to pedestrians near stopped trams will cop $191 fines and lose two demerit points.
The new light rail system in Sydney is bringing challenges for motorists who are facing hefty fines for misconduct around trams
Speed limits have been lowered to as low as 20km/h in areas along the light rail route
Drivers who block trams, don’t give way, drive into the path of oncoming trams, or drive through dividing strip breaks will face $344 fines and three demerit points.
Light rail areas also have new lowered speed limits, with motorists being urged to study roadways with an increased pedestrian presence around trams.
Speed limits have been lowered to 40km/h from Circular Quay through Bridge Street, before dropping to just 20km/h from Wynyard past the QVB to Town Hall.
From Town Hall through Chinatown and Haymarket the speed limit is 40km/h before dropping to 20km/h at Central Station.
Motorists can drive at 40km/h from Central through Surry Hills to Moore Park where they can legally reach 60km/h heading south to Royal Randwick.
Drivers are being urged to study roadways around the light rail as there have been many changes including speed limits and yellow marked tram safety zones
Pedestrians are also suspect to fines, with more than 160 people already copping $76 fines for crossing light rail tracks unsafely, by walking in or along tram tracks without being more than 20 metres from the nearest set of traffic lights.
Safety tips for drivers
With the first leg of the Sydney light rail slated to open in December, drivers are reminded of a few road rules to follow to ensure their safety:
1) Do not drive along the tram tracks
2) Don’t queue across the intersections
3) Follow traffic signals and don’t turn in front of a tram
4) Don’t stop or park on a tram lane
Source: Sydney Light Rail
Coordinator General of Transport for NSW Marg Prendergast said pedestrians must always be alert around trams.
‘Our main concern around pedestrian safety is the issue of distraction, particularly from mobile phones,’ Transport for NSW co-ordinator general Marg Prendergas said.
‘People need to have their heads up, unplugged from headphones so they can hear their surroundings, and looking left and right before crossing. Trams can be quiet and aren’t able to swerve to avoid obstacles, so pedestrians need to be alert and aware.’
The warning comes after a cyclist died when attempting to cross tracks after watching an NRL match.
Motorists who block trams, don’t give way or drive into the path of oncoming trams will cop $344 fines and three demerit points
Earlier this year, 51-year-old Danny Egan’s wheel is believed to have gotten stuck when he was riding across the light rail in Newcastle, causing him to fall off his bike and hit his head.
He was taken to John Hunter Hospital where he later died.
Ms Prendergast said Transport NSW have put out material to encourage safety in connection to the light rail.
NSW road rules dictate a pedestrian must not cross a road to get on a tram until it has completely stopped.
Pedestrians in Sydney are copping $76 fines for walking in or along tram tracks in an attempt to cross them without being more than 20 metres from the nearest traffic lights (stock)