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ROAD SAFETY ROAD RULES 2017 - NOTES

Version No. 016

S.R. No. 41/2017
Version incorporating amendments as at
2 December 2021

Rule Page

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Version No. 016

Road Safety Road Rules 2017

S.R. No. 41/2017

Version incorporating amendments as at
2 December 2021

Endnotes

    1     General information

See www.legislation.vic.gov.au for Victorian Bills, Acts and current Versions of legislation and up-to-date legislative information.

The Road Safety Road Rules 2017, S.R. No. 41/2017 were made on 6 June 2017 by the Governor in Council under section 95D of the Road Safety Act 1986, No. 127/1986 and came into operation on 1 July 2017: rule 2.

The Road Safety Road Rules 2017 will sunset 10 years after the day of making on 6 June 2027 (see section 5 of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1994).

INTERPRETATION OF LEGISLATION ACT 1984 (ILA)

Style changes

Section 54A of the ILA authorises the making of the style changes set out in Schedule 1 to that Act.

References to ILA s. 39B

Sidenotes which cite ILA s. 39B refer to section 39B of the ILA which provides that where an undivided regulation, rule or clause of a Schedule is amended by the insertion of one or more subregulations, subrules or subclauses the original regulation, rule or clause becomes subregulation, subrule or subclause (1) and is amended by the insertion of the expression "(1)" at the beginning of the original regulation, rule or clause.

Interpretation

As from 1 January 2001, amendments to section 36 of the ILA have the following effects:

•     Headings

All headings included in a Statutory Rule which is made on or after
1 January 2001 form part of that Statutory Rule. Any heading inserted in a Statutory Rule which was made before 1 January 2001, by a Statutory Rule made on or after 1 January 2001, forms part of that Statutory Rule.
This includes headings to Parts, Divisions or Subdivisions in a Schedule; Orders; Parts into which an Order is divided; clauses; regulations; rules; items; tables; columns; examples; diagrams; notes or forms.
See section 36(1A)(2A)(2B).

•     Examples, diagrams or notes

All examples, diagrams or notes included in a Statutory Rule which is made on or after 1 January 2001 form part of that Statutory Rule. Any examples, diagrams or notes inserted in a Statutory Rule which was made before 1 January 2001, by a Statutory Rule made on or after 1 January 2001, form part of that Statutory Rule. See section 36(3A).

•     Punctuation

All punctuation included in a Statutory Rule which is made on or after
1 January 2001 forms part of that Statutory Rule. Any punctuation inserted in a Statutory Rule which was made before 1 January 2001, by a Statutory Rule made on or after 1 January 2001, forms part of that Statutory Rule.
See section 36(3B).

•     Provision numbers

All provision numbers included in a Statutory Rule form part of that Statutory Rule, whether inserted in the Statutory Rule before, on or after
1 January 2001. Provision numbers include regulation numbers, rule numbers, subregulation numbers, subrule numbers, paragraphs and subparagraphs. See section 36(3C).

•     Location of "legislative items"

A "legislative item" is a penalty, an example or a note. As from 13 October 2004, a legislative item relating to a provision of a Statutory Rule is taken to be at the foot of that provision even if it is preceded or followed by another legislative item that relates to that provision. For example, if a penalty at the foot of a provision is followed by a note, both of these legislative items will be regarded as being at the foot of that provision. See section 36B.

•     Other material

Any explanatory memorandum, table of provisions, endnotes, index and other material printed after the Endnotes does not form part of a Statutory Rule. See section 36(3)(3D)(3E).

    2     Table of Amendments

This publication incorporates amendments made to the Road Safety Road Rules 2017 by statutory rules, subordinate instruments and Acts.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment Rules 2018, S.R. No. 6/2018

Date of Making:

30.1.18

Date of Commencement:

30.1.18

Road Safety Road Rules Further Amendment Rules 2018, S.R. No. 87/2018

Date of Making:

26.6.18

Date of Commencement:

26.6.18

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment (Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry) Rules 2018, S.R. No. 88/2018

Date of Making:

26.6.18

Date of Commencement:

Rules 7, 9, 10 on 2.7.18: rule 3(1); rules 5, 6, 8 on 1.9.18: rule 3(2)

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment Rules 2019, S.R. No. 96/2019

Date of Making:

15.10.19

Date of Commencement:

15.10.19

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment (Speed-Limit Sign) Rules 2019, S.R. No. 121/2019

Date of Making:

26.11.19

Date of Commencement:

26.11.19

Road Safety Road Rules Further Amendment Rules 2019, S.R. No. 153/2019

Date of Making:

17.12.19

Date of Commencement:

1.1.20: rule 3

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment Rules 2020, S.R. No. 121/2020

Date of Making:

4.11.20

Date of Commencement:

Rules 516 on 4.11.20: rule 3(1); rules 1728 on 1.12.20: rule 3(2)

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment Rules 2021, S.R. No. 35/2021

Date of Making:

20.4.21

Date of Commencement:

26.4.21: rule 3

Road Safety Road Rules Further Amendment Rules 2021, S.R. No. 111/2021

Date of Making:

31.8.21

Date of Commencement:

Rules 611, 17 on 31.8.21: rule 3(1); rules 1216 on 6.9.21: rule 3(2); rule 5 on 23.9.21: rule 3(3)

Road Safety Road Rules Amendment (Electric Scooter Trial) Rules 2021, S.R. No. 135/2021

Date of Making:

9.11.21

Date of Commencement:

15.11.21: rule 3

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    3     Amendments Not in Operation

This version does not contain amendments that are not yet in operation.

    4     Explanatory details

1 Rule 215(4): S.R. No. 118/2009. Reprint No. 2 as at 30 January 2015. Reprinted to S.R. No. 201/2014. Subsequently amended by
S.R. Nos 79/2015, 118/2015, 159/2015, 50/2016 and 93/2016.

2 Rule 216(3) def. of dangerous goods: S.R. No. 155/2018.

3 Rule 221(f): S.R. No. 102/2020.

4 Rule 234(3)(c): S.R. No. 93/2019.

5 Rule 408(1): S.R. No. 94/2009. Reprint No. 1 as at 1 August 2013. Reprinted to S.R. No. 88/2013. Subsequently amended by
S.R. Nos 134/2013, 151/2013, 68/2014, 132/2014, 146/2014, 86/2015, 120/2015, 125/2015 and 98/2016.

——

Penalty Units

These Rules provide for penalties by reference to penalty units within the meaning of section 110 of the Sentencing Act 1991. The amount of the penalty is to be calculated, in accordance with section 7 of the Monetary Units Act 2004, by multiplying the number of penalty units applicable by the value of a penalty unit.

The value of a penalty unit for the financial year commencing 1 July 2021 is $181.74.

The amount of the calculated penalty may be rounded to the nearest dollar.

The value of a penalty unit for future financial years is to be fixed by the Treasurer under section 5 of the Monetary Units Act 2004. The value of a penalty unit for a financial year must be published in the Government Gazette and a Victorian newspaper before 1 June in the preceding financial year.

——


Table of Applied, Adopted or Incorporated Matter

The following table of applied, adopted or incorporated matter was included in S.R. No. 87/2018 in accordance with the requirements of regulation 5 of the Subordinate Legislation Regulations 2014.

Statutory rule provision

Title of applied, adopted or incorporated document

Matter in applied, adopted or incorporated document

Rule 17(a) definition of
AS 1698 in
the dictionary

Australian Standard 'Protective Helmets for Vehicle Users' AS 1698—1988, published 9 May 1988 by Standards Australia

The whole

Rule 17(a) definition of
AS/NZS 1698 in the dictionary

Australian/New Zealand Standard 'Protective helmets for vehicle users', AS/NZS 1698:2006, published 20 February 2006 by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand

The whole

Rule 17(a) definition of
UN 22 in the dictionary

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation No. 22, 'Uniform Provisions Concerning the Approval of Protective Helmets and their Visors for Drivers and Passengers of Motor Cycles and Mopeds', E/ECE/324 Rev. 4 published 24 September 2002 by the United Nations

The whole

Reader's Guide amended by S.R. No. 135/2021 rule 100.

Reader's Guide

Aim of the Guide

The aim of this Guide is to help you to understand the Road Safety Road Rules 2017 (the Road Rules) and the way they apply to different kinds of roads, vehicles and road users. The Guide also gives information on the structure of the Road Rules.

As a matter of law, the Guide is not part of the Road Rules.

The Road Rules

The Road Rules provide rules to be followed by all road users.

They are part of a national scheme to provide uniform road laws throughout Australia.

How to use the Road Rules

    1     Contents and dictionary

The contents at the beginning of the Road Rules will help you to find particular rules or groups of rules that you may be interested in. They may also be helpful in giving you an overview of the structure of the Road Rules.

The dictionary at the end of the Road Rules defines words and expressions that have special meanings in the Road Rules. It includes words and expressions that are defined elsewhere in the Road Rules.

    2     Application of the Road Rules and some key concepts

The application of the Road Rules and some key concepts are explained in Part 2 of the Road Rules. You will need to understand Part 2 to apply the Road Rules properly.


Roads and road related areas

The Road Rules apply to vehicles, animals and persons on roads and "road related areas". "Road related areas" are areas like footpaths, nature strips and parking areas. The Road Rules generally apply to road related areas in the same way as they apply to roads.

In the Road Rules, a reference to a "road" generally includes road related areas. If a particular rule does not apply to road related areas, or applies only to road related areas, this will be stated in the rule.

Drivers and riders

The Road Rules are generally expressed to apply to drivers of vehicles, since they are the largest category of road users. A driver is the person driving or otherwise in control of a vehicle. For example, a person steering and pushing a stalled motor vehicle would be in control of the vehicle and be the "driver".

Persons riding, or otherwise in control of, motor bikes or animal-drawn vehicles, or riding bicycles, electric scooters or animals, are called "riders", rather than drivers. The Road Rules generally apply to them in the same way as they apply to drivers.

In the Road Rules, a reference to a "driver" generally includes a rider. If a particular rule does not apply to riders, or applies only to particular kinds of riders, this is stated in the rule.

The definition of a "vehicle" (also in Part 2) is very broad and is not exhaustive. It includes, for example, motorised wheelchairs that can travel over 10 kilometres per hour. However, it does not include trains. The driving of trains is not covered by the Road Rules. A reference in the Road Rules to a vehicle does not include wheeled recreational devices or wheeled toys. Riders of wheeled recreational devices and wheeled toys are treated as pedestrians.


Although most of the Road Rules apply to vehicles of all kinds and to both drivers and riders, there are some rules that apply only to particular drivers or riders. For example, the rules in Part 15 apply only to riders of bicycles and electric scooters, and the rules in Part 17 apply only to the drivers of trams and public buses.

Pedestrians

It is not appropriate to apply the Road Rules to persons in control of some kinds of vehicles as if they were drivers of conventional motor vehicles. For this reason, some persons who might otherwise come within the definition of "driver" are treated as pedestrians. For example, a person pushing a motorised wheelchair is treated as a pedestrian.

The rules that apply to pedestrians are in Part 14.

    3     Diagrams of traffic signs

Diagrams of all traffic signs mentioned in the Road Rules are shown in alphabetical order in Schedules 2 and 3 at the end of the Road Rules. The traffic signs in Schedule 2 are those in the relevant Australian Standard (AS 1742) as well as some existing non-standard signs in common use that will continue to be used and some new signs. The traffic signs in Schedule 3 are either alternative versions of the signs in Schedule 2 (which are being phased out) or signs that are Victoria specific.

Diagrams of signs have also been included after particular rules to help you identify the signs when reading the Road Rules.

A number of traffic signs have 2 or more permitted versions. Notes to the diagrams of signs included in particular rules will tell you if there are other permitted versions of the signs or if the signs can have other permitted features. For example, there is more than one permitted version of a speed-limit sign. Also, a speed-limit sign can have a different number. Notes to the diagram of the sign in Part 3 will tell you about these things.

Diagrams (including diagrams that are examples) are part of the Road Rules.

    4     Notes and examples

Notes are used throughout the Road Rules. They may tell you that certain terms are defined (and where they are defined), draw your attention to other relevant rules, or help in other ways. The notes are not part of the Road Rules.

Examples are also given throughout the Road Rules, sometimes by explanation and sometimes by diagrams. They are not exhaustive. Examples are part of the Road Rules.

    5     Structure and language

The following points may assist you in reading and understanding the Road Rules.

Arrangement of rules

Rules have been grouped in Parts and Divisions so that rules on the same subject are, as far as possible, together. However, some kinds of rules are relevant in many different situations. For example, in addition to the general give way rules in Part 7, giving way at traffic lights is dealt with in Part 6 (which deals with traffic lights) and giving way at roundabouts is dealt with in Part 9 (which deals with roundabouts). This arrangement gives drivers a more complete picture of their obligations at traffic lights and roundabouts.

Notes at the beginning of a Part, or with an application provision, will tell you where other rules on the subject can be found.


Structure of rules

The Road Rules often deal with complex situations. For this reason the more complex rules set out, in order—

        the rule (that is what must, or must not, be done in the situation covered by the rule);

        the exceptions to the rule;

        any other information needed for the application of the rule (for example, particular definitions).

This enables the reader to see the rule set out in the simplest and clearest way.

Exemptions

In addition to exemptions that may be set out in a rule, there are a number of general exemptions. Trams, for example, are exempted from the operation of a number of Parts in the Road Rules because they run on fixed tracks. The list of exceptions for trams is in Part 19 (Exemptions). Also, in Part 19 there are, for example, a number of general exemptions for police and emergency vehicles and for other vehicles and drivers in particular situations.

Definitions included in a rule

Most definitions of words and expressions are given in the dictionary. However, some terms are defined in the text of a rule. This is generally done where the word or expression is used only in that rule and nowhere else in the Road Rules. In addition, some definitions, particularly of areas or lengths of road that are established by traffic signs or road markings, are complex or need diagrams to be fully understood. They are placed with the basic rule that deals with the area or length of road, so that the rule and the definition (with any accompanying diagrams) can be seen and understood together. For example, see the definitions of "bicycle path" and "separated footpath" in rule 239. This also means there is no need for diagrams of the signs to appear in the dictionary as well as at the end of the rule and in the Schedules. The definitions are, however, signposted in the dictionary at the end of the Road Rules. Notes are also included in relevant rules drawing attention to these definitions.

Use of the terms "vehicle" and "road" in a rule

Because of the way "driver" is defined, it is generally not necessary to say "the driver of a vehicle" or mention the driver's vehicle in a rule.

In the same way, because the Road Rules apply only to roads and road related areas, it is not generally necessary to say in a rule that something must, or must not, be done "on a road", except where the kind of road, or the place on a road, is relevant to the rule or it is necessary to exclude road related areas.

Use of the terms "bus" and "public bus"

If a rule is directed to the driver of a public bus, the term "public bus" is used in the rule, and the rule applies only to public buses. For examples, see Part 17 (Additional rules for drivers of trams and public buses). However, if a rule directs a driver of any vehicle to take or not take some action in relation to a bus, the term "bus" is used and the rule applies to buses of all kinds. This is because, although the rule is primarily intended to apply to public buses, a public bus may not be marked in a way that makes it distinguishable from a non-public bus, and it is preferable from the point of view of road safety that the driver treat any bus as a public bus. For examples see Part 11, Division 7 (Passing trams and safety zones). There are also some rules that refer specifically to the drivers of all buses.

Use of the term "does not apply" in relation to a rule

A rule may say that it does not apply to a driver of a particular kind, or in a particular situation. This does not mean, however, that another rule will not apply to the driver in the same situation. An example is rule 95 (Emergency stopping lane only signs). A bicycle rider does not commit an offence under rule 95 by riding in an emergency stopping lane, because the rule expressly states that it does not apply to bicycle riders. However, the rider may still commit an offence by riding in the emergency stopping lane if a no bicycles sign applies to the lane (see rule 252 (No bicycles signs and markings)).

Use of present tense for some actions

The Road Rules may say that a driver "is turning" at an intersection. The use of the present tense is intended to cover both the present and future aspects of the present tense. That is, it refers to a driver who is preparing to make the turn as well as a driver who is in the course of making the turn. The context will make this clear in the rule.

Obligation to "give way"

There are a number of rules requiring a driver to give way to another driver or a pedestrian. However, under the Road Rules the other driver or pedestrian does not have a "right" of way. Indeed, in some situations, a number of drivers may be required to give way to each other, e.g. at an intersection with a stop sign or give way sign on more than one of the intersecting roads. Similarly, although a driver may be required to give way to a pedestrian, the pedestrian is required under rule 236(1) not to cause a traffic hazard by moving into the driver's path.

Other aids to using and understanding the Road Rules

Part 20 of the Road Rules explains how traffic signs, traffic signals, road markings and other traffic control devices on roads must comply with the Road Rules to be legally effective. The Part also explains the way traffic control devices apply to lengths of road and areas, and also to drivers and other road users. Traffic signs and signals generally apply to a person if they face the person, but there are exceptions.

Part 21 of the Road Rules contains a number of provisions to put certain legal issues beyond doubt. They enable the language and concepts in the Road Rules to be expressed more simply.

Other road laws

The Road Rules do not provide all the rules to be followed by road users. Other rules applying to road users are to be found in other laws. For example, other laws deal with drink-driving. Some of these other rules are indicated by notes in the Road Rules.

Penalties and penalty units

The penalty set out at the foot of a Road Rule specifies the maximum fine that a court can impose on a person who is convicted of an offence against that Rule. Fines are set in penalty units. The dollar amount of penalty units is fixed annually under the Monetary Units Act 2004. A penalty fixed by Road Rules can be converted to a dollar amount by multiplying the current value of a penalty unit by the number of units specified in the penalty provision, then rounding to the nearest dollar.

Parking and traffic infringements

Parking infringement notices and traffic infringement notices may be issued instead of court fines for some offences. These are listed in Schedules 6 and 7 to the Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019.

Demerit points

The Corporation keeps a Demerits Register under section 35 of the Road Safety Act 1986. The driver licence or permit of a person may be suspended in accordance with that Act if too many demerit points are incurred within a given period.

The Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2019 prescribe the circumstances in which demerit points are incurred and the number of points to be incurred.



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