The Territory Government, in line with other jurisdictions, is adopting four amendment packages of the Australia Road Rules that have been approved by the Transport and Infrastructure Council Coming into effect from Thursday 1 August 2019, these changes will improve road safety for all road users, and include:
- When travelling in a 60km/h or less speed zone, motorists will be required to leave a minimum one metre passing distance when overtaking a cyclist. When the speed limit is over 60km/h, motorists will be required to leave a passing distance of at least one and a half metres.
- Cyclists will be allowed to ride slowly across pedestrian crossings.
- The penalty for using a hand held mobile phone while driving will increase from $250 to $500.
- A new traffic infringement penalty of $500 will be introduced for visual display unit (VDU) driving offences.
- Learner drivers will no longer be able to ride a moped.
- New rules confirm that children under one year of age, travelling in commercial passenger vehicle, such as a taxi or minibus, will be allowed to be nursed on the lap of a passenger over 16 years of age, if there is no child restraint available. If a person is over one year of age they must be in a seatbelt or a child restraint if available.
- Motorcyclists will be permitted to lane-filter safely through traffic travelling less than 30km/h.
The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics General Manager of Transport and Civil Services, Louise McCormick said the changes aim to provide a safer road environment for all road users.
“The suite of changes aim to address the risks associated with dangerous behaviours on our roads and will provide better consistency across Australian jurisdictions,” said Ms McCormick
“All road users need to understand all road rules, for their safety and the safety of other road users,” said Ms McCormick.
“It’s important all road users are aware of these changes when they come into effect on 1 August 2019.”
Automobile Association of the Northern Territory CEO, Anthony Hill, said it is vital all drivers remain alert and focused while behind the wheel, and being distracted for even a second puts you, your passengers and the public at risk.
“Ensure your phone or device is out of reach or is turned off, whatever it takes. Drivers need to take responsibility to avoid getting distracted” said Mr Hill.
“Our members rank road safety as the number one concern on the roads. The Automotive Association of the Northern Territory (aant) supports all efforts to reduce the rate of incidents and accidents on our roads”
Source: NT Government