Get up to speed with Australia’s new road rules

A change in the nation’s road rules comes into effect this week, including allowing the sale of non-standard child restraints and fines for parking in electric vehicle charging bays.

Apr 02, 2024, updated Apr 02, 2024
New road rules prohibit non-electric vehicles from parking in charging bays. Photo: AAP

New road rules prohibit non-electric vehicles from parking in charging bays. Photo: AAP

Under the changes, the prohibition on selling non-standard child restraints has been axed to make it easier for parents and carers of children with a disability to source restraints appropriate for their needs.

Non-standard child restraints were previously not allowed to be sold under the Road Traffic Regulations.

The parents and carers will also not be required to have their vehicles inspected but will have to carry a certificate from a medical practitioner.

RAA senior manager for safety & infrastructure Charles Mountain said the RAA was “supportive of the amendments” he felt “clarify some scenarios on the road”.

“RAA also welcomes the relaxation of the child restraint rules to assist the safe transportation of children with a medical conditions or disability,” Mountain said.

Minister for infrastructure and transport Tom Koutsantonis said the change would streamline the process for parents and carers wanting to obtain appropriate restraints.

“This removes the barriers to accessing non-standard restraints and empowers parents and carers to prioritise safety without unnecessary hurdles,” he said.

Non-electric cars are now prohibited from parking in a designated EV parking area, with a $74 fine applicable.

Parking in an EV charging area while not charging the vehicle has also been prohibited, with offenders facing a fine of $111.

Minister for infrastructure and transport Tom Koutsantonis welcomed the road rule changes. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

RAA charge program director Andrew Howard said the changes would help free up EV charging bays.

“The legislation is an important step forward as more South Australians choose to drive electric vehicles,” Howard said.

“We hope a uniform approach will help educate all drivers and act as a reminder to practice good parking etiquette, and that applies to EV drivers too.”

Koutsantonis said the changes would embrace “the increasing numbers of electric vehicles on our roads by ensuring smooth integration and access to charging infrastructure”.

Other changes include the provision of specific examples of a “properly adjusted and fastened” seatbelt and the prohibition of interference with the free passage of a funeral procession, which now attracts a $121 fine.

Cyclists are now able to “claim the lane” in a single lane roundabout, rather than being required to ride as near to the left side of the road as practicable.

U-turn rules are changing as well, with the turns now prohibited at crossings such as children’s crossings, level crossings, marked foot crossings and pedestrian crossings.

Drivers ignoring the new U-turn rules could face a fine of up to $423 and two demerit points.

Mountain said the “adoption of nationally consistent rules regarding drivers’ responsibility to give way to pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road that the driver is turning into will make it safer for vulnerable road users”.

Koutsantonis said the changes “introduce practical changes that align with the State Government’s vision for safer roads and better support for families across the state”.

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