Motoring

Road rules: Driving in bus lane could land you with a fine up to $491

You may have been tempted to take this sneaky shortcut to beat the traffic. But if caught, it could cost you big time.

Aussie motorists tempted to bypass traffic jams by sneaking up the bus lane might feel smug in the moment, but the shortcut comes with a hefty penalty.

Significant fines apply to anyone actively caught illegally using bus lanes on the road, no matter what the excuse might be, in every Australian jurisdiction.

Rule 154 of the Australian Road Rules specifically bans cars from using the lanes to stop them from getting an advantage over traffic and speeding up their journey.

So unless you’re a bus, bicycle or horse, you’re expected to keep your vehicle on the main stretch of road.

General drivers are only allowed to use bus lanes, for up to 100m, in three instances – when drivers are turning left or right into or out of a street, when they are entering or leaving a property adjacent to the bus lane, or if they have to pass another vehicle that has stopped to turn right or to avoid an obstruction.

If you’re caught taking advantage of bus lanes illegally, you could face a heavy fine – with some states applying both a fine and demerit points if a driver is caught by police.

Here’s what penalty applies depending on which state you live in:

NSW 

Motorists in NSW face a $349 fine for driving illegally in a bus lane and will also be issued with one demerit point.

ACT 

Canberrans want to especially avoid taking shortcuts – anyone found driving illegally in a bus lane will get hit with a whopping $491 fine if they’re caught in the act.

Western Australia 

In Western Australia, drivers face a fine of two penalty units – which is $100 – and will gain a whopping three demerit points on their licence.

Queensland 

Queenslanders face a penalty of $137.50 if they’re caught breaking the rules.

South Australia 

In SA, offenders will be slapped with a $382 fine for using a bus lane when they’re not supposed to.

Victoria 

In Victoria, the cost is a little bit lower, with drivers facing a fine of $182 from authorities if caught out.

Tasmania 

In Tassie, anyone travelling in a bus lane who isn’t supposed to be there could be slapped with a $130 penalty.


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