New Heavy Vehicle Regulations coming into effect tomorrow

The NSW Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) has announced some changes to regulations affecting heavy vehicles travelling in that state. The majority of these changes will bring NSW in line with other states’ regulations. Prime Mover has compiled a complete overview.

Using portable warning triangles

If a driver of a heavy vehicle (with a GVM greater than 12 tonnes) stops or has a fallen load on a road with a speed limit of 80km/h or more and the vehicle is not visible for 300 metres in all directions, three warning triangles must be placed on the road:

  • One triangle must be placed 200-250 metres behind the vehicle or fallen load;
  • One triangle must be placed 200-250 metres in front of the vehicle or fallen load; and
  • One triangle must be placed by the side of the vehicle or fallen load.

On a road with a speed limit of under 80km/h and the vehicle is not visible for 200 metres in all directions, three warning triangles must be placed on the road:

  • One triangle must be placed 50-150 metres behind the vehicle or fallen load;
  • One triangle must be placed 50-150 metres in front of the vehicle or fallen load; and
  • One triangle must be placed by the side of the vehicle or fallen load.

On a one-way road or divided road, three triangles are still required. However, instead of placing the triangle in front of the vehicle, this triangle should be placed between the vehicle or fallen load, and the triangle behind the vehicle. The penalty for failing to follow the regulation is $99.

Keeping a minimum distance behind long vehicles

This rule applies to a driver of a long vehicle that is not driving in a built up area, a multi-lane road or overtaking. A driver of a long vehicle, while driving behind another long vehicle, must keep at least 60m distance behind the long vehicle ahead. A driver of a road train, while driving behind another long vehicle must keep at least 200m distance behind another long vehicle. Penalty: $397 or $1,191 and 3 or 4 demerit points

Signalling at a roundabout

Drivers entering a roundabout and intending to turn either left or right, must give sufficient warning to other road users by signalling before entering the roundabout. The image below illustrates this. Previously a driver had to indicate only when entering the roundabout. When exiting a roundabout, whether turning left, right or even straight ahead, drivers must always indicate a left turn just before exiting, unless it is not practical to do so. Penalty: 2 demerit points and $165.

Marked lanes required to be used by particular vehicle types

Drivers of vehicles that are required to travel in particular lanes (e.g. ‘trucks use left lane’ sign) are permitted to move out of such a lane if they are positioning the vehicle to turn off the road or make a U-turn. Penalty: 3 demerit points and $298.

Mobile phone rules

Centre for Road Safety General Manager, Marg Prendergast, said motorists will need to purchase a cradle or other form of hands free device if they still want to talk on their mobile phone and drive. Under the new regulations drivers cannot touch their phone while driving unless they are completely hands free and if there is a  need to touch the phone (to make and receive calls or change a song if being used as a music player) it needs to be mounted in a cradle. The phone cannot be anywhere on the driver’s body including their lap even if it is on loud speaker mode. Texting, video messaging, emailing, or using the internet are also prohibited while driving.

 

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