Jay-walking pedestrians could be subjected to hefty fines today as police crack down on traffic compliance regulations along Sydney’s light rail route.
NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were seen patrolling the area on Wednesday in an effort to enforce road rules before the city’s light rail system opens to the public next month.
The force warned residents they would be ‘out and about’ today, monitoring pedestrian compliance ‘at traffic lights, push bike safety and vehicles choking intersections’ and blocking trams.
From October 21 to November 14, 162 fines have been issued to pedestrians alone, over offences for blocking intersections and crossing when not safe, police said.
NSW Police warned residents they would be ‘out and about’ today, monitoring pedestrian compliance ‘at traffic lights, push bike safety and vehicles choking intersections’ and blocking trams
From October 21 to November 14, 162 fines have been issued to pedestrians alone, over offences for blocking intersections and crossing when not safe, police said
A NSW Police spokesperson said the periodic crackdowns are based on road trends monitored by police and are enforced ‘as often as required.’
‘The light rail is a new project so we’re trying to raise awareness and educate people to be safe,’ the spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
Safety tips for drivers
With the first leg of the Sydney light rail slated to open in December, drivers are reminded of a few road rules to follow to ensure their safety:
1) Do not drive along the tram tracks
2) Don’t queue across the intersections
3) Follow traffic signals and don’t turn in front of a tram
4) Don’t stop or park on a tram lane
Source: Sydney Light Rail
Last month, officials announced new road rules affecting pedestrians, motorists and cyclists will be implemented in December to coincide with the new transport system.
Drivers were reminded to not queue across the rail lines that pass through intersections and to follow the appropriate signage.
They should also never travel along the tracks in the middle of the road and to stick to the designated lanes on the outside of the tram line.
Cyclists have been warned to keep an eye out for new ‘no entry’ signs at frequently travelled routes.
New restrictions have been put in place at Hay Street, and ignoring the warnings could cost cyclists $114 in fines.
Cyclists are also forbidden from entering tramways and those caught doing so will face a $268 fine.
Officials announced new road rules affecting pedestrians, motorists and cyclists will be implemented in December to coincide with the new transport system.
Pedestrians should note they will not be fined for jaywalking if they cross the street at a tramline – as long as they’re more than 20 metres away from a set of lights.
They are also required to look up and stay vigilant as they cross.
Motorists can also incur fines for not following new rules.
They will be fined $268 and single demerit point for entering and driving across a tramway.
But the rules – as well as the government’s decision to reintroduce a tram at all – have been criticised by commuters who say ‘its just a matter of time until someone is killed’.
Footage shared online showed drivers almost choking up an intersection of the tram line in Sydney.
One person suggested painting bright lines to indicate where motorists can no longer drive.
‘Maybe paint yellow lines on the edge of track like we have in Melbourne so cars know the distance between trams and roadway,’ the man said.
A commuter walks past the first Light Rail Vehicle in Circular Quay on July 30
On social media, scores of people said they had been unable to make turns at a number of busy road junctures on High Street, in Randwick, Sydney’s east.
The first leg of the Sydney Light Rail is expected to open in December this year, though will only carry passengers between Randwick to Circular Quay.
The branch line to Kingsford along Anzac Parade is a long way from completion – early agency reports have hinted work could continue until March of 2020.
Last week, police were forced to divert traffic around the light rail in the city’s CBD after it broke down during a test run in the middle of a busy intersection.
The incident occurred due to a power failure and it affected all trams on the CBD and South East Light Rail network.
Construction of the light rail has been plagued with a number of setbacks since work began in 2015.
Under the original time frame, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was meant to cut the ribbon on the completed project ahead of the state election on Saturday, March 23.
It is understood the project, from Sydney’s CBD to eastern suburbs, has cost more than $2.7 billion.
The original budget was $1.6 billion when major work commenced in October of 2015.
It aims to have trams carrying passengers by 7 December but if more testing is required it will be postponed until the following weekend.