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The red light rule that is different in every state in Australia

Road rules differ from state to state – but across Australia drivers must move out of the way of an emergency vehicle.

That not moving can lead to big fines is well known, but many motorists are unsure whether they can run a red light in order to clear a path.

If drivers see an emergency vehicle speeding up behind them, they must pull over to the left as quickly and safely as possible in order to avoid an on-the-spot fine. 

But if a driver is stopped at a red light with nowhere to go, there may be nothing they can do. 

If a driver is stopped at a red light with nowhere to go as an emergency vehicle needs to get through, there may be nothing they can do (stock image)

Road rules differ across each state - but across Australia drivers must move out of the way of an emergency vehicle

Road rules differ across each state – but across Australia drivers must move out of the way of an emergency vehicle

The correct response differs in each state and can often be left up to interpretation.

In New South Wales, if a police, fire brigade or ambulance has their sirens on, motorists must get out of the way, usually by pulling over to the left.

Both fines for not moving for an emergency vehicle and not stopping at a red light in NSW is $448 and a loss of three demerit points.

However, Transport for NSW said this should only be done if it is completely safe to do so.

‘A driver should move out of the way of an approaching emergency vehicle that is displaying a flashing blue or red light or sounding an alarm, only if it is safe to do,’ a spokesperson told News.com.au.

They believe if a driver is stopped at a red light it isn’t safe for them to move, so the driver can wait until the light turns green to get out of their way.

In Victoria, motorists are also advised to move out of the way as soon as it is safe to do so, as running a red light could cause more issues.

Victorians face a $282 fine and a loss of three demerit points if caught not actively moving for an emergency vehicle.

The correct response to being at a red light as an emergency vehicle comes through differs in each state and can often be left up to interpretation (stock image)

The correct response to being at a red light as an emergency vehicle comes through differs in each state and can often be left up to interpretation (stock image)

THE LAW IN EACH STATE/TERRITORY

New South Wales: Don’t go through a red light if an emergency vehicle is coming up behind you.

Queensland: You can move through a red light if an emergency vehicle needs to pass.

Victoria: Don’t go through a red light if an emergency vehicle is coming up behind you.

Northern Territory: There are no clear rules.

South Australia: You can move through a red light if an emergency vehicle needs to pass.

Western Australia: Don’t go through a red light if an emergency vehicle is coming up behind you.

Tasmania: Don’t go through a red light if an emergency vehicle is coming up behind you.

If motorists are caught running a red light in the Education State, they could cop a hefty $403 fine and lose three demerit pints.

In Queensland the rules are a little different, as motorists are allowed to drive through red lights if an emergency vehicle needs to pass.

‘The law allows you to drive onto the wrong side of the road or drive through a red traffic light to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so,’ the Queensland Government website reads.

‘However giving way to emergency vehicles should always be done with the utmost care and with the safety of yourself and all other road users as a priority.’ 

Both failing to move for an emergency vehicle and driving through a red light is a loss of three demerit points, with a $391 fine for running the red light, and $304 for not moving for the emergency vehicle.

If drivers see an emergency vehicle speeding up behind them, they must pull over to the left as quickly and safely as possible in order to avoid an on-the-spot fine (stock image)

If drivers see an emergency vehicle speeding up behind them, they must pull over to the left as quickly and safely as possible in order to avoid an on-the-spot fine (stock image)

Western Australia’s rules are similar to those in NSW and Victoria, as they say drivers shouldn’t break the law to move for emergency vehicles.

This means motorists shouldn’t drive through a red light or speed to get out of the way, risking $300 and three demerit points lost.

However if drivers are caught not moving out of the way, they could cop a $400 fine and lose three demerit points.

Tasmania’s laws are quite similar to Western Australia’s, but drivers only risk $163 and a loss of three demerit points.

South Australia also says drivers must move out of the way of emergency vehicles if it is safe to do so.

If South Australians are caught not moving, they face a hefty $428 fine and a loss of three demerit points.

The Northern Territory doesn’t have clear rules on whether or not drivers can go through a red light for, but they are required to move to the left to give way.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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