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As the calendar moves into a new financial year and the second half of 2018 it is important to be aware of some of the new driving laws and changes being implemented across the country now and in the next few months.

Moreover, use the 2nd half of the year as an opportunity to remind your fleet about the importance of safety and the need to remain vigilant of current and changing road rules.

New South Wales Amended rules

Following the lead of Victoria, NSW Government has introduced a new road role which requires motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency service workers and volunteers.

The new rule will help to protect police, firefighters, ambulance officers, SES and rescue volunteers attending road accidents.

It will not be in place until September 1, and will be trialled for 12 months.

Victoria Amended rules

Victoria has added a variety of minor road rule modifications that have come in effect from July 1.

  • Road Rule 45 – What is changing direction: The rule was amended to clarify that a driver moving to the left or right to a stationary position must use a change of direction signal.
  • Road Rules 65, 72, and 73 – Giving way at marked foot crossings, intersections and pedestrian crossings: The rule requires drivers to give way to pedestrians entering marked foot crossings, slip lanes at intersections and pedestrian crossings. These rules currently only require drivers to give way to pedestrians on these areas.
  • Road Rule 115 – Driving in a roundabout to the left of the central traffic island: The rule was amended to allow large vehicles (that is, buses and vehicles of more than 15 tonnes) to drive over central traffic islands in roundabouts to the right of the centre in certain circumstances as long as it is safe and practicable to perform.

Toll Road Increases

Road tolls have also changed across the country. Transurban, which operates toll roads in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, has increased its prices by up to nine cents from July 1.

In Sydney, car tolls on the Cross City Tunnel have increased by between one and three cents, and a typical westbound trip has risen from $5.67 to $5.70. The Eastern Distributor tolls have risen by eight cents from $7.31 to $7.39. Some Lane Cove Tunnel tolls have increased by up to two cents. The toll for cars using the Hills M2 Motorway has risen between three and seven cents.

In Brisbane, car tolls on the Gateway Motorway, Logan Motorway, Legacy Way, Go Between Bridge and Clem7 have increased by between three and nine cents.

In Melbourne, car tolls on CityLink have increased by between one and five cents, meaning a trip across the Bolte Bridge has changed from $3.06 to $3.08. Melbourne operator EastLink has increased its prices by less than Transurban’s CityLink to 1.9 per cent. The toll cap for a car has also changed from $6.13 to $6.25 per trip.