To create a safer road environment, the Northern Territory road rules were amended on 5 August 2020. The changes are in line with the Australian Road Rules (Rules) and improve consistency across jurisdictions.
The changes are technical clarifications, or amendments to address minor inconsistencies, safety risks, emerging issues or contemporary circumstances.
All road users need to understand the road rules, for their safety and the safety of other road users.
What has changed
- Clarification of existing rules relating to U-turns:
- Rule 74 is modified to require the driver to give way to any driver making a U-turn on the road (currently only required when a driver who is entering a road from a road-related area or adjacent land at a place that is not controlled by a traffic light, or a stop sign or line, or a give way sign or line).
- Rule 43 (new rule) prohibits drivers from making a U-turn at a children's crossing, level crossing, marked foot crossing or pedestrian crossing unless there is a 'U-turn permitted' sign.
- Rule 43A (new rule) prohibits drivers from making a U-turn at a place with traffic lights where a road and road-related area intersect unless there is a 'U-turn permitted' sign.
- Rule 44, which specifies when a rider of a motorcycle is not required to give a change of direction signal, is modified by extending the rule to cover a rider who is repositioning within the same lane in order to avoid a hazard or reduce the risk of a crash.
- Rule 154A (new rule) allows for lanes to be dedicated as bus only lanes (Note there are currently no bus lanes in the NT).
- Rule 174, which regulates stopping at or near a bicycle crossing, is modified to expressly prohibit stopping on a bicycle crossing.
- Rule 187, which prohibits stopping in a bicycle lane, bus lane, tramway, transit lane, truck lane or tram tracks, is modified to extend the prohibition on stopping in specified places to include a bus only lane.
- Rules 203B and 203C (new rules) allow for parking areas to be dedicated exclusively for the parking and or charging of electric vehicles.
- Rule 207, which is a paid parking rule is updated to accommodate modern methods of paying for parking (e.g. mobile apps).
- Rule 264, which relates to the wearing of seatbelts by drivers, is modified to make it mandatory for a driver to occupy a drivers seating position that is fitted with an approved seatbelt. This addresses an inconsistency between the seatbelt rules relating to drivers and passengers.
- Rule 271(1), which requires a motorcycle rider to keep both feet on the footrests, is modified to allow the rider to safely manoeuvre the vehicle at speeds of less than 10 km/hr in order to park, stop, accelerate or decelerate.
- Rules 299 and 300, and Regulation 15A, permit the use of mobile phones and visual display units (VDU) when a vehicle is lawfully parked as defined in the rules. This has been modified to make it clear that, for the purpose of the mobile phone and VDU rules, a vehicle may be parked even though the key may be in the ignition lock and the engine may be running.
- Rule 300A (new rule) prescribes a standard of appropriate driving behaviour around a funeral procession – a driver must not interfere with or interrupt the free passage of the procession or any vehicle apparently forming part of the procession.