The new road rule that could see drivers slapped with $266 fines for parking in an empty space

  • Drivers will be hit with $266 fines for parking in spots designated for trucks
  • Motorists have been banned from using heavy vehicle areas in Queensland
  • New crackdown stops all drivers from parking in the rest stops from Friday
  • New South Wales has similar rules that came into affect at two stops in January
  • In Victoria, rest stops specifically for trucks are prohibited for use by cars

Motorists who park in spaces designated for truck drivers at highway rest stops will now be hit with a $266 on the spot fine. 

The law change, which came into effect in Queensland on Friday, follows complaints from truck drivers about heavy vehicle areas being clogged with regular motorists. 

Under the new requirements, motorists with caravans and motorhomes will also be banned from using the heavy vehicle areas unless they have a reasonable excuse.

Drivers will be slapped with $266 on the spot fines for parking in spots designated for truck drivers at highway rest stops (pictured)

Drivers will be slapped with $266 on the spot fines for parking in spots designated for truck drivers at highway rest stops (pictured)

Congestion at rest areas has been an ongoing issue among the heavy vehicle industry and complaints against motorists have surged, The Courier Mail reported.

Police will also have the authority to issue fines to drivers who are believed to overstay at their designated rest areas and to stop people from using them as a long-term camping spot.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the new laws will give his department and police stronger enforcement mechanisms.

‘The road is the heavy vehicle driver’s workplace – they get vital freight to our supermarket shelves and homes – and driver fatigue is a critical safety issue,’ Mr Bailey said. 

‘We need to ensure rest areas are used for fatigue management, providing a place for heavy vehicles to stop and rest safely.’

The new offences come with an immediate $266 fine but the maximum penalty is $2,669. 

Motorists have been banned from using heavy vehicle areas in Queensland under the new crackdown stopping all drivers, including caravans and motorhomes, from parking in rest stops

Motorists have been banned from using heavy vehicle areas in Queensland under the new crackdown stopping all drivers, including caravans and motorhomes, from parking in rest stops

‘To ensure awareness of the clarified rules around use of rest areas and camping, we will launch an awareness and education campaign,’ Mr Bailey said. 

Queensland is the third state the issue the rule after New South Wales implemented similar changes in January.

Drivers in New South Wales became the first in the country to face fines for parking in spots designated for truck drivers at highway rest stops.

Transport for NSW announced the trial fines and parking limits in two popular rest stops in the state’s north after the government pushed to stop recreational vehicles using the areas for overnight stays and preventing trucks from taking breaks.

The new law came into affect Friday and says only heavy vehicles such as commercial trucks can use the sites, with the maximum penalty reaching $2,669

The new law came into affect Friday and says only heavy vehicles such as commercial trucks can use the sites, with the maximum penalty reaching $2,669

Four-hour limits apply in general parking areas at Yelgun and Arrawarra, while cars, camper vans and caravans parked in spaces for trucks were fined $114. 

‘Driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to fatal crashes on NSW roads and rest areas are designed to accommodate parking by light, recreational and heavy vehicles to take breaks and rest,’ Transport for NSW said in a statement. 

In Victoria, rest stops specifically for trucks are prohibited for use by cars and those caught illegally parking can face fines starting at $165.22.

In other parts of Australia motorists are also discouraged from using designated truck areas but no fines are in place.  

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