30 April 2024

Is jaywalking illegal in Australia?

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Jaywalking is illegal in most of Australia. The penalties vary from state to state.
Australia Criminal Law
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Jaywalking is illegal in most of Australia. The penalties vary from state to state. It is a term that originated in the USA but has been adopted in countries throughout the world, including Australia.

Jaywalking is seen to present a danger to both pedestrians and traffic which has led to its criminalisation in many jurisdictions.

If you have been given a fine for jaywalking, you can contest it in court with the assistance of an experienced traffic lawyer.

What is Jaywalking?

Jaywalking means crossing a street or roadway outside of marked crosswalks or while disregarding traffic signals.

Pedestrians crossing streets outside marked areas or against signals create unexpected hazards for drivers, increasing the risk of accidents and injury. Drivers would need to brake or swerve to avoid collisions which could result in harm to pedestrians and drivers.

Pedestrians should adhere to designated crosswalks and traffic signals for their safety and to enhance driver awareness.

Pedestrians include individuals:

  • Walking or jogging
  • Pushing bicycles
  • Using wheelchairs
  • Operating mobility scooters or motorised wheelchairs
  • Engaging in skateboarding, foot scootering, or rollerblading

Is Jaywalking illegal in NSW?

Jaywalking is illegal in NSW under the Road Rules 2014.

The following restrictions apply:

  • You cannot cross a road if it is less than 20 meters from traffic lights.
  • crossing at a pedestrian light is permissible only when the signal is green.
  • Pedestrians must not pose hazards or block drivers, cyclists, or other pedestrians.
  • The crossing must be conducted promptly to reach the opposite side of the road.

Exemptions to jaywalking include:

  • crossing a road or a part of a road, from which vehicles are excluded;
  • crossing or assisting another person to cross, a section of road between tram tracks and the far-left side of the road to the board, or after disembarking, a tram or public bus;
  • crossing to or from a safety zone;
  • crossing at an intersection with traffic lights and a 'pedestrian may cross diagonally' sign.

When a footpath isn't available, a pedestrian must walk on the road, facing approaching traffic and keep to the side pursuant to Regulation 238 of the Road Rules 2014. An experienced traffic lawyer in Sydney will be able to advise you about whether you are able to contest a jaywalking fine.

Regulation 239 states a pedestrian must not be on a bicycle path or part of a separated footpath specifically for bicycles unless they are:

  • crossing;
  • in or pushing a wheelchair; or
  • on rollerblades/skates.

Is jaywalking illegal in Queensland?

Jaywalking is illegal under the Queensland Road Rules. These rules must be followed when you:

  • walk or run
  • push a bicycle or personal mobility device
  • use a wheelchair
  • use a skateboard, foot scooter or rollerblades
  • use a motorised mobility device.

Is jaywalking illegal in Victoria?

Jaywalking is illegal in Victoria under the

The Victorian road rules on jaywalking are outlined in sections 230-239 in Road Safety Road Rules 2017. The maximum penalty for jaywalking in Victoria is a fine of 2 penalty units. Pedestrians are required to adhere to the following rules:

  • Do not cross the road when facing an amber or red traffic or pedestrian light.
  • Utilize pedestrian crossings when crossing the road within a 20-meter radius of such designated areas.
  • Refrain from exiting a moving vehicle.
  • Do not attempt to cross a railway level crossing when it is prohibited.
  • Avoid creating traffic hazards by stepping into the path of a driver.
  • Do not walk along paths designated for bicycles and wheeled devices; yield when crossing them.

Pedestrians must opt for the shortest or most direct route when crossing a road, move to the nearest edge of the road after disembarking from a tram, and comply with traffic directives issued by police officers. Additionally, they must yield to vehicles at roundabouts and adhere to 'no pedestrian' signs.

Is jaywalking illegal in Western Australia?

Jaywalking is illegal in Western Australia under sections 294-205 of the Road Traffic Code 2000. The maximum penalty for jaywalking in Western Australia is a fine of 1 penalty unit.

Key offences include:

  • Travelling past a 'no pedestrian' sign
  • A Pedestrian crossing on a red light at an intersection (jaywalking)
  • Failing to cross by the shortest safe route or stay on the carriageway longer than necessary to cross the carriageway
  • Starting to cross an intersection when the signal shows a red pedestrian light or a red circular light
  • Alighting or boarding a vehicle moving more than 5km/h
  • Obstructing another pedestrian or a vehicle on a path or carriageway.
  • Skateboarding, rollerskating, rollerblading or riding a kick scooter on roads with a speed limit of 80km/h and above (entails a fine of $500)
  • Skateboarding, rollerskating, rollerblading or riding a kick scooter on roads with a speed limit of 60km/h or 70km/h

Is jaywalking illegal in South Australia?

There is no specific offence of jaywalking but under the Road Traffic Act 1971 and the Australian Road Rules, several offences exist related to walking dangerously on roads.

Pedestrian offences in South Australia

  • Under s 87 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) it is an offence to walk without reasonable regard for other road users.
  • Under rules 230 and 234 of the Australian Road Rules, it is an offence for a pedestrian to cross a road diagonally, unless at an intersection where this is allowed.
  • It is an offence under regulation 23A of the Road Traffic Regulations 1999 (SA) (and rule 234 of the Australian Road Rules) to cross to or from an area of road within 20 metres of a tram stop other than at a pedestrian crossing.
  • It is an offence to cross a road within 20 metres of a pedestrian crossing at a place other than the pedestrian crossing (rule 234 of the Australian Road Rules).
  • Rule 230 states that a pedestrian must cross a road by the shortest safest route and under rule 232 they can only cross when the pedestrian lights are green.

What is the fine for jaywalking?

The fine for jaywalking varies from state to state:

  • NSW: A fine for jaywalking in NSW is $76. If unsuccessfully contested the maximum penalty for jaywalking stands at a $2,200 fine (20 Penalty points).
  • Queensland: A fine for jaywalking in Queensland is $52.
  • Victoria: The fine for jaywalking in Victoria can be up to 2 penalty units. The value of a penalty unit is currently $192.31.
  • WA: The minimum fine for jaywalking in Western Australia is $50.
  • SA: The minimum fine for jaywalking in South Australia is $51.
  • Tasmania: The minimum fine for jaywalking in Tasmania is $42.
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