A u-turn for the worse: High risk drivers put on notice
IF u-turn, you pay.
That is the message from Sunshine Coast Road Policing officers in their clampdown on drivers who make illegal u-turns.
To date this year, police have issued 666 infringement notices for drivers illegally turning at traffic lights.
The constant flow of tickets, almost three a day, has prompted police to remind drivers of the road rules and the hefty fines that apply for illegal manoeuvres.
The consequence for making a u-turn where there is no sign is a $91 fine and two demerit points.
"It's always a problem and it's always the biggest argument we have with drivers on the side of the road," Senior Sergeant Dave Nelson said.
"Drivers believe because there is not a sign saying they can't do a u-turn that it is okay.
"Where as legislation states you cannot u-turn unless signed.
"We have contacted council and our partners in State Government, but the cost is prohibitive, you just can't put a sign at every intersection, so there are signs only where it is safe to turn."
Snr Sgt Nelson also reiterated that drivers are not permitted to u-turn on a green arrow, unless signed.
"The reason people can't turn at certain traffic lights is because of the dynamics of the road, some are simply not big enough to sustain a vehicle turning and often there are slip roads, so you are always u-turning into the path of someone else," Snr Sgt Nelson said.
"The potential impacts first and foremost is the crash, because you are turning in front of oncoming vehicles or vehicles doing a left-hand turn so you are automatically putting you passenger in danger."
Police make no excuses for fining drivers who are making illegal u-turns.
The head of the Queensland Road Policing operations, Inspector Peter Flanders, said drivers needed to stop making their own excuses.
Insp Flanders said fines for illegal u-turns acted as a deterrent for what he called "the road's most high-risk drivers".
"It's a reflection of driving attitude when people make a decision to do something like that and they justify it by saying it is not dangerous, that is until someone gets killed," Insp Flanders said.
"It is the people making those sorts of decisions that are high-risk drivers.
"They are the people going five or 10 kilometres over the limit or, if you watch them, they are doing sudden lane changes.
"If you look in isolation they probably won't get a ticket for the offence today, but when you look at the whole driving behaviour that is extremely high-risk drivers just waiting to kill someone.
"We don't pick on people, we pick on behaviours."
Police are dishing out fines as part of their general duties, but road traffic unit police are also targeted specific intersections where they receive complaints from the public.
- Currie St and Arundell Ave, Nambour
- Coronation Ave and Matthew St, Nambour
- Alexandra Parade and Pacific Terrace
- Venning St and Walan St, Mooloolaba
- Bowman Rd, Caloundra