Is the stop sign held by the lollipop lady (or man) a Stop Sign, can you lose points off of your license?
Road Rules 2014
Did you know that in NSW there are separate road rules regarding school crossings? There are different designated stop signs (which is why the lollipop ladies sign looks different) and different rules. The two images to the left are the two stop signs designated by the legislation.
So what do you have to do at a school crossing? Well, that begs the question, what is a school crossing?
In the legisltaion the rules talk about a 'children's crossing'. Rule 80(6) tells us that:
(6) A children’s crossing is an area of a road:
(a) at a place with stop lines marked on the road, and:
(i) children crossing flags, or
(ii) children’s crossing signs and twin yellow lights, and
(b) indicated by:
(i) 2 red and white posts erected on each side of the road, or
(ii) 2 parallel continuous or broken lines on the road surface from one side of the road completely or partly across the road, and
(c) extending across the road between the posts or lines.
What does all that mean?
So, what is a children's crossing?
One example of a children's crossing is given in the image above, which is taken from the Road Rules. The driver is stopped at stop line for pedestrians on a children’s crossing with children crossing flags. The crossing is a children's crossing because it has the stop lines and the correct flags, and the driver has to stop because there are people physically on the crossing. If no one was on the crossing, then the driver would not have to stop.
This would also be a crossing if it had permanent children's crossing signs and flashing twin yellow lights. There are many different combinations that can be made from the legislation, not all can be covered here.
What do I have to do at a children's crossing
A driver approaching a children’s crossing must drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before the crossing, so slow down.
A driver approaching or at a children’s crossing must stop as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the stop line at the crossing if a hand-held stop sign is displayed at the crossing. Remember the question at the beginning of the article? The answer is yes, the Road Rules provide that that sign held by the lollipop man (or lady) is indeed a stop sign. We have re-produced the stop signs again to the right of this paragraph for clarity.
Even if there is no stop sign being held by a lollipop lady (or man) the driver needs to stop if a pedestrian is on or entering the crossing.
Can the lollipop person direct traffic?
In short, yes. If a driver stops at a children’s crossing for a hand-held stop sign, (that is the lollipop ladies sign), the driver must not proceed until there is no pedestrian on or entering the crossing and the holder of the sign no longer displays the sign towards the driver, or otherwise indicates that the driver may proceed. So yes, the lollipop person can direct traffic, this is why not just anyone can be a lollipop person.
What is the penalty?
If you violate one of these rules in a children's crossing that is not in a school zone, then the fine is $439 and 3 demerit points. It may be outside of a school zone either by geography, or because it is not the correct time of the day. So, in the middle of the day if there is a pedestrian on a children's crossing and you don't stop then this would be the fine.
If you violate these rules in a school zone then it is $549 and 4 points.
Don't forget that failing to give way to a pedestrian also attracts penalties, depending on the situation the penalty starts at $330 and 3 points, which means if there is any issue (an incident, a crash, an injury) the Police will start from the assumption that you are at fault and not the pedestrian. This could result in far more serious charges and loss of licence. So if there is a pedestrian on the road then you need to give way regardless of whether it is a children's crossing.
What should I do?
If you have received a fine or penalty notice for something to do with a school zone or children's crossing then you should come and speak with Bruce Coode. Bring all your paperwork with you. If there is nothing that can be done then the first half hour appointment is free. If he can help you then he will be able to indicate how much that would cost. Bruce is often seen by clients who are about to lose the last few points on their licence and in the process of taking instructions it becomes clear that they should have challenged an earlier ticket. Don't wait until it is too late.
If you would like some more information on driving and the law, then click on the button to the right to read some more of our articles on that topic.