Motorists on their way to a dress up party this weekend may need to plan for a carpark costume change upon arrival because driving in some outfits is technically an offence.
Oversized clown shoes or sky-high Barbie stilettos, a Scream mask or some zombie eye contacts, anything that restricts a motorist’s movement or vision can result in on the spot fines and, in some places, a $1500 penalty if heard in court.
A Department of Transport and Planning Victoria spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au: “We know many families and kids get involved in trick-or-treating for Halloween — it means more pedestrians out on the streets.”
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“Motorists need to be more aware of their surroundings, watch out for children, and avoid all distractions.
“Don’t wear a costume that obscures vision, limits mobility or otherwise interferes with the ability to operate a vehicle.”
And if local authorities deem motorists’ your ghoulish garments unsafe for driving, there are grounds for a hefty fine, no matter where you’re based in Australia.
Australian Road Rule 297 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, which is observed by authorities nationally, states that drivers need to have proper control of a vehicle.
“A driver must not drive a motor vehicle unless the driver has a clear view of the road, and traffic, ahead, behind and to each side of the driver,” it states.
That means relevant local authorities can use their best judgement to determine whether a costume is impinging on a driver’s control of the car, and each state hands out varying penalties.
Breaching that rule in Queensland can result in an on-the-spot fine of $361.
In South Australia, the breach can result in an expiation fee of $215.
In New South Wales, the penalty comes as a $514 fine with the loss of three demerit points.
In Victoria, breaching the rule can result in a $288 infringement penalty.
Western Australia Police confirmed that if something occurred while the motorist was behind the wheel in a restrictive costume, they could be penalised under Section 62 of the Road Traffic Act for careless driving.
It would set drivers back $300 for the modified penalty, as well as three demerit points if subject to an infringement.
If matters are heard in court, those figures can skyrocket — up to $962 in Victoria, and $1500 in Western Australia.
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