QLD Hierarchy of traffic controls

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by JohnG, 5 March 2019.

  1. JohnG

    JohnG Member

    5 March 2019
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    Within a part time Clearway there can be full time no stopping zones (No Stopping sign pairs or yellow kerb lines or statutory zones like near a crossing or intersection or across a fire station driveway). The Transport Department states that the No Stopping zones prevent all vehicles stopping at all times regardless of whether the part time Clearway is operational or not, while a part time Clearway control is less restrictive as it only applies at certain times and permits certain classes of vehicles (taxis and busses) to stop in it and that a vehicle stopping in a No Stopping zone makes an offence against that control, s.169 of the TORUM. A vehicle offending against a Clearway control offends against s.176 of the TORUM. That seems pretty intuitive and correct.
    But the matter of which control a motorist offends against when stopping adjacent to a No Stopping Anytime control within a part time Clearway seems to be an issue of disagreement between Government agencies in Brisbane at least. The Transport Department, make their point clear as mentioned above. Brisbane City Council however, has written procedures for its Enforcement Officers NOT to ticket taxis stopped adjacent to No Stopping zones within Clearways. It also issues penalties for offences against the Clearway control in areas that are clearly No Standing Anytime zones further supporting their view that the Clearway control takes precedence over the No Standing Anytime control and thus allows taxis to stop adjacent to the No Standing zones. It has done this for many years, some speculate that it is because the Council is authorised to charge a double rate penalty for the Clearway offence compared to the No Standing Anytime offence whereas the Police rates are the same for both offences. The Queensland Ombudsman agrees with the Council's interpretation of the hierarchy, stating that otherwise it would require and End of Clearway signs at the beginning of each No Stopping zone within the Clearway. s 332 (b) of the TORUM however states that the Clearway control ends at the start of a Yellow Kerb Line and the MUTCD makes no requirement to have the end and start Clearway signs at each No Standing zone, it just recognises the hierarchy. Questions on which control applied or took precedence within the part time Clearway made to the Police, solicited two completely opposite answers within the space of 10 minutes. The Police first stated that the No Stopping zone would take precedence within the Clearway and prevent all vehicles, including taxis and buses from stopping there. 10 minutes later they emailed back and said that the Clearway control would take precedence at the No Standing zone (and presumably if that was the particular control at a location, it would allow taxis to stop there also). I really think that they were thinking I was trying to weasel my way out of some Police fine and so tried to cover all ways out.
    I can't see how two controls can apply at the one location, especially if those two controls have different meanings for certain classes of vehicles. There must be some underlying principle of traffic law that the control you offend against is the control that is applicable at the particular location of the offence and not some other control that is merely nearby the area of the offence. So which is the correct interpretation? Has Council been doing the right things over the years allowing taxis to stop in the No Standing zones and also issuing offences against the part time Clearway control for motorists stopping in the No Standing zones? How does this rule work in other states?
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified

    16 February 2017
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    Another argument is that the Clearway operates for a specific time period over a larger area and that, therefore, it supersedes the No Stopping sign. Added to that: if the No Stopping is on the basis that it is only necessary because of the ability to stop on other parts of the road, then the Clearway temporarily removing the ability to stop in those other areas might be construed as removing the necessity for the No Stopping to be there for the period the Clearway is in effect.

    Or it could just be that the Council chooses the offence that gets them more revenue and doesn't want to upset the taxi operators.
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