We have received an enquiry regarding the regulations around slow drivers on motorways. In the interests of public education, we have contacted the Department for Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) who have provided the following advice:
- The Queensland Road Rules (QRR) provide that a driver must not unreasonably obstruct the path of another driver by driving too slowly. The penalty for this offence is $133.
- The QRR gives an example of driving abnormally slowly as a driver driving at a speed of 20 km/h on a length of road to which a speed limit of 80 km/h applies when there is no reason for the driver to drive at that speed.
- However, there are a variety of legitimate reasons why a driver may need to travel slowly, for example when following a cyclist, in congested traffic or when there is poor visibility. They could also be having mechanical difficulties with their car or a medical episode with no ability to pull over safely in that area. In these instances, it would be up to the intercepting police officer to determine if a person was driving too slowly.
- While the Department of Transport and Main Roads is responsible for the development and administration of the QRR, enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the Queensland Police Service (QPS). If anyone witnesses any breaches of the road rules, they may like to report these directly to QPS by visiting his local police station, by contacting PoliceLink on 131 444 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. QPS has a traffic complaints system that helps in the reporting and management of road safety related complaints made by members of the community across Queensland.
- There are no specific speed related offences for driving below the speed limit. The offences refer to the manner of driving.
- Such offences include:
- Section 83: Careless driving of motor vehicles, TO(RUM) Act 1995, which states ‘any person who drives a motor vehicle on a road or elsewhere without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration or other persons using the road or place is guilty of an offence.’
Penalty – 3 demerit points and $533 fine.
- Section 130(1): Keeping to the left on a multi-lane road, TO(RUM – Road Rules) Regulation 2009, which applies to a driver driving on a multi-lane road if:
(a) the speed limit applying to the driver for the length of road where the driver is driving is over 80km/h; or
(b) a keep left unless overtaking sign applies to the length of road where the driver is driving.
Penalty – 2 demerit points and $80.00 fine
If a motorist witnesses this occurring, what would the most suitable avenue of reporting or handling of the situation be?
- To report the matter drivers are encouraged to contact Policelink on 131 444 for non-urgent matters. If the manner of driving is deemed unsafe and endangering the lives of the driver and/or others, then drivers are urged to contact 000.