Who can drive in bus lanes?

Illegal use of a bus lane incurs one demerit point and a fine of $319. It is illegal for private vehicles to stop or pick up or set down passengers in a bus lane.

If you’re confused, frustrated and tempted with bus lanes, you are not alone. Simply put, there are two types of bus lanes: Bus lane (or B Lane) and 'BUS ONLY'.

Who can drive in the bus lane

Bus lane or B Lane can be used by public buses. According to the NSW Road Rules, a ‘public bus’ means a coach.

It then adds the following note: ‘Coach’ is defined in the Act to mean a motor vehicle that is: (a) constructed principally to carry persons, and (b) equipped to seat more than eight adult persons, and (c) used to convey passengers for hire, reward or in the course of trade or business.

Bicycles, taxis, hire cars (with HC plates), and motorcycles are also permitted to drive in these lanes. General traffic are also allowed in bus lanes for up to 100m in order to:

  • Turn left or right into or out of a street.
  • Enter or leave a property adjacent to the bus lane.
  • Pass another vehicle that has stopped to turn right or to avoid an obstruction.
Buses only lane

'BUS ONLY’ lanes are for the exclusive use of buses, and no private vehicle is ever allowed to drive in them. They will be clearly marked and often also have special traffic lights that allow buses priority when moving off at intersections. 

Many bus lanes have cameras to catch offenders. Illegal use of a bus lane incurs one licence demerit point and a fine of $319. Here you’ll find more information.

Do you think drivers respect the rules around bus lanes?

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