It’s not fine to break the road rules – even for Convoy

Photo: Adam McLean
Photo: Adam McLean

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It’s hard to work out how participating in a charity event allows you to ignore the road rules.

Even more so when you’re explicitly told before the event that the rules still apply to you AND you’re given a list of the relevant driving offences.

And at the top of that list it states “we must warn you, drivers or riders breaking the road rules may be charged with driving offences”.

Yet a large number of drivers and passengers taking part in Sunday’s Illawarra Convoy were outraged that the police actually dared to pull them up for breaking laws – including not wearing seatbelts.

They took to social media to complain about how unfair it was that the police actually took this action, after having told them they were going to take this action.

Instead of looking in the mirror, some mounted the “if they can do it, why can’t I?” defence. They complained that buses don't have seatbelts (urban buses are not required by law to have them, but regional buses are).

They pointed to people standing on floats at the Mardi Gras and asking why they don’t get fined (because it’s taking place on a closed route and is not sharing the road with other drivers).

Most stupidly, they said retiring footy players who got driven around the field in the back of a car during the grand final should also be fined (umm, you realise they’re not actually on a road, right?)

The heart of the issue was that, because this was an event raising money for charity, they felt the road rules somehow shouldn’t apply to them.

It’s a strange way of thinking – I regularly give money to charity but I wouldn't for a second presume that means I become immune from the law for a day.

In fact, I gave money to Convoy but I didn’t spend Sunday driving around without a seatbelt.

Because it’s against the law.

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