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The hidden fines you face when Sydney's light rail starts this month

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are being warned to adapt when the new Sydney light rail begins. Courtesy: Jacky Ghossein/SMH

People in Sydney are being warned to adapt to changed road conditions when the new light rail opens, or face fines and lost demerit points.

The CBD and South East Light Rail is on track to start services in December, but with it comes new safety challenges for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in the city.

If drivers are caught driving on a tram safety zone, they face a $191 fine and losing two demerit points, likewise if they overtake a tram turning right, or if they fail to give way to a pedestrian.

Motorists who don’t give way to a tram or drive through a dividing strip break could be hit with a $344 fine and the loss of three demerit points.

There are also $76 fines for pedestrians caught crossing unsafely near trams, such as taking too long or entering when a tram is approaching.

Coordinator General of Transport for NSW Marg Prendergast said people are still not aware of the light rail and are distracted, meaning they wander into the path of oncoming trams.

“Our main concern around pedestrian safety is the issue of distraction, particularly from mobile phones,” she said in a statement to

“People need to have their heads up, unplugged from headphones so they can hear their surroundings, and looking left and right before crossing. Trams can be quiet and aren’t able to swerve to avoid obstacles, so pedestrians need to be alert and aware.”

Speed limits in Sydney’s CBD and east have also been reduced. In some high-density pedestrian areas near George Street they have dropped as low as 20km/h.