Road Rules you should be aware of here in Australia
The list of road rules here in Australia is long however, they are put in place to keep us safe on the road. Laws such as sticking to the speed limit, not using your phone while driving and wearing a seatbelt are all common knowledge, but what about some of the not so known road rules? How much do you know about them? Let’s find out! We’ve put together some road rules you may or may not be aware of.
Using your horn for any reason other than warning purposes is illegal
If you’re like many others, you’ve likely used your horn to alert someone that you’re out the front of their house or when driving off as a way of saying goodbye but doing either of these is actually illegal. The primary purpose of having a horn in a car is for it to be used for warning purposes only, including warning other drivers of your position and to get animals off the road. It can also be used for anti-theft and alcohol interlock purposes, but that’s it. It cannot be used when frustrated with other drivers or pedestrians. The penalties for using your horn for unwarranted reasons carry hefty penalties, and here in Queensland, we have one of the biggest fines which can be up to $2,611.
You must keep your limbs in the car at all times
While most aren’t likely to be throwing a leg out of the car window, many do put their hands and arms outside while driving, especially on a hot day, but doing so may see you slapped with a hefty fine. This activity is prohibited right across Australia, and in Queensland, the fine is nearly $300. Even placing your hand outside of the car to momentarily wave goodbye to someone is illegal. Having an arm or hand out the window is dangerous, and you could potentially lose a limb by having it outside of the vehicle.
Failing to slow down when a traffic light turns orange can equal the same penalty as driving through a red light
We all know that an orange traffic light means slow down but, many drivers do the opposite and speed up. While it may be tempting to do this to avoid having to wait for the lights to go green again if a police officer sees you go through an orange light and they believe you had sufficient time to slow down, you may be fined for violating an orange light. Here in Queensland, motorists that break this rule will receive the same penalty as driving through a red light which is a $391 fine and 3 demerit points. Many drivers are unaware this road rule even exists, so you must slow down when you can at an orange light to avoid being caught out. If you have exceeded the speed limit to get through the orange light before it turns red, you’ll receive an additional fine for speeding. How much it is will depend on how fast you were going.
Passenger reclining their car seat too far while you are driving is a big no-no
Many assume that a passenger isn’t driving, so it’s ok for them to recline their seat for a rest or to make a long trip more comfortable, although this isn’t the case. For a seat belt to work properly, it needs to sit against the body, when the seat is reclined, the seatbelt is unable to restrain the passenger effectively, and this makes it extremely unsafe. If you were to be involved in a motor vehicle accident, it puts your passenger more at risk of serious injury or even death. The fine for not having a passenger restrained properly here in the Sunshine State will cost you 3 demerit points and $391. If the passenger is over 16 years old, they will receive the same fine.
You cannot park near an intersection
Sometimes finding a parking spot can be tricky, especially if you’re in a high-density area. Many make the mistake of assuming that if there are no yellow lines, it’s fine to park on the side of the road. It is illegal to park within 10 metres of an intersection, and if there are traffic lights at the intersection, it’s 20 metres unless otherwise stated. This simple error could cost you close to $150.
Throwing food out of your car is against the law
Everyone knows that throwing rubbish out of your car is considered littering, but when it comes to food, some think that different rules apply because it breaks down and isn’t going to harm the environment. Throwing food of any kind out of your car window is illegal, and this is because it attracts wildlife to the road or nearby which can cause accidents. The consequence for doing this will result in a $200 fine.
Knowing the road rules in your state is essential to ensuring that you are driving safely and to avoid breaking the law unknowingly. Often the fines are costly, and you risk losing demerit points too. If you have received a fine you believe is unjust or you were in a situation that gave you no choice, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice from an experienced traffic lawyer. Our expert team here at Drink Driver Lawyer specialise in this area of the law, and we are happy to discuss your options with you. Contact us today!