The 14 road rules no-one knows – are you breaking them?
Teletrac Navman has realised that this is a problem for most drivers and has clearly outlined the road rules that not too many people know about in Australia.
1. Sleeping in your car while drunk, even with the ignition off
If you’ve had a few while out with friends and family, and you want to sleep it off in your car, that might not be the best idea. Even more so if you happen to be in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and the keys aren’t in the ignition.
In Queensland, you’ll be hit with a fine of up to $1,400 and a 10-month driving suspension.
2. Being a hog in the middle lane
If you enjoy cruising along in the middle lane while it’s clear on the left, you might want to just merge into the left lane as there’s a fine that comes with it. In NSW, fines go as high as $108 and two demerit points and QLD will charge you $66 and two demerit points as well.
3. Eating, drinking, doing your makeup and changing music whilst driving
If you want to eat your food whilst on the road, it might be a good idea to pull over before attempting to drive and eat at the same time. Fines vary depending on the state –
NSW & ACT: $448 and three demerit points
QLD: Court ordered fine and three demerit points
4. Playing music that’s too loud
Although you might love singing along to your favourite songs in the car with the windows down, police officers call that noise pollution. If you ignore a verbal warning to turn down the tunes, you’ll be fined varying amounts that depend on your state. In Queensland, the fine is $175 and in NSW, the fine is $200.
5. The 10 per cent speed limit myth
It’s been a myth in Australia for a while that if you’re caught speeding, you have a leeway of 10 per cent over the speed limit. However, exceeding the speed limit by a few kilometres carries fines of up to $201 and demerit points. You might have a bit of flexibility with local police officers, but speed cameras are nowhere near as forgiving.
NSW: $119, one demerit point
VIC: $201, one demerit point
6. Beeping your horn for the wrong reasons
Alerting drivers to your intentions? Fine. Beeping goodbye to friends and family? Not so fine. Fines can be issued, with NSW fining $298 and VIC fining $282 for honking.
7. Driving too slowly
Finally. Some justice for those who don’t follow speed limits. If you’re obstructing the path of another car, you can be fined depending on your state. In NSW, you’ll be fined $253 and four demerit points, in QLD, you’ll be given a court imposed fine and VIC will fine you about $289 for obstructing the flow of traffic.
8. Flashing your lights to warn other drivers of speed cameras or police
People flash their lights all the time to warn people of speed cameras or police up ahead. However, flashing your lights in NSW, WA and QLD can attract fines as it can be misconstrued as ‘dazzling’ other road users. Fines in NSW are $110, fines in WA are $100 and fines in QLD are $50 and one demerit point.
9. Parking on a footpath
In narrow streets, you might consider this an option, but it can come with expensive consequences. Parking on the footpath can carry fines of up to $126. In NSW, fines are $99, Victoria will cost you $85 in fines, whereas QLD is the highest with $126.
10. Driving through a puddle to splash mud on commuters
Although you might enjoy driving through puddles in the rain, avoid the big ones near bus stops if you live in NSW. Driving and splashing fellow commuters on their way to work will set you back $177 and three demerit points.
11. Handling your phone while using Google Maps
If you like to hold your phone and see where you’re going whilst using Google Maps, it might be high time to invest in a stand that holds your phone. If you get caught handling your phone whilst on the road, you can score a fine and loss of demerit points. In NSW, you’ll be fined and lose five demerit points, in WA, you’ll be fined $400 and SA will set you back about $308.
12. Letting your passenger hold their baby while you’re driving
It’s on the responsibility of the driver to ensure everyone is safe in the car, which includes your passenger who insists on holding their baby. If you don’t have a baby seat, you’re better off not driving as they’re a requirement for all children under the age of four. Across Australia, this will set you back up to $500 and three demerit points. In Queensland, if you get fined twice for the same crime, you’ll suffer from double demerits.
13. Not turning your lights on in the dark
This one just baffles the mind. It’s hard enough to see in the dark on well illuminated roads, but some people insist on driving on rural roads without their lights on. Driving in darkness or night without lights can set you back $211 in fines. In NSW, you’ll have to pay $112 and two demerit points. Victoria is a little laxer, with a $211 fine but a loss of only one demerit point. QLD will set you back $130 and one demerit point.
14. Having dirt on your number plate
If your number plate is unreadable due to the amount of dirt on it, you’ll be set back $415 and three demerit points. Your number plate must be readable at all times. In NSW, you’ll pay $415 and lose three demerit points. QLD will cost you about $341 and VIC is three demerit points and $161.
Which one of these road rules did you already know about? Have you been caught out by these rules before? Let us know in the comments.
This article was written in partnership with Over60.