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Some Australian Road Rules You Probably Don't Know About

11 April 2024 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

Whether you're cruising Queensland's coastal highways or navigating the Outback's winding roads, there's no denying that driving in Australia is an experience unlike any other. And as an Australian who often drives, you should be fully aware of the road rules.

From road signs to speed limits, it's all in your head while you are at the wheel. But there are some road rules lurking in the shadows that might just surprise you.

While different states across the country implement variations of road rules, they're all covered by the nationally enforced Road Traffic Act.  From the quirky to the downright perplexing, we're about to uncover some driving laws that even the most seasoned Aussie motorists might not know.

It's time to buckle up and rev those engines through the world of Aussie driving dos and don'ts. 

Here are some Australian road rules you need to be aware of:

Unnecessarily honking

Do you ever honk to greet an incoming friend you met on the road? Or use it as a 'goodbye' signal when you part ways? 

You should be warned that this isn’t allowed under Regulation 224 of the Australian Road Rules (ARR)! These specific examples qualify as unnecessary honking when car horns are in fact meant to signal incoming vehicles, people, or even animals about your car's position. 

Leaving your car unlocked, or the keys inside 

Securing your car and its key is a rule that calls on drivers’ common sense but is also reinforced by the ARR’s Regulation 213 by applying penalties when not applied. 

According to this rule, you must take your car keys with you and never leave them in the ignition. You must also make sure they are secured as this will help you avoid getting locked out of your vehicle or worse, getting your car stolen. 

Speeding up after getting overtaken

When a vehicle overtakes another, it's a common response for drivers to speed up like they're chasing the vehicle that overtook them. But take note, it's against the law! 

Regulation 145 says the overtaken driver must maintain their current speed, and ensure the other driver has positioned themselves back to the line of traffic and that they allow ample space to the other vehicle. 

This rule ensures that you avoid speeding and keep your head cool on the road. 

Driving too slow

If you assume that you can only get a ticket for overspeeding, think again! 

Driving too slow (underspeeding) is also punishable under Australian road rules. 

Imagine driving at 20km/h on a road where the minimum speed is 80km/h. Vehicles behind, and even pedestrians will naturally be upset because you would be hindering traffic and impeding their path. 

You must always follow the road’s prescribed speed limit and never go beyond or even under it. 

Exposing body parts while driving

Summer rides tend to be a lot of fun. So much so that you’d feel the urge to put your arm or other limbs out the window or door! But road regulators may just sour all that summer fun as they pull you over. 

Regulation 268 mandates you should not drive with any of your body parts outside of your vehicle’s window or door. This is for the driver’s safety because these dangling arms and limbs are at risk when placed out of the car. 

However, there is an exception. Using your hands to signal left and right turns to vehicles behind you is permitted by the authorities. 

Using fog light in clear conditions

Just like the regulation applied to the use of your vehicle’s horn, turning on your fog lights unnecessarily is considered illegal according to Regulation 217. 

Fog lights, located in the front and rear sides of the car, are mainly lit up to guide drivers through the fog or any harsh weather conditions that lower your visibility. But using these in clear conditions may affect your ability to see brake lights and may cause oncoming traffic–or worse, accidents. 

Splashing mud on a bus passenger

Splashing mud on passengers at a bus stop isn’t only disrespectful but also considered an offence in New South Wales. If you happen to be guilty of doing this, you may find yourself in big trouble! 

Further regulations state that you must approach the bus stop with caution and care to avoid splashing any mud on commuters especially when raining. 


Drive with ease and peace of mind! 

Now that you are informed about these odd regulations in place, you can confidently take on another road adventure. It’s always better to be aware and have these basic road rules in mind when driving.

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Eyes and mind on the road.