Road rules are constantly updated, and have most likely changed since you first sat for your driver’s licence. Recently RACQ put together the top 10 most commonly misunderstood road rules.
See if you would pass the test.
- ROUNDABOUTS: Drivers approaching a roundabout must use their indicators when entering and turning left, right or making a U-turn, but not when travelling straight ahead (as this would mislead other drivers into thinking you are turning left or right). When exiting a roundabout, whether you are turning left, right or even going straight ahead, you must always indicate left just before you exit, unless it is not practical. (E.g. when travelling straight ahead on a small single lane roundabout, it may be impractical to indicate left when exiting.)2. GIVING WAY TO PEDESTRIANS: If a driver is turning left or right at an intersection, he or she must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering. This applies to intersections with and without traffic lights.3. MOBILE PHONES: A mobile phone can only be used while driving in Queensland if a hands-free device is in use, and you are not a learner or P1 licence holder. Driving with a mobile phone in the driver’s hand is illegal. This includes, but is not limited to, making and receiving calls and any other function of the phone, including GPS or playing music. However, even if you are using your phone hands free, if you drive erratically or are obviously distracted from the driving task, you may be fined as other rules may apply like driving without due care and attention.4. MERGING: When a driver changes lanes, crossing a dotted line separating the lanes, they must give way to the traffic travelling in the lane they are entering. This rule applies regardless of whether the lane is ending or not. When two lines of traffic, travelling in the same direction merge, but no line is crossed a driver must give way to the vehicle ahead.
5. KEEPING LEFT: On roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must not drive in the right-hand lane unless overtaking, turning right or making a U-turn, avoiding an obstacle or driving in congested traffic. If a ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ sign is displayed, then you must keep left on these roads regardless of the speed limit.
6. HEADLIGHT AND FOG LIGHT USE: High beam is not permitted if travelling less than 200 metres behind a car going in the same direction or less than 200 metres from an oncoming vehicle. This includes flashing your headlights. A driver is only permitted to use fog lights if driving in fog, mist or other atmospheric condition that restricts visibility.
7. U-TURNS: When making a U-turn a driver must have a clear view of any approaching traffic and give way to all vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers are not allowed to make a U-turn across: a) a single continuous dividing line; b) a single continuous dividing line to the left of a broken line; c) two parallel continuous dividing lines. You must not make a U-turn at traffic lights unless a ‘U-turn permitted’ sign is displayed.
8. LEFT TURN ON RED TRAFFIC LIGHT SIGNAL: Left Turn on Red allows motorists to turn left at a red light after coming to a complete stop and giving way to other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists at the intersection. This is only permitted at intersections that have ‘Left Turn on Red Permitted after Stopping’ signage installed, currently only in south-east Queensland. If drivers can’t safely turn left on the red signal, they don’t have to.
9. SCHOOL ZONES: A school zone is the signed area around a school with a speed limit of 40km/h normally from 8am to 9.30am in NSW and 7am-9am in Queensland and 2.30pm to 4.00pm in NSW and 2pm-4pm in Queensland on school days.
- YELLOW TRAFFIC LIGHTS: A driver approaching traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light must stop if they can do so safely. Penalties apply for drivers who fail to do so