Road rules that could save a life
The essential road rules and penalties in place to prevent motorists from hazardous driving and fatalities.
Speeding is the most common cause of road accidents ending in fatalities and serious injuries. Police work tirelessly to prevent these outcomes through the use of police monitoring and patrolling roads, fixed speed cameras, and mobile speed cameras. Most drivers think that police are only monitoring vehicles that are travelling faster than the speed limit indicated by the signs. However, they are also on the lookout for drivers who are driving in an unsafe manner within the speed limit. Unsafe driving within the speed limit is often related to the weather or road conditions such as rain, fog or road hazards.
In NSW, one in five fatal crashes involves drink driving. In an eight-year period, 577 fatalities involved drivers with an alcohol reading that exceeded the legal limited. When it comes to statistics, most drunk drivers found by police are men and are mostly under the age of 40. Everyone should remember that the legal limit whilst driving is 0.05, however, the safest way to drive is towards zero.
After seatbelts were made compulsory in 1973, there was an instant decrease in fatalities and serious injuries. Fast forward to 2019 and very passenger is obligated to wear a seatbelt when the car is moving or in a line of traffic. There are additional requirements for the restraints of children depending on their age.
According to data and research collected by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), at least 14 per cent of fatal accidents and one in 10 fatalities are caused by motorists being distracted. The leading distractions for drivers continue to be texting and talking on their mobile phones, especially within a younger demographic. However, it is illegal for all groups as it is unsafe for the driver using their mobile and also the other drivers on the road around them. It is the law that you must not use any function of a mobile phone including phones in hands-free mode while driving a vehicle, even if stopped at traffic lights or stuck in traffic.
Police have no tolerance when it comes to ‘hoonish’ behaviour on the roads. These include but are not limited to; dangerous practices such as street racing, burnouts, engaging in a police pursuit and speeding by more than 45km/h. There are hefty fines for drivers who use NSW roads as their own personal race track, suspension or loss of licence or having their vehicle impounded or number plate confiscated for three months. When a police pursuit is involved a maximum of three years imprisonment and three-year automatic licence disqualification for a first offence can be given.