Settlement Guide

Settlement Guide: 7 Australian Road Rules you might not know about

Source: Drivesafe NT

For many new migrants, the road rules in Australia can sometimes be confusing and can lead many of us to commit driving offences without even realising it.

Here are seven Australian road rules you might not know about.

There’s no such a thing as safe drink driving 


Australia has strict laws about drinking alcohol and driving, with the legal limit set at 0.05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Learners and probationary license-holders must have a 0.00 BAC.

Read more here.

Talking or texting on a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal

Man using smartphone whilst driving
Man using smartphone whilst driving

It also includes holding the phone away from your face on loud speaker even while stationary in traffic. Also in NSW, if you get caught using a hand held mobile phone in a school zone the fine is $397 and four demerit points.

Read more here.

Driving through an orange traffic light if it was deemed you had time to stop is illegal

traffic lights
traffic lights by AAP Image-Dan Himbrechts

Both in NSW and Victoria it carries the same offence as running a red light: $397 and three demerit points in NSW and $282 and three demerit points in Victoria.

Not stopping at a stop sign is illegal

A traffic controller holds a stop signs as a tram rejoins the network
Tram strikes are put aside after Yarra Trams and the public transport union agreed on a pay deal. (AAP)

A stop sign means stop. Police warns it’s not a roll through. The car must come to a complete stop and the wheels must stop moving. Failing to do so is a $282 ticket and three demerit points in Victoria and $298 and three demerit points in NSW.

Read more here.

Tooting your horn and waving goodbye is illegal

Road rage

A toot of the horn and a wave goodbye out the window as you drive down the street could cost you almost $600 and three demerit points in NSW.  In Victoria, the toot and wave will set you back $282 but no points.

Driving with an animal on your lap is illegal

Cat at the steering wheel
VicRoads via Facebook

In NSW the fine is $397 and three demerit points, in Victoria it’s $211 but no demerit points are taken off you.  

Driving barefoot is OK!

Bare feet  -file photo
Wikimedia Commons

Driving barefoot is legal in both NSW and Victoria. In fact, some road safety experts advocate it, especially if the option is thongs or high heels!

For more details on Aussie road rules you may not be aware of, listen to SBS Punjabi's interview with legal expert on the subject Craig Lynch, Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader, below:

Put your driver's knowledge to the test with this practice quiz created by SBS Italian - based on questions asked by RMS NSW (note though that exact laws vary by state).