Navigating the Unusual: Understanding Australia’s Eight Unique Driving Laws

Navigating the Unusual: Understanding Australia’s Eight Unique Driving Laws

Published on 4 December 2023
Last updated on 6 October 2023

Driving is more than just navigating from point A to B; it’s about adhering to traffic rules to ensure everyone’s safety. However, there are some laws that might catch you off guard with their peculiarity. Here are eight unexpected Australian driving rules you’ll find intriguing.

A notebook and pencil next to a notebook and toy cars with text Think you know all about Australian driving rules? Think again! Discover the quirkiest ones here.

1. No Pets on Laps While Driving

Pets are our lovable companions, but they don’t belong on your lap while you’re driving. Imagine you’re driving down a picturesque coastal road with your dog on your lap when you need to brake suddenly, your pet can not only get hurt but also hinder your control of the vehicle.

2. No Mobile Phones at Drive-Throughs

Australia considers the use of mobile phones at drive-throughs as equivalent to using them while driving. Depending on which state you are in, if you’re caught paying with your phone at a drive-through, you could face a fine of $1000. Remember, your vehicle’s engine must be off and the handbrake engaged when using your mobile at a drive-through.

3. Don’t Throw Biodegradable Litter from Your Car

In Queensland, throwing a harmless apple core or a banana peel out of your car window is considered littering. Even though they’re biodegradable, they are seen as litter, attracting a hefty fine of $575. Imagine your passenger tossing an apple core out of the window on a scenic Queensland drive – an action that might seem harmless can lead to an unwelcome fine.

4. It is illegal to tailgate?

All drivers must drive a safe distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of you. In Queensland, tailgating can lead you to a fine of $294 and 1 demerit point.

5. Avoid Eating While Driving

Although there’s no direct law against eating while driving, if it affects your control over the vehicle, you might be charged with negligent driving.

6. Misusing Your Car’s Horn is a No-No

In most states, a friendly goodbye beep or an irritated honk can cost you a fine. This law emphasises that car horns are for warning other road users, not for expressing irritation or saying goodbye. Remember, use your horn wisely!

7. Give Way to Hard-to-Control or Unmovable Horses

This might seem like a law straight out of a wild west movie, but you’re legally required to stop, turn off your engine, and wait if a horse refuses to move or seems distressed. This law ensures the safety of both drivers and equestrians.

8. Don’t Speed Up When Being Overtaken

Australia encourages safe overtaking practices. In New South Wales, for example, if you speed up while being overtaken, it could result in a $349 fine and 3 demerit points. Always maintain or reduce your speed when another vehicle is overtaking to prevent possible accidents.

Disclaimer: Ascent Lawyers owns all copyright in the text. This article is of a general nature and should not be regarded as legal advice or relied on for assistance in any particular circumstance or emergency situation. To obtain legal advice in relation to your own circumstances, please contact us for consultation.

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