Are you planning an Australian road trip? The beautiful landscape ranging from farms and seaside views to the great outback combined with year-round pleasant weather tempts every traveler to hit the road.
Before you start, ask yourself how well do you know the Australian traffic laws? The Australian police have a visible presence on roads and they take road safety seriously.
So, here are some important traffic laws you need to know when traveling in Australia.
• Australia drives on the left side of the road
When choosing lanes, stick to the one on the left and always overtake from the right side.
• Ensure a valid driver’s license
A foreign driving license is valid for three months only and you are required to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the Australian Automobile Association. You will also need an IDP if your license is in a language other than English. Remember to carry it with you at all times.
• Speed limits must be followed
Speeding is taken very seriously across all states and territories. While the open road network is tempting, extensive speed cameras and police patrols make sure you follow the limits. Speeding is a criminal offense so be mindful of the changing speed limits. Remember that speed distances are in kilometers.
• Drunk driving is not tolerated at all
Australia has one of the lowest legal limits of blood alcohol concentration at 0.05. Random breath tests are quite common and penalties are quite harsh and can include time in jail too.
• Don’t use mobile phones while driving
Unless you have a hands-free operating system, don’t bother picking up the phone while driving. Not even to check navigation on Google Maps! There are heavy fines if you are caught. Either set up everything before you start or pull over if you have to absolutely use your phone.
• Keep your seatbelt on
Every passenger in the car has to wear a seatbelt and there are no exceptions to this. Penalties can also include impounding of car and license.
• Read the signs
Take some time to get familiar with Australian road signs. From speed limits and parking zones to turning restrictions, everything is posted on road signs. You can avoid a lot of penalties by following them properly.
• Do not honk
It is illegal to honk in this country unnecessarily. Unless you have to alert another car of some impending danger, keep away from the car horn.
• Always park in line with traffic
The basic rule is to park on the left side of the road and face the direction of the traffic. Remember to stay clear of the traffic though.
These are just the basic rules. The laws differ in every region. If you’re driving in Sydney, you will need to know its own set of unique traffic laws. In case, you find yourself charged with a traffic offense, don’t worry. Just contact the best traffic lawyers Sydney has to offer and let them evaluate your case. Having a professional to guide you through the laws and legalities can guarantee the best way forward.
Featured image: Unsplash (Agathe Marty/Thandy Yung). Composite by Mikeshouts.