Stay Safe by Focusing on these Road Rules in Australia
If you are a backpacker and you want to travel to Australia, you will have to follow a number of different road rules in the country. You can drive anywhere you want, but do not forget to follow the road rules of Australia. You might buy a car in Australia, any time you want, but the rules for driving in Australia are different from the rest of the world and Australians are very particular about forcing their road rules. So let us get insights into the Australian road rules to look out for.
If you are driving in Australia, then you would have an idea about different traffic rules in this country. One of these rules is about roundabouts. If you are in Australia and you are approaching a roundabout, you must indicate whether you are turning to the right or left or even if you are making a U-turn. You are required to give sufficient notice of your intention to turn. However, if you are going straight on the roundabout, then you do not need any indicator. When you have reached a roundabout, you should slow down your vehicle so that giving way to other cars is easier. When you are exiting the roundabout, you must indicate a left turn just before the exit, no matter whether you have to turn right or left. Although when it is not practical to indicate left, then you do not need to do this.
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2. To the Left
Another road rule to be followed in Australia is you have to drive on the left side of the road. This is to be kept in mind because it is a very significant change for most of the tourists. And when you are in the vehicle, you will come to know that everything here is opposite to what you have followed in your own country. This is the major difference between driving in Australia and driving in any other country. The rest of the mechanics of driving here are the same. Although you will get used to it soon, before adapting to this lifestyle, keep in mind to stay at left. If you are unable to do so, then you may be penalized with heavy fines because Australians are very much strict with their road rules.
3. Give way to Pedestrians
Another thing which you have to keep in mind while driving in Australia is pedestrians. If you have to turn left or right at an intersection and there is a pedestrian crossing the road, right at the point where you have to enter, you must give way to the pedestrian. No matter if there are traffic lights or not, you have to take care of the pedestrians who are crossing the road.
If you wish to drive in Australia, you must have a license. For driving in Australia, a valid international driving permit and a driver license of your respective country are required. Moreover, all of the passengers, as well as the driver in your vehicle, must wear seatbelts. The children who are under 7 years of age are required to remain in a child restraint for children size and weight.
5. Mobile Phone
When you are driving in Australia, and you are getting a very important business call on your mobile, which is a matter of a lot of money, you might just ignore it, because a huge amount of money is involved here also. Usage of the mobile phone, while you drive in Australia, is strictly prohibited. You can only use your mobile phone while driving in Australia if is secured in a commercially designed fixture or you are operating it with a Bluetooth or voice activation. If you are using it for GPS function or for music, then you are safe. But if you are using the internet or playing games or texting or calling someone, then you will be heavily fined. P2 holders are also not allowed in Australia, no matter if you are driving or even riding.
Merging in Australia is also a little bit different from the rest of the world. Drivers are allowed to merge only at some places. While you are driving on road without lane markings, you can merge when the number of lanes is reduced by giving the vehicle in front of you indication before time. However, when there are lane markings, merging is a little bit different. You only are allowed to merge when the lane markings become broken lines and for this, you have to give way to the vehicle which is already travelling on the same road.
7. Use headlight and fog light
When you are driving in Australia, remember one thing, you are not allowed to use high beam if the distance from the vehicle in front of you or an oncoming vehicle is less than 200 meters. Using high beam headlight if the distance from other vehicle is less than 200 meters is considered to be an offence. Although you can use high beam in order to respond to an emergency. Moreover, the fog lights are allowed only if you are travelling in fog, mist or conditions in which visibility is restricted.
8. Rules for U-Turns
When you taking a U-turn you have to have a clear view of all of the approaching vehicles and according to road rules in Australia, you are supposed to give way to vehicles as well as the pedestrians. You are not allowed to take a U-turn on a single continuous dividing line or a single continuous dividing line at the left of a broken line. You can also not take U-turn on two parallel continuous dividing lines. Moreover, if at a traffic signal, the sign of U-turn permitted is displayed, then you can make a U-turn, otherwise, U-Turn is prohibited on traffic signals.
9. Follow Safe Distance
In Australia, drivers are not allowed to stay less than three seconds behind the cars which are in front of them. You are also not allowed to tailgate a car in Australia. During rains, dim light, mist, gravel roads or poor conditions, it is suggested that you increase this safe distance to at least 4 seconds in order to avoid crashes with other cars and vehicles.
10. Speed Limit Areas
Australian government strictly enforce speed limits. As we all know the speed limit is the maximum speed which is permitted on that specific road and you are not allowed to drive above this speed. There are some roads in the country which do not have visible speed limit signs, but still, speed limit is applicable. You should be very careful if you are driving in residential areas or school zones about your speed. So while driving, remain under the set speed and nobody will bat an eye on your driving.
The Australian government is very particular about road rule-following in the country, most of us try our best to follow all of the road rules, but sometimes we do not manage to follow a certain rule and that mostly is because we have no knowledge about that rule. Obvious road rules include license, seatbelts, red lights, over speeding, mobile phones, but there are even more rules which need to be followed in Australia. There is a long list of road rules in Australia, which you probably have never ever considered following in your own country. And if you think, the police will leave you because you are a tourist, you are highly mistaken. So before travelling to Australia, make sure you know all the road rules and not only know them, you follow all these rules for your own safety and others’ safety as well.