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Back Other Articles Tips and Lessons Driving laws you may not know you're breaking
23 May 2012

Driving laws you may not know you're breaking

We Aussies are brilliant drivers with an unassailable knowledge of the road rules. Well, that's what we tell ourselves and anyone else who asks.

But do you really know the road rules as well as you think?

We've trawled through the drudgery of the NSW road legislation to bring you the 10 road rules you had no idea you were breaking.

Having an animal or person on your lap while driving

Driving with your pet Pug on your lap — or another kind of special friend — is now considered not having "proper control of a vehicle". The loophole here is that this does not apply if you are travelling less than 500m for the purpose of farming. Funnily enough, the rules do not specify if this loophole is only applicable to animals, though you'd need to be fairly creative to justify using your girlfriend for farming. Otherwise the fine is $324 and three demerit points, or $405 and four demerit points if committed in a school zone.

Turning left after a slip lane

The implementation of slips lanes has improved traffic flows, which is why you now receive two demerit points and a $189 fine if you ignore one and wait until after passing it to turn.

Beeping the horn

Sounding your horn wantonly is an offence. The only time it is permissible is when warning other motorists or animals of a moving vehicle, or if it is part of an anti-theft or alcohol interlock device fitted to the vehicle.

Continuously driving on the white edge line

100m is the total distance you can drive on the outside edge line of a road before it becomes a two demerit point and $189 offence. This includes when driving straight along a road, turning at an intersection, entering or leaving the road and stopping at the side of the road.

Splashing mud on bus passengers

According to the NSW rulebook you must slow down or stop completely so as not to splash mud on anyone in, on, entering, exiting or waiting for a bus. Otherwise you may incur a maximum penalty of 20 penalty units ($2,200).

Mobile phone use

Not using a mobile phone while driving doesn't just mean not speaking on it — it also applies to holding a phone to or near your ear, writing, sending or reading text messages, switching the phone on or off, or operating any other function of the phone.

Having your music up too loud

Anything deemed to cause unnecessary noise or smoke can be considered an offence. So no burnouts and keep the One Direction at a reasonable level.

Riding an unlit horse at night

Even though the motor vehicle has been around for over 100 years, many people insist that literal horsepower is still the best way to go. And for those that do, the regulations are almost as strict as those on motorists. So for all you Amish out there, make sure you have the correct combination of red and white lights fitted in the correct places.

Road Rage

Shaking your fists at and abusing fellow motorists can become a costly mistake if you're caught. Aggressive driving such as tailgating or sudden braking is also considered road rage. The maximum penalty for a first time road rage offence is $3,300 and 18 months in jail, while a second offence increases this to $5,500 and two years imprisonment. In both cases there is also the possibility of permanent license disqualification.

Riding a tricycle on the road

A 2008 amendment to the road rules defines anyone in a "wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy" to be a pedestrian rather than a motorist or rider. Therefore scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, tricycles and pedal cars cannot be ridden on any road which has a dividing line or a speed limit greater than 50km/h.

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