Driving Rules in Australia

May 13, 2022

Are You Aware of the Driving Rules in Australia?

Visiting Australia? 

If you have plans on renting a campervan to drive around, it is important to know the traffic rules and road regulations. Though you are holding an international driver’s licence, you have to be aware that Australia is among the strictest countries on road regulations.

Get yourself acquainted with the basic rules before hitting the road.

What Are the Basic Driving Rules in Australia?

The driving rules in Australia vary from one state to another. Each state creates its own rules that are enforced within its territories. When you are apprehended for committing a traffic violation, such as drink driving in QLD, you will surely be dealt with by their rules and might need the service of a drink driving lawyer there.

Awareness of the road rules anywhere in Australia is your best protection against fines, penalties and violations.

A Valid Driver’s Licence Is a Must-Have

A valid driver’s licence is a requirement for all drivers in Australia. And it should be with you every time you drive. Driving without a licence will end you up facing charges.

The same rule applies to foreigners who wish to drive a vehicle in Australia. However, foreign licence (written in English) holders can only drive for up to three months. Getting International Driving Permit becomes a requirement for foreign drivers after three months and those with licences not written in English.

Wearing of Seat Belt Is Compulsory

The wearing of a seatbelt is taken very seriously anywhere in Australia. In fact, almost all states explicitly require that everyone in the vehicle should be restrained by wearing seatbelts. Aside from that, some states have laws that require you to restrain young children in booster seats and baby carriers that are correctly installed inside the vehicle.

Phone Use When Driving Is Prohibited

Drivers are strongly advised to tuck their phones away. The technique is quite effective in avoiding phone use-related apprehensions that are usually penalised with fines or other punishment for serious violations like drink driving.

If you are a driver who’s using a smartphone for navigation, you must have someone to operate the phone for you. Or, if you are driving alone, better restrict yourself from using your phone or have your vehicle fitted with a certified and reliable hands-free operating system.

Speeding is a Crime

Speed limits are pretty common in Australia, even on open highways. Even the open roads and rural areas have police patrols and speed cameras to catch drivers who are driving faster than the designated speed limit. 

If you don’t want to get into trouble with the law and be severely punished like those guilty of drink driving, familiarise yourself with the respective speed limits of the roads. 

Don’t Drink Drive

Drink driving is a serious driving offence anywhere in Australia. This could get you into serious trouble, to the point that you will need to hire a drink driving lawyer to get the violation adequately dealt with.

Driving with blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.05% is still legal. Above that rate is illegal  and extremely risky. So, the next time you start to sit on the wheel, don’t drink.

The Impact of Not Following Traffic Rules in Australia

Failure to follow various traffic rules in Australia comes with various consequences. The penalties imposed depend on the type of offence committed and the offender’s criminal record. The number of times the offender was convicted of different or similar offences also affects the severity of imposed penalties. 

Not following traffic rules could get you penalised with either of the following:

  • Fines

A fine is a monetary payment that the court could require you to pay for a penalty. It constitutes the entire penalty you receive for the offence committed or just a part of it. Aside from the actual fee, traffic offenders are usually required to pay extra amounts to cover court costs.

Although the fines imposed by courts are usually considered fair, you can still file an appeal to have yours reduced. Legal advice from qualified lawyers can get you the best results.

 

  • Demerit Points

Demerit points are penalties given to offenders for committing various traffic offences. These points are recorded against the offenders’ driver’s licences or learner’s permits. The point given depends on the type of offence committed and is anywhere from one to six points. In some cases, these points are doubled during weekends and holidays.

 

  • Licence Disqualification

Licence disqualification is a penalty imposed by courts as punishment for committing an offence. Also, the police can impose this penalty, especially on drivers charged with serious offences, such as drug or drink driving.

Licence disqualification is similar to suspension. Having a suspended licence prohibits you from driving. You are also not allowed to apply for a licence during the suspension. You can reapply for a new licence as soon as the suspension period ends.

 

  • Vehicle Impounding or Confiscation  

The court and the police can legally impound vehicles when drivers commit certain traffic offences. The court can also confiscate a car after an offender is convicted. The length of time the car will be impounded also depends on the type of traffic violations committed by the offender.

 

Why Should Everyone Be Aware of Traffic Rules?

Traffic rules and the penalties imposed on respective violators are created to regulate drivers’ behaviour when driving. They are also implemented to ensure the safety of all motorists and their passengers. Thus, all drivers are expected to obey these rules at all times to avoid committing traffic violations and keep everyone on the road safe.

 

Mardini Defence Lawyers: Defending You

Awareness and adherence are two important concepts useful to apply in driving. Otherwise, it could get you into trouble. In such a case, the best you can do is to have a group of defence lawyers dedicated to fight your cause. 

At Mardini Defence Lawyers, we have a team of reliable and highly qualified lawyers to help you if you happen to commit serious offences, such as drink driving or speeding. You can reach out to us anytime you need assistance in drink driving and traffic-related matters. Contact us today.

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If you are facing a criminal charge, we urge you to contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation. No case is too big or too small.

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