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Basic Road Rules in Australia

Australia is a vast country. That much you knew, but this does have an impact on the way motorists drive their vehicles which, in turn, has helped shape the road rules and regulations that Australian drivers must abide by. Here are a few important points to note:

  • In Australia motorists drive on the left hand side of the road. As such, pedestrians should always look to their right first before crossing a road (and use a pedestrian crossing where possible) .
  • The law states that seat belts and/or child restraints must be worn by all vehicle occupants (fines and demerit points apply if this is not complied with).
  • You must always carry your driver’s licence (or a copy) when driving.
  • Take care when driving after drinking alcohol. For full licence holders the maximum legal blood alcohol level is 0.05. P-Platers may not drive after any alcohol consumption. Of course, the safest course of action is not to drive after any consumption.
  • Australia is a big country so, unfortunately ,fatigue causes many crashes. When driving long distances, make sure you stop and rest every 2 hours.
  • All traffic must follow a clockwise direction in a roundabout and a vehicle already on a roundabout has the right of way over any entering vehicles.
  • The above points are just a tiny part of the overall road rules system. Bicycle, transit and bus lanes, turning left after stopping at red lights, turning right from the left hand lane (hook turns – it’s a Melbourne thing!) may all be new to people from outside Australia so it’s important to familiarise yourself with the regulations in place to keep motorists safe.

    Further reading is advised and whilst strictly speaking for drivers on NSW roads, this link from the RTA will provide plenty of information to make sure you become a careful drive in Australia!