Basic Driving Tips if you live in Australia

If you’re used to driving on the left, chances are you won’t have any trouble driving in Australia however some road rules and signs can differ from country to country and it is important to know the local rules before you start driving.

Key Rules and Regulations

  • Drinking and driving in heavily frowned upon in any part of the world and rightfully so. In Australia it is common to have your breath checked, and the consequences of drunk driving are quite harsh. It doesn’t matter if it just one beer or not, it is always best to completely avoid alcohol if you are behind the wheel. Your blood alcohol level should be below 0.05 in most of the states but in NSW it should be below 0.02 or 0.05 depending on the vehicle type.
  • The next important rule is to always have a valid driver’s license on you. If your license is not in English, then you might need a translated copy or an international permit.
  • If you are in a multi lane road always try and stick to the left lane unless you are overtaking.
  • When you are at a roundabout or intersection always give way to the incoming traffic from the right unless you are told not to by a traffic light or road sign.
  • Always stick to the speed limit. Most of the urban areas have a 50kmph (30mph) limit around housing areas. The limit drops even lower when there is a school nearby.
  • Never ever use your horn unless you want to warn other drivers of looming danger.
  • Parking should always be done on the left-hand side of the road. Never park facing oncoming traffic.
  • Do not use your mobile phone while driving, this can cause serious harsh consequences. However, you can make or receive a call or use onboard Bluetooth systems.

Road Marking and Signs

  • All the road signs in Australia are marked in kilometres. If you are coming in from the United States make sure you remember this.
  • A stop sign indicates that you must come to a complete stop and you MUST give way to incoming traffic. The stop sign is probably one of the most prominent signs in most traffic management plans. However, when it comes down to a Give Way sign you don’t have to a complete stop, but you should slow down and give way.
  •  If the road markings are in yellow and are unbroken this means that you cannot overtake.
  • Don’t park in a loading zone. A loading zone sign indicates collecting and picking up cargo and this common for large trucks. It is not common for passenger vehicle to park in loading zones.
  • It is illegal to drive over a pedestrian crossing if there are people waiting to cross or already crossing.
  • Look out for wildlife signs. Kangaroos road kills are very common in Australia. This can not only cause harm to the animals but also to your car. Apart from Kangaroos, Koalas and wombats are come native animals that you will encounter.

These are some of the main things to keep in mind while driving in Australia. This is especially important if you are visiting and plan on driving a rental car.

Delsie Leff



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