Road Rules Awareness week is the time to have a little refresher on those tricky rules that you forget over time. There are some rules where many drivers are confused, e.g. how to signal on roundabouts, and others that may be second nature to drivers in the city, but get used infrequently by drivers visiting from rural areas, such as parking near intersections.
See how well you do at remembering the road rules by taking our DKT online test.
“Feedback from councils in metropolitan areas includes people getting most confused about parking near intersections, turning across unbroken lines, queuing across intersections and how pedestrians can cross safely at the lights,” said Centre for Road Safety General Manager Marg Prendergast. “Meanwhile, in country areas, people want to know more about rules around children’s crossings, giving way at T-intersections, overtaking and stop signs and lines.”
City drivers driving in rural areas were often not sure about the default speed limit on roads without a posted limit (it’s 100kph).
“What we all need to remember is that the road rules are there for a reason – queuing across an intersection, for example, is extremely dangerous because the light may change leaving you in the way of oncoming traffic – you could also end up blocking the pedestrian crossing, putting pedestrians at risk,” Ms Prendergast said.
“There are a number of rules about overtaking, including not overtaking across a continuous line. It’s really important that you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and that you can safely overtake the vehicle ahead. If someone overtakes you, don’t increase your speed, keep left and give them reasonable space to pass and move back into the lane.
“It’s also important on roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h to keep left unless overtaking. This helps traffic flow and reduces congestion – so remember this when you’re out on the road.”
By the time you’ve been driving 10 years, you’ll have forgotten perhaps a quarter of the road rules, especially ones that you use infrequently. Not knowing the rules not only puts you at risk of getting a fine, but can be dangerous, too.
“Learning to be a good driver doesn’t end with getting your driver’s licence – it requires practice and staying up to date with the road rules. Driving is all about risk management and we need our drivers to not only develop the knowledge and experience but also the attitude to become safer and smarter drivers.
“Whether you’re a driver, rider, pedestrian, cyclist or passenger – we all have a role to play in keeping our roads and each other safe so make sure you know what the road rules are and stick to them.”
A recap of some main road rules
Speed limits: the default rural speed limit is 100kph if there’s no signposted speed limit; the default urban limit is 50kph if there’s no signposted speed limit. Check all the speed limits in NSW here.
Overtaking: overtaking is the most risky manoeuvre on the road. Check out our complete guide to overtaking safely.
Giving way at intersections and roundabouts: this confuses a lot of people. Have a look at our complete guide to giving way at intersections and roundabouts.
Children’s crossing rules: there are lots of different types of crossings, but children’s crossings are temporary ones that you might not see that often if you don’t drive around school times. Here are the rules.
Unbroken lines: You can only cross unbroken lines to turn into or out of an intersection, driveway or angle parking on the opposite side of the road.
Queuing across intersections: it’s against the law to enter an intersection if it’s blocked because if the lights change it could mean you are then blocking other traffic or a pedestrian crossing.