Road Rules

Tuesday, 8 May 2012
A rule could be described as “a principle or regulation governing conduct, action or a procedure.” Rules are present in many areas of our lives and obviously they are there for a reason. Not only do they set out what is allowed but they also provide a general structure and a degree of order.

Without them there would be chaos.

The road rules have been created for the safety of everyone using the road network.

Whether you are on two feet, two wheels, four wheels or more, it is vital that we operate within the road rules…our lives depend on it.  

Not adhering to these rules can be a costly exercise, in more ways than one.

The implications for not adhering to the road rules go far beyond simply receiving a fine. It has been reported that illegal manoeuvres contributed to around one in four (25%) road deaths in 2011.

This compared with around 18% of fatalities involving speed, 16% drink-driving, 14% fatigue and 13% for failure to wear a seat belt.

Clearly, every single road user needs to have a strong working knowledge of the rules that apply to our roads. Yet, most people only study them when first learning to drive. Once they pass the test, they ever revisit them again.

Australia adopted a national set of road rules in 1999 to try to improve consistency between the states and to make life easier for road users.

However, whilst the vast majority of the laws are now the same around the country, each state is still allowed to have its own variations if necessary.

That means that there can be some differences between what is legal in one state and illegal in another.

As an example, performing a U-turn at intersections controlled by traffic lights could get you into hot water in every state with the exception of Victoria.

In Victoria, U-turns are permitted at intersections with traffic lights unless there is a ‘no U-turn’ sign. However, all other state jurisdictions prohibit a U-turn at traffic lights unless there is a sign stating that U-turns are permitted.
So it would be a good idea to refresh your understanding of the road rules on a regular basis. You can do this simply by accessing your state transport department’s website.

Also, if you’re planning to take an interstate drive, it would be a wise move to find out about the state’s road laws before you drive over the border.

As road users it is our responsibility to know the rules, and more importantly, to stick to them.

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