Fact or fiction? These popular Australian road rule myths busted

Do you think you know the road rules like the back of your hand? You could be in for a

Do you think you know the road rules like the back of your hand? You could be in for a surprise!

Ask anyone who drives if they’re a good driver and the majority of them will say they are. Ask the same person a question about the road rules and they’ll swear blind they know the rules, even if it turns out to be wrong!

It can be difficult to know who’s right! So to put any of those common myths to bed, we decided to find out the truth and debunk them once and for all.

Myth #1: I don’t need to go the reduced speed limit if there’s no visible road works

This one is a big no-no: in actual fact, road work speed limits apply even if there aren’t any workers present. When the signs are displayed the relevant speed limit is in force as there may be loose gravel, unmarked lines or changes in the road configuration.

Myth #2: It’s okay to use my phone as long as I don’t make a call

Incorrect: Touching or picking up a phone in any manner while on the road is an offence. This includes music, texting, social media or using your phone as a GPS, even if you’re stopped at a light. If you need to use your phone, you must be pulled over and out of traffic.

Myth #3: It’s legal to drive at 80 on the highway

It’s actually illegal and according to QPS, you can be charged with failing to show due care and consideration. They suggest pulling over if you’re going too slow, i.e. there are four or five cards behind you.

Myth #4: If I’m in a slip lane and it ends, I have the right of way

Not true. Law dictates that if your lane comes to an end with dotted lines you must give way to the traffic you are moving into. But if there isn’t a dotted line, then the vehicle behind must give way to the vehicle in front.

Myth #5: I need to indicate right when I enter a roundabout, unless I’m turning left

That’s just a myth, you don’t need to indicate right if you’re going straight, but need to if you’re going right or doing a U-turn. You can indicate left out of the roundabout.

Myth #6: My licence plate doesn’t need to be visible, just attached

Nope, in fact, if your number plate isn’t visible from 20 metres away, that’s illegal. It cannot be covered by bull bars, towbars, driving lights or be faded or obscured. In Queensland, you can receive a $227 fine if your plate/s are not legible.

Myth #7: My dog or cat can sit in my lap when I drive

Nope! This is illegal and any animal in the car must be restrained. This is for the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users if you become distracted.

Myth #8: I can warn other drivers that there’s a police car by flashing my lights

The old Australian custom of flashing your lights to warn oncoming vehicles of a police car up the road could get you fined up to $60 – it’s called dazzling your headlights. This follows on from a well-known law that you must dip your headlights to low beam when a vehicle coming toward you is within 200 metres.


Did any of these laws/road rules surprise you? What’s another question you have that you and your friends can’t decide on?