There are many steps to becoming a legal driver. You have to take a class, pass a written test, and nail your actual driving evaluation. And while you may be informed about all the nuanced rules when you first start driving, the statistics and exact laws can get fuzzy as you spend years on the road. There are the basic rules like not speeding and using a turn signal that are second nature and hard to forget, but then there are some driving offenses that you may have never realized existed.
Even if you‘re a model driver who always goes the speed limit and stops at all the stop signs, you could be taking part in activity that technically is illegal. If you’re not careful, it could cost you in demerits or hefty fines. Knowledge is key in these situations. Do your research, so you know what behavior to avoid. Tailgating or sticking your hand out the window of your own vehicle can cause you to be pulled over and handed a fine for a traffic violation. Here are just a few examples of driving offenses that you didn’t know about that could get you into trouble.
First of all, once you start driving, it can get expensive. A big one is car insurance. Several countries, including Australia, have actually made it illegal to drive without auto insurance. Having an insurance policy protects you from injury or damage due to an accident, and you shouldn’t be driving without that peace of mind.
While auto insurance coverage is necessary, car insurance quotes can often be expensive without offering much coverage. Feel free to shop around to find an auto insurance quote with the best coverage options for you. Compare car insurance online to find the best car insurance company today. You don’t want to get fined for lacking an insurance policy. Also know that safe driving and avoiding a record of driving offenses helps keep your premiums low.
Some strange driving offenses may seem silly at first, but they do affect your safety and the safety of others. Here are a few examples:
- In South Wales and Queensland, it is illegal to honk your horn at inappropriate times as it may scare or distract other drivers and be dangerous
- Tailgating and not keeping a safe distance from the car in front of you is a fined offense in South Australia.
- In Tasmania, they take wearing your seatbelt seriously. You can be fined and receive demerit points for tucking it under your shoulder or behind your back. So strap on in for your safety and to avoid fines.
- You can’t have limbs hanging out of your car in the Australian Capital Territory. Kinda makes you wonder what horrible thing happened to make this an official law.
- In South Australia, you have to use a turn signal at all times, especially when turning left at a roundabout otherwise you’ll be met with demerit points.
Not all offenses are fined, some come with demerit points only. In Australia, you start with a clean slate of zero points and gain demerits when you participate in a traffic violation. If you hit a certain number of demerit points within a certain period, you can have your driving privileges suspended. These rules vary from state to state.
When you think of driving offenses, you immediately think about cars, but there are actually rules about riding bikes and other methods of transportation that you should be aware of. You know that classic “look, mom, no hands!” trick? Don’t even think about it in Australia where riding a bike with no hands is illegal throughout the continent. Certain areas have their own rules as well. Like in South Wales, you must have a horn or bell on your bike for safety reasons. And in Victoria, if you‘re rollerblading, you have to get out of the way of bicycle traffic or face a small fine and a demerit. So just remember, there are driving rules for just about any item with wheels.