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Letters may be edited. Due to the large volume received, we can’t answer them personally and
can only print a handful. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the NRMA.
I wish to compliment and thank Open
Road for ‘Commonly Misunderstood
Road Rules’ (Jan/Feb issue). I hope this
will be a regular feature covering most,
if not all, the road rules. It’s useful as a
reminder to motorists of the road rules
because so many seem to forget them.
Eva Lee, Bayview
Congratulations on your recent article
about commonly misunderstood road
rules. I’ve also observed a decline in
drivers adhering to important road
rules – such as giving way to buses
departing stops, stopping at stop
signs, and not blocking pedestrian
crossings at traffic light intersections.
I think you should make this a regular
feature to help educate drivers, and I
suggest you also find out why our
understanding of road rules has declined.
Well done – I hope to see more such
education in your magazine.
Jens Korf, via email
Everyone watches TV commercials,
so the government should be making
commercials on road safety. There would
be a lot of companies that would also
donate to this cause. Your road rules
feature was great for us Open Road
readers – now the rest of the public
needs to know them.
Joe Auth, via email
To support the constant battle against road
deaths, the NRMA bought advertising in daily
newspapers ahead of the 1993 Anzac Day long
weekend. The award-winning ad urged all
motorists to drive carefully over the break,
saying: “Unfortunately, a lot of city drivers
die on the roads on long weekends. Fatigue,
speeding, drink driving and failure to adjust to
the different road conditions all play a part in
these tragedies. But with a little extra care,
you can avoid becoming a casualty this Anzac
weekend. Lest you forget, we are already
commemorating the deaths of many Australians
this weekend. Let’s not add to the toll.”
THE WAY WE WERE 1993
Did you know that
it’s illegal to leave
your car unlocked?
Did you know that it’s illegal to leave your
car unlocked? Last year, I received a fine
for $108 for leaving my car unlocked and
the window wound down. It wasn’t until I
received this fine that I knew about this
rule. No one I have told about it since has
known this was the law either. If this is
new road rule, I ’d like to know how people
are supposed to be made aware of them?
Louise Gallard, via email
Thank you to our readers for their many
letters discussing our feature on road
rules last issue. We’ve continued our
coverage of lesser-known road rules this
issue and they also include the one above
which caught out Louise.
CLIPS OF TIPS
While we’re continually reminded on TV
and radio not to drink drive or exceed the
speed limit, we’re not being positively
encouraged to improve our driving skills.
I would like to see short clips of 30
seconds or so that give us safe driving
and riding tips to be aired, for example,
between the news and weather
segments. Also, the public could be
encouraged to send in their suggestions.
If it’s made interesting to watch or
listen to, it may help reduce our
staggering road toll and even be a
winner for the networks that air them.
Phil Vernon, Marrickville
A practice that seems to be becoming
more prevalent – and which I believe
contributes to driver frustration and a
certain level of road rage – is the failure
of drivers to use their turning indicators
well in advance. This is particularly
frustrating when they’re turning right at
traffic lights and only engage their
indicator when the light turns green.
I have seen many near misses and
experienced the frustration that this
causes, as drivers caught behind such a
vehicle seek to change to the left lane.
I’ve always understood there’s a rule
KNOW THE RULES
Get the behind the wheel and there’s a fair chance you’ll see another driver
breaking one of these road rules. Read on to make sure that driver isn’t you...
WHEN DO YOU USE YOUR INDICATOR ON A ROUNDABOUT?
Drivers approaching a roundabout must use their indicators whe n
turning left, right or making a U-turn, but not when going straight
ahead (this would mislead other drivers into thinking you’re going
left or right). When exiting a roundabout, whichever way you’re
turning or going straight ahead, you must always indicate a left
turn just before you exit, unless it’s not practic al to do so. For
example, when travelling straight ahead on a small single lane
roundabout, it may be impractical to indicate left when exiting.
DO YOU NEE D TO GI VE WAY TO PEDESTRIANS AT
INTERSECTIONS WITHOUT TRAFFIC LIGHTS?
Yes. If a driver is turning left or right at an intersection, the driver
must give way to any pedestria n crossing the road the drive r is
entering. This applies to intersections with or without traffic lights.
ARE L, P1 OR P2 LICENCE HOLDERS ALLOWED TO USE
THEIR MOBILE PHONES WHILE DRIVING?
No. Drivers who hold an L, P1 and P2 licence are not permitted to
use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding. For fully-licensed
drivers, a mobile phone can only be used while driving if it’s
se cured in a commercially manufactured mounting and is operated
via Bluetooth technology or voice activation. It can only then be
used to make or answer c alls, as a driver or navigational aid, and
as a n audio player (not for texting, internet browsing, etc.).
WH EN MERGING LAN ES, WHO MUST GIVE WAY?
When a driver is travelling on a road and the number of lanes is
re duced after the markings end, they must merge while giving way
to any vehicle that is ahead of them. However, a driver moving
from one lane to another that’s ma rked by broken lines (whether
or not the lane is ending) must give way to any vehicle travelling
in the same direction.
AT WHAT SPEED MUST YOU KEEP IN THE LEFT LAN E?
On roads with a spe ed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must
not drive in the right-hand lane unless overtaking, turning right,
making a U -turn, avoiding an obstacle or driving in congested
traffic . If a ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ sign is displayed, you
must keep left regardless of the speed limit.
WH EN CAN YOU USE FOG AND H IGH BEAM LIGHTS?
A driver is only permitted to use fog lights (if your car model has
them as an option, of course) while driving in fog, mist or other
atmospheric conditions that restrict visibility. In other conditions,
high beam is not permitted if travelling le ss than 200 metres
behind a c ar going in the same direction or less than 200 metres
from an oncoming vehicle. As a side note, it’s also an offence to
flash the vehicle’s headlights unless the vehicle is being used to
respond to an emergency.
CAN YOU MAKE A U-TURN AT TR AFFIC LIGHTS?
No. You must not make a U-turn at traffic lights unless there is
a ‘U -turn permitted’ sign displayed. When making a U-turn, a
driver must have a clear view of a ny approaching traffic and give
way to all vehicles and pedestria ns. Drivers are not allowed to
make a U-turn a cross a single continuous dividing line; a single
continuous dividing line to the left of a broken line; or two
parallel continuous dividing lines.
H OW FAR SHOULD YOU STAY BEH IND THE VEHICLE IN
FRONT OF YOU WHEN DRIVING?
Drivers should stay three se conds behind vehicles in front of them
and be mindful not to tailgate. In poor conditions such as rain,
gravel roads or dim light, it may be necessary to increase the
travelling distance to four seconds to avoid potential crashes.
AT WH AT TIME OF THE DAY DO SCHOOL ZONE
A school zone is the area around a school with a speed limit of
40km/h imposed. This is normally between the times of 8am-
9.30 am and 2.30pm-4pm on school days only. There’s a small
number of non-standard school zone times in NSW. These zones
are identified by red/orange school zone signs that also indicate
the non-standa rd times that apply to them.
DO YOU I MMEDIATELY H AVE TO STOP AT A
YELLOW TR AFFIC LIGHT?
A driver approaching a traffic light showing a yellow light should be
attempting to stop their vehicle at the intersection. Penalties may
apply for drivers who fail to come to a stop at a yellow signal, unless
it is unsafefor them to do so.
OPEN ROAD 41
9/2/18 3:31 pm
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