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This article was written by Sally Crosswell

Sally Crosswell has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Communication and a Master of International and Community Development. She also completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. A former journalist, Sally has a keen interest in human rights law.

Commonly Broken Queensland Road Rules


Queensland Police has released a list of road rules that are commonly broken in the state. Drivers may not know the rules or be reluctant to follow them. The rules are contained in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009.

This article covers some of the most commonly misunderstood and broken rules. For most of these, the maximum penalty for a breach is a fine of 20 penalty units ($2669).

Mobile phones

It is illegal for a driver to use a mobile phone in their hand while driving, even if stopped in traffic. This includes the driver holding the phone next to their ear; writing, sending or reading a text message; or operating any other function on the phone.

Learner and P1 provisional drivers must not use hands-free, wireless headsets  or the phone’s loud speaker function. Open and P2 provisional licence holders are permitted to use hands-free.

Mobile phone offences carry a $1000 fine and 4 demerit points. Double demerit points apply for a subsequent mobile phone offences committed within a year of the earlier offence.

U-turns

U-turns are permitted only when there is a clear view of all approaching traffic, and drivers must give way to all vehicles and pedestrians They are not permitted across a single continuous dividing line or two parallel continuous dividing lines, or across a painted island in the centre of the road.

A U-turn at traffic lights is permitted only if there is a sign authorising this; if there is no such sign, it is illegal.

Roundabouts

A driver approaching a roundabout must indicate their direction – left, right, or making a U-turn – but not when travelling straight ahead. A driver must always indicate left when exiting the roundabout, even when travelling straight ahead.

Pedestrians

Whether an intersection has traffic lights or not, a driver who is turning left or right at that intersection must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering.

Merging

Vehicles merging must give way to all traffic in the lane they want to enter, whether the lane is ending or not.

Keeping left

Where a road has a speed limit higher than 80km/h a vehicle must not drive in the right-hand lane unless they are:

  • overtaking;
  • turning right;
  • making a U-turn;
  • avoiding a hazard;
  • avoiding congestion;
  • lawfully using a special purpose lane.

Use of lights

The use of high-beam lights is illegal within 200m of another vehicle, whether that vehicle is approaching or driving away. Flashing headlights, which is often done to warn motorists of a speed camera ahead, is also illegal.

School zones

A 40km/h speed limit applies in a signed area around a school from 7am to 9am and from 2pm to 4pm on school days.

Tailgating

Driving too close to a vehicle in front is an offence. Determining a safe distance depends on the speed, driving conditions and the type of vehicle. In ideal conditions, a driver should stay at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front.

For advice about road rules or any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Lawyers.

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