ACT road rules handbook - Access Canberra

ACT road rules handbook - Access Canberra
JANUARY 2017
The ACT Road Rules Handbook is written
and compiled by the Chief Minister,
Treasury and Economic Development
Directorate. The assistance of the
following in bringing together this
handbook is gratefully acknowledged:
• Infant Restraint Loan Service
• Australian Driver Trainers’
Association - ACT Branch
• NSW Transport Roads and Maritime
Services.
Other available publications:
• ACT Heavy Vehicle Drivers’ Handbook
• ACT Older Drivers’ Handbook
While this handbook is predominantly a
training tool for learner drivers, it is also
intended to assist ACT or visiting drivers,
however it is intended as a guideline only.
Legislative provisions are contained in the
Australian Road Rules 2012 and related
Acts and Regulations.
For further information please see page 15
of this handbook.
ISBN 0 642 60329 4
© Australian Capital Territory,
Canberra, 2017
This work is copyright. Apart from any
use as permitted under the Copyright
Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by
any process without written permission
from the Chief Minister, Treasury and
Economic Development Directorate,
ACT Government,
GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601.
Produced by Publishing Services.
Publication No. 161374
http://www.act.gov.au
Telephone: Access Canberra 13 22 81
ii
Foreword
This ACT Road Rules Handbook contains practical information to help you master the
road rules and obtain the other knowledge you will need to pass the Road Ready Course
and the Road Rules Knowledge Test. Most importantly, the information in this publication
could save your life.
The Handbook is essential reading for anyone learning to drive. It’s also a great resource for
experienced drivers who want to keep up to date with changes to road rules and is a valuable
source of information for interstate or overseas visitors who plan to drive in the ACT.
As a learner driver you will find the handbook will reinforce what you learn each time you
get behind the wheel. And it will remain a valuable resource once you graduate to your
Provisional licence and start driving solo—the period during which drivers are at most risk
of being involved in a road accident.
It is very important that you get plenty of driving practice with an experienced driver
sitting beside you, in these early days of your driving career. I urge all of you to consider
signing up for a Road Ready Plus course, which will give you a chance to share your
experiences with other young drivers as you earn the right to remove your P plates and
increase your demerit points allowance.
Safe driving!
iii
ACCESSIBILITY
The ACT Government is committed to making its information
as accessible as possible
If you require a translator or interpreter, contact us through the
Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 13 14 50.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing impairement, contact us
through the National Relay Service (NRS) on 13 36 77 and
ask for 13 22 81.
Speak and Listen users can phone 1300 555 727 and ask for
13 22 81.
If you would like to receive this document in an alternative
format such as large print, contact 13 22 81.
iv
CONTENTS
PART A - General Information................ viii
The legal limit.................................. 20
Who this book is for............................ 1
Mixing alcohol, drugs
and medication................................. 21
Licence Classes.................................. 2
Licence Classes Codes....................... 3
Licence eligibility requirements............ 4
Medical Information........................... 4
Public passenger vehicle .................... 4
Obtaining an ACT learner
driver licence...................................... 5
Warning signs after
taking medication............................ 21
Effects of alcohol on the body........... 21
Alcohol impairment varies ............... 22
What is Alcohol Concentration
(BAC) ............................................. 22
Proof of identity and residency............ 6
Random breath testing
and drug testing............................... 23
Evidence of change of name.............. 8
Using a mobile telephone.................. 23
The Knowledge Test........................... 9
Vehicle Security................................. 24
Learner driving outside the ACT.......... 9
Demerit points scheme...................... 24
The driving test................................... 9
Fatigue............................................. 25
Competency Based Training and
Assessment Scheme (CBT & A)......... 11
Distractions....................................... 27
Licence classifications........................ 12
Provisional licence............................ 12
Full licence...................................... 12
Heavy vehicle licence....................... 13
Probationary licence......................... 13
Safe driving tips................................ 13
PART C - Knowing the road rules............. 28
Traffic controls.................................. 29
Road markings................................. 29
Merging ......................................... 30
Form One Lane............................... 30
Diagonal bars, painted islands......... 31
Safe System and Vision Zero.............. 14
Arrows and other road turn
markings......................................... 31
Where to get further information........ 15
Hold and turn lines.......................... 32
PART B - First steps to safe driving......... 16
Coloured bicycle lanes..................... 32
Seat belts and child restraints............. 17
Traffic signals.................................... 33
Seat belts......................................... 17
Give way to the right........................ 34
Child restraints................................. 18
Traffic signs....................................... 35
Child restraint rules.......................... 18
Regulatory signs (mandatory)............ 35
Carrying passengers......................... 19
Warning signs (advisory) ................. 36
Technical advice............................... 19
Information signs............................. 36
The risks associated with alcohol,
drugs and driving.............................. 20
Temporary signs............................... 37
Legal penalties................................. 20
Speed limits...................................... 38
Bus priority traffic signals.................. 37
v
ACT default speed limit.................... 38
Crossings......................................... 60
Speed zones.................................... 38
Pedestrian crossings......................... 60
Safe speed....................................... 38
Wombat crossings............................ 60
Speed restriction signs...................... 39
School crossings.............................. 60
Posted speed limits............................ 39
Pedestrian refuge zone..................... 61
Speed and red light cameras............. 39
School Zones................................... 61
What to do when the traffic
lights change to amber..................... 40
Level crossings................................. 62
What happens when a vehicle is
photographed.................................. 40
Mobile speed cameras..................... 40
Radar detectors................................. 40
Intersections...................................... 41
Examples of giving way at
intersections..................................... 42
Parking............................................. 63
Where not to park your vehicle:........ 63
How and where to park.................... 64
Goods Vehicles................................ 65
Heavy Vehicles................................. 65
Short stay parking............................ 66
Some examples of parking signs....... 67
Additional give way rules and
examples as depicted in the
Australian Road Rules....................... 44
Parking regulations........................... 68
Giving way at a give way sign at
a bridge or length of narrow road..... 44
Parking – minimum distances from
other vehicles and dividing strip........ 68
Giving way at an intersection
(except a T-intersection or
roundabout).................................... 44
Miscellaneous................................... 69
Giving way when entering
a road from a road-related
area or adjacent land....................... 47
Giving way when entering
a road-related area or adjacent
land from a road............................. 47
Types of intersections......................... 48
How to avoid Parking
Infringement Notices (PINS).............. 68
Parking infringement........................ 68
Throwing objects at vehicles............. 69
Failing to stop for police................... 69
PART D - Road craft................................. 70
Preparing to drive.............................. 71
Mechanical checks........................... 71
Pre-drive checks............................... 72
T- intersections................................. 48
Opening car doors.......................... 72
Cross roads..................................... 49
Getting under-way............................ 72
Roundabouts................................... 50
Moving off....................................... 72
Turning............................................. 53
Keeping a lookout........................... 72
Left-hand turns................................. 53
Keeping your distance....................... 73
Right-hand turns............................... 56
Space in front.................................. 73
Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle .... 58
Space to the sides............................ 75
U-Turns and Three Point Turns........... 58
Space behind.................................. 75
Three point turns.............................. 59
Steering............................................ 76
vi
Letting others know............................ 76
Towing and being towed ................. 93
Horn use......................................... 77
What to do after a crash.................... 93
Lane positioning................................ 77
Bus lanes.......................................... 77
PART E - Vulnerable road users
and sharing the road............................... 94
Keep clear markings.......................... 77
Vulnerable road users........................ 95
Keeping to the left on
a multi-lane road.............................. 78
Inattentional blindness...................... 95
Lane changing.................................. 79
Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists
and horse traffic................................ 96
Overtaking....................................... 79
Coasting, freewheeling
and clutch control............................ 81
Share the road................................. 95
Pedestrians and drivers..................... 96
Pedestrians in Shared Zones............. 97
Braking and stopping........................ 82
Cyclists and drivers........................... 97
Reaction Time.................................. 83
Overtaking a cyclist........................... 97
ABS - Anti-lock Braking System......... 83
Minimum overtaking distance........... 97
Reversing.......................................... 83
The rule in a snapshot...................... 98
Major ACT arterial roads................... 84
Parking and cyclists.......................... 99
Driving under difficult conditions........ 86
Bicycle lanes.................................... 99
Night driving.................................... 86
Road rules for cyclists....................... 99
Fog lights......................................... 87
Motorcyclists and drivers................. 102
Winter and wet weather driving......... 87
Motorcycle Lane Filtering................ 102
Snowy and icy conditions.................. 88
Steep hills........................................ 88
Carrying pillion passengers
on motorcycles.............................. 103
Towing............................................. 88
Head checks.................................. 103
Unsealed roads............................... 89
Motorcycles in bicycle lanes............ 103
Emergencies and what to do.............. 89
Sharing the road with motorcycles... 103
Skids............................................... 89
Sharing the road with large vehicles.104
Possible head-on collision................ 91
Looking out for heavy vehicles........ 104
Forced off the road onto gravel........ 91
Oversize vehicles........................... 104
Shattered windscreen....................... 91
Dangerous loads........................... 105
Tyre blow-out or rapid puncture........ 91
Buses............................................. 105
Brake failure.................................... 91
Bus priority traffic signals................ 106
Car fire............................................ 92
Giving way to buses....................... 106
Stuck accelerator............................. 92
Transit lanes................................... 107
Breakdowns and accidents............... 92
Emergency vehicles......................... 107
Interfering with the driver’s
control of the vehicle........................ 92
Index.............................................. 108
vii
PART A - General Information
• Who this book is for
––
––
––
––
––
Vehicle classifications
Licence eligibility requirements
Public vehicle endorsement
Safe driving tips
Knowledge test
• Obtaining an ACT Learner driver licence
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
Proof of identity and residency
The knowledge test
Driving outside the ACT
The driving test
Requirements for driving test vehicles
During the driving test
Driver competencies
Competency Based Training and Assessment Scheme
• Licence classifications
––
––
––
––
Provisional licence
Full licence
Heavy vehicle licence
Probationary licence
• Safe driving tips
• Safe System and Vision Zero
• Where to get further information
viii
PART A - General information
Who this book is for
This book is for people who wish to obtain
their ACT learner driver licence, and for
experienced drivers with an interest in
refreshing their knowledge of ACT road
law and defensive driving skills.
People with an interstate licence must
obtain an ACT licence within three
months of taking up permanent residence
in the ACT. Such people are required
to present their interstate licence at any
Access Canberra Shopfront, complete a
licence application form, and successfully
pass an eyesight test.
Possession of a licence indicates that the
Road Transport Authority is satisfied that
the holder is capable of driving safely
on public roads in company with other
qualified drivers.
Remember: A driver licence is not a
right but a privilege granted under the
law.
The ACT Government issues a five
year driver licence to most ACT licence
holders after they have completed their
provisional licence period. The licence
class codes are endorsed on all ACT driver
licences. The chart on page 3 identifies
the vehicle licence class codes.
Almost everything in this book applies to
drivers of cars and riders of motorcycles.
This book uses the word “driver” to cover
both of these groups. Most information
applies to pedal cyclists as well and an
additional section for cyclists is also
included.
1
Licence Classes
2
Licence Classes Codes
Codes
Licence Class
May Drive:
R
Motorcycle
licence
1. A motorbike or motor trike.
2. A motorbike towing a single trailer designed to be towed by a motorbike.
C
Car licence
1. A motor vehicle (other than a motorbike) with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
not over 4.5 tonnes and that is constructed or equipped to seat not more than 12 adults
(including the driver).
2. A tractor or implement.
3. A motor vehicle mentioned in item 1 or 2 that is towing a single trailer with a GVM not
over 9 tonnes.
4. However, this class does not cover a motor vehicle that is towing:
(a) 2 or more trailers; or
(b) a single trailer with a GVM over 9t.
LR
Light rigid vehicle
licence
1. A motor vehicle with a GVM over 4.5 tonnes but not over 8 tonnes.
2. A motor vehicle with a GVM not over 8 tonnes that is constructed or equipped to seat
more than 12 adults (including the driver).
3. A motor vehicle mentioned in item 1 or 2 that is towing a single trailer with a GVM not
over 9 tonnes.
4. However, this class does not cover a motor vehicle that is towing:
(a) 2 or more trailers; or
(b) a single trailer with a GVM over 9t.
MR
Medium rigid
vehicle licence
1. A motor vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM over 8 tonnes.
2. A motor vehicle mentioned in item 1 that is towing a single trailer with a GVM not over
9 tonnes.
3. However, this class does not cover a motor vehicle that is towing:
(a) 2 or more trailers; or
(b) a single trailer with a GVM over 9t.
HR
Heavy
1. A rigid motor vehicle with 3 or more axles and a GVM over 8 tonnes.
2. An articulated bus with 3 or more axles and a GVM over 8 tonnes.
3. A motor vehicle mentioned in items 1 or 2 that is towing a single trailer with a GVM not
over 9 tonnes.
4. However, this class does not cover a motor vehicle that is towing:
(a) 2 or more trailers; or
(b) a single trailer with a GVM over 9t.
rigid
vehicle licence
HC
Heavy combination
vehicle licence
5. A prime mover to which is attached a single semi-trailer plus any unladen converter
dolly.
6. A rigid motor vehicle to which is attached a trailer with a GVM over 9 tonnes plus any
unladen converter dolly.
MC
Multi-combination
vehicle licence
Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, other than a motor bike.
3
Licence eligibility requirements
Public passenger vehicle
Applicants are required to satisfy minimum
age and driving experience requirements to
be eligible for an ACT driver licence.
O (Public Bus)
T (Taxi)
W (Restricted Hire Car)
H (Hire Car) Condition or
M Hire Car (including restricted) for a
motorbike
Q Condition issued to visa holders
Applicants MUST learn to drive the
respective vehicle types under the
supervision of a fully licensed driver of the
appropriate class.
Learner licences are not issued for classes
LR, MR, HR, HC, MC or for T, H, W, M
or O conditions.
An applicant for an LR or MR licence
must be a minimum of 18 years of age and
must have held a licence to drive a C class
vehicle for at least 12 months.
An applicant for a HR licence must be a
minimum of 19 years of age and must have
held a licence to drive a C class vehicle for
at least 24 months.
Applicants who wish to drive a public
passenger vehicle must obtain a public
vehicle licence class code T, H, W, M or O
condition for their licence.
Applicants must be at least 20 years of age
and have held a current Australian full
driver licence of the relevant class for at
least one year. As well as being medically
fit, applicants must meet suitable person
requirements which includes their traffic
and criminal records.
An applicant for a HC licence must be a
minimum of 19 years of age and must have
held a licence to drive a MR or HR class
vehicle for at least 12 months.
A Public Vehicle Driver Authority Card is
issued to all public vehicle licence holders
and must be displayed in the public
vehicle at all times when the driver is
driving the vehicle.
An applicant for a MC licence must be a
minimum of 20 years of age and must have
held a licence to drive a HC or HR class
vehicle for at least 12 months.
The purpose of the PVDAC is to provide
a visual assurance for passengers of public
vehicles that a driver is authorised to drive
a public vehicle.
Medical Information
Before applying for a driver licence of any
type, licence applicants should check the
medical declaration on the reverse side
of the drivers licence application form
to ensure that they meet the medical
requirements to obtain a driver licence.
Any medical conditions that may effect
your ability to drive must be reported to
the ACT Road Transport Authority.
4
Obtaining an ACT
learner driver licence
To obtain a learner driver licence an
applicant must:
• provide proof of identity, age and
residency; (see page 6)
• complete and pass a ‘Road Ready
Learner Licence Course’;
• pass a knowledge test on ACT road
rules and safe driving practices;
• pass an eyesight test.
Any person aged 15 years and 9 months or
more may apply for a learner driver licence
to drive a motor car.
The learner car licence is valid for 24
months. An applicant for a provisional
driver licence must have held their learner
car licence for a minimum period of six
months (regardless of age) and must
have attained the age of 17 years before
a practical driving test can be attempted
with a government licence examiner OR
before a provisional licence can be issued
under the Competency Based Training
and Assessment (CBT&A) Scheme.
The learner motorcycle licence is valid for
12 months. To obtain a learner motorcycle
licence an applicant must be at least 16
years and 9 months old.
Learner motorcycle applicants must
complete the government approved
Pre-Learner Licence Training Course
before being eligible to apply for a learner
motorcycle licence.
A learner motorcycle licence must be held
for a minimum of 3 months before a
Pre-provisional Training Course and
practical riding test can be attempted.
To drive a motor vehicle, holders of
a Learner Driver Licence MUST be
accompanied by a person holding a FULL
Australian licence of the same class.
Towing is restricted to small trailers not
exceeding 750 kilograms GVM.
Holders of a learner driver licence for a
motorcycle are NOT permitted to tow.
‘L’ plates MUST be displayed on the front
and the rear of the vehicle while it is
being driven by the learner. ‘L’ plates must
NOT be placed in a position where they
obstruct the vision of the learner driver,
or the accompanying licensed driver.
They should be of the correct size and
colour, and must not obscure the vehicle’s
number plates.
Motorcyclists only need to display one ‘L’
plate, at the rear of the bike.
Note 1: ‘L’ plates are meant to be easily
seen by other motorists, for your safety
and theirs. The plates must be placed
at the front and rear of the vehicle in a
conspicuous position so they are clearly
visible from in front of and behind the
vehicle. ‘L’ plates are not clearly visible
if they are placed, for example, behind
wiper arms, behind rear louvres or
inside tinted windows.
5
It is an offence to drive a vehicle with
‘L’ plates displayed if the driver is not a
learner driver.
Note 2: The Road Ready Course and
Knowledge Test certificates are valid
for two years. If an applicant fails to
obtain their learner driver licence within
2 years of completing the Road Ready
Course, they will be required to retake
and successfully pass the Road Ready
Course and Road Rules Knowledge Test
before their original learner licence will
be issued.
Where an applicant wishes to renew
an expired learner licence, they will be
required to undertake and pass the Road
Rules Knowledge Test again.
Proof of identity and residency
Before being permitted to attempt a
knowledge test, or obtain a learner driver
licence from a Access Canberra Shopfront,
you must produce three original proof
of identity documents and one proof of
residency document:
• One primary proof of identity
(Category A) document;
• One secondary proof of identity
(Category B) document;
• One POI document must display the
applicant’s name in full and not as an
initial.
• One POI document must show a
signature.
• One POI document must show a date
of birth.
• Proof of Residency must be provided
as a fourth document if not already
satisfied by other POI documents.
6
• POI document must be current (not
expired unless otherwise stated).
• Photocopies are not acceptable unless
otherwise stated.
• Certified Photocopies are not
acceptable.
Category A documents
(Primary Proof) consists of:
• Australian Photographic Driver
Licence (current or expired up to 2
years).
• Australian Birth Certificate (not a
Commemorative Certificate and not
an extract). Note If the certificate
is not in the name currently used
appropriate linking documentation
will be required - see Evidence of
change of name.
• Australian Passport (expired up to 2
years).
• Overseas Passport (expired by up to 2
years).
• Australian Citizenship Certificate or
Naturalisation Certificate.
• Department of Immigration and
Border Protection travel document
(valid up to 5 years after issue).
• Department of Immigration and
Border Protection Evidence of
Immigration Status (EIS) ImmiCard
(valid to date of expiry).
• Department of Immigration and
Border Protection Permanent
Resident Evidence (PRE) ImmiCard
(valid to date of expiry).
• Department of Immigration and
Border Protection Australian
Migration Status (AMS) ImmiCard
(valid to date of expiry).
• Police Officer Photo-identity card
(from ACT only).
• Australian Proof of Age Card
(includes NSW Photo Card) with
appropriate security features, showing
date of issue by an Authority, that is
current or expired up to 2 years.
Category B documents
(Secondary Proof) consists of:
• Current Medicare Card.
• Current Credit Card or Account
Card, with signature and embossed
name from a Bank, Building Society or
Credit Union.
• Current Student Identity Document
(with photo and / or signature) issued
by an Educational Institution.
• Current Centrelink or Department of
Veterans Affairs Concession Card.
• Australian-issued Security Guard
/ Crowd Controller Licence (with
photo).
• Australian-issued Firearm Licence
(with photo).
• Current Consular photograph identity
card issued by Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade.
• Current State, Territory, or Federal
Government employee photo-identity
card.
Proof of residency
Proof of residency, if not already
established by a Category A or Category
B document must be supplied by all
interstate and overseas licence holders
transferring to an ACT driver licence, and
all original licence applicants.
Provided the applicant’s residential
address is listed on the document, the
following are acceptable:
• Contract of Purchase, Current Lease
or Rental Document for relevant
premises (a receipt only is not
acceptable) prepared by a real estate
agency or ACT Government.
• ACT Revenue Office Rates Notice
(current).
• Land Tax Valuation Notice (current).
• Australian Taxation Office
Assessment (last or current financial
year).
• Utility Accounts relating to
the nominated physical address
(Electricity, Gas, Landline Telephone
or Water) paid within the last 6
months.
• Pay Television account relating to the
applicant’s nominated physical address
paid within the last 6 months.
• Department of Defence Minute
Confirmation of address, supported by
a Defence Identification Card.
• Australian Defence Force Photoidentity card (excluding civilians).
• Letter from Approved University
Residences, accompanied by a Student
Identity Card from that University.
• ACT Services Access Card issued by
the ACT Government (for Asylum
seekers).
• Mail from Centrelink received within
the last 6 months.
• Working with Vulnerable People card.
• Bank Statements received at the
nominated physical address with
7
evidence of purchases performed in
the ACT over the last 3 months.
• Course Confirmation Letters from a
college or university in the ACT for
the current year or last year.
• Mail from Medicare received within
the last 6 months.
• Utility provider welcome letter
or bundle advice relating to the
nominated physical address received
in the last 3 months.
• Current interstate registration renewal
notice received at the nominated
physical address.
• Mail from an Australian Government
Department received at the
nominated physical address within the
last 6 months.
Proof of Identity and Residency is
subject to change. Contact Access
Canberra on 13 22 81 or visit
www.act.gov.au/accessCBR
for current requirements.
Evidence of change of name
All documents must be original, not
photocopied:
• full evidence of identity of former
name;
AND one of the following (where possible):
• Marriage Certificate issued by Registrar
of Births, Deaths & Marriages
(commemorative certificates are not
acceptable);
• Change of Name Registration
with Registrar of Births, Deaths
& Marriages Registry Deed Poll
registered with relevant authority;
8
• Divorce Decree Nisi or Absolute
(indicating the name being reverted
to).
Interstate paper licence holders
transferring to an ACT licence, must
produce with their licence:
• one category A document; and
• one proof of residency document.
Overseas applicants/ licence holders
applying for an ACT licence, must
produce with their licence:
• one category A document;
• one category B document; and
• one additional category A or B
document: and
• one proof of residency document.
Overseas applicants from an approved
country, or recognised “experienced
driver” country who are 25 years of age or
older, must undergo an eyesight test.
Overseas applicants from non-approved
countries must sit and pass the knowledge
test, undergo an eyesight test and
complete a practical driving test. If the
test is assessed as a fail, applicants are
required to obtain a learner driver licence
and to comply with the conditions that
apply, eg. display ‘L’ plates and have a fully
licensed driver seated beside them when
driving. An applicant’s overseas licence
becomes invalid upon the applicant failing
to pass a driving assessment.
If the test is assessed as a pass, the
applicant’s licence will be converted, based
on years of driving experience and age, to
the class of licence they would have been
on had they commenced driving in that
Australian jurisdiction.
Overseas applicants may gain their licence
through the Competency Based Training
and Assessment Scheme (CBT&A) if
they wish, however, applicants who choose
this option are required to obtain a learner
driver licence and abide by the regulations
pertaining to that learner driver licence.
conditions and road laws of that State
or Territory and any specific conditions
relating to learner drivers. For further
information, see Posted Speed Limits,
page 39.
After passing a practical driving test,
overseas licence holders will be issued a
full driver licence.
Prior to making an appointment for a
driving test, it is recommended that
learner drivers complete a minimum
of 50 hours driving practice before
attempting a practical driver assessment.
The Knowledge Test
There are 35 multiple choice questions
in the knowledge test. Some questions
are mandatory knowledge and must be
answered correctly. The remainder are
general knowledge questions and four
incorrect answers are allowed.
After successfully passing the knowledge
test you will be issued with a photographic
learner driver licence which is green in
colour.
Note: While the information needed to
pass the knowledge test can be found in
this handbook, many of the questions
asked in the test require common sense
answers. The test has been designed
to make applicants think through the
questions carefully before selecting an
answer.
To assist in passing the knowledge test,
applicants can practice the test on the
Road Ready website at:
www.roadready.act.gov.au
Learner driving outside the ACT
The driving test
Making an appointment
Bookings can be made in person at an
Access Canberra location in Belconnen,
Dickson, Gungahlin, Tuggeranong or
Woden. If you are the holder of an existing
ACT learner licence bookings may also be
made phoning Access Canberra on
13 22 81.
Do NOT arrange a driving test booking
for a date prior to your 17th birthday or
if you have NOT held your learner driver
licence for the required 6 month minimum
period. You will forfeit your booking
fee and be required to arrange another
booking at further cost.
If you are unable to keep your driving
test appointment you may change your
appointment time, but you must do so
at least 48 hours in advance of the time.
There is a fee for this service.
Ensure that you are aware of the location
for your assessment. If you arrive at the
wrong location for your test, you will
forfeit your booking fee.
ACT learner driver licences are acceptable
in all States and Territories of Australia.
Learners should be aware that when
driving as a learner in another State or
Territory, they MUST comply with the
9
Vehicle requirements
• demonstrate a safe defensive attitude;
When you attend for your driving test,
your vehicle should:
• do head checks to cover your blind
spots on all lane changes, when
diverging left or right, or when moving
off from the kerb;
• be mechanically sound and registered,
roadworthy, clean and fitted with
lap sash type seat belts for both front
outer seating positions;
• have a floor mounted handbrake
between the front seats, if the test is
for a class C, or C with A (Automatic
condition); and
• tyres MUST have at least 1.5mm of
tread depth for the full tread width
that comes into contact with the road
surface.
The Licence Examiner will check your
test vehicle to ensure that it complies with
these conditions. If it does not, the test
will not proceed and you will be required
to pay another booking fee to obtain
another test time.
During the driving test
Try to arrive for your test about
10 minutes early.
The Licence Examiner will then
accompany you while you undertake
your test, and will decide if it is safe to let
you drive unaccompanied on ACT and
interstate roads.
During the practical test, which starts
when you enter the test vehicle, the
Licence Examiner will expect you to:
• coordinate the various vehicle controls;
• maintain direction and speed on the
road, while observing all rules and
signs;
• respect the rights and safety of other
road users;
10
• display no undesirable habits such as
steering one handed or holding the
gear lever when not required;
• not depress the clutch too early when
stopping or have it depressed when
cornering;
• not rely too much on good brakes eg.
late braking;
• obey all relevant speed limits,
signposting and road markings;
• have a basic knowledge of English
in order to understand the Licence
Examiner’s directions; and
• stop at stop signs, and not roll through
them.
Applicants should be aware that the
Licence Examiner may be accompanied by
a Trainee Examiner or Auditor during the
practical driving test.
Driver competencies
Your driving ability will be assessed
against 22 driver competencies. These
competencies have been arranged in a
logical order. They are:
1. Vehicle controls
2. Cabin drill
3. Starting up procedure
4. Moving off procedure
5. Gear changing
6. Steering control
7. Turns, left and right
8. Speed control
9. Slowing procedure
10. Stopping procedure
11. Hill starts
12. Give way rules, intersections, traffic
lights, roundabouts, traffic signs, road
markings, pedestrian crossings, school
crossings
13. Reversing
14. Right angle parking (front in)
15. Reverse parallel parking
16. U Turns - three types
17. Turning around in the road, eg three
point turns
18. Lane changing, merging, entering
freeways
19. Overtaking
20. Observation skills, visual searching
and scanning, hazard recognition
21. Compliance with the System of
Vehicle Control
22. Vulnerable Road Users
23. Final drive on Busy Roads and
Unfamiliar Roads
Further details about the 23 driver
competencies can be found in the Learner
Driver Handbook Towards Your “Ps” in the
ACT and Logbook.
ACT licence holders renewing their
licence must produce:
• They must pass an eyesight test (if
required); and
• Be photographed for their licence, and
pay the required fee.
Competency Based Training and
Assessment Scheme (CBT & A)
Learner drivers now have the option of
obtaining their provisional driver licence
through a Competency Based Training
and Assessment (Logbook) Scheme, as an
alternative to the one-off practical driving
test by a Government Licence Examiner.
Under this scheme, learner drivers
are assessed by an Accredited Driving
Instructor against the 23 driver
competencies. After successful
completion of the competencies, the
Accredited Driving Instructor can certify
the learner driver as having the necessary
competence to be issued a Provisional
Driver Licence without the need for a
formal Government practical driving
assessment.
Further details on this scheme can be
found in the Learner Driver Handbook
Towards Your “Ps” in the ACT and
Logbook.
Note: It is a legal requirement to carry
your driver licence with you at all times
when driving. You may be issued with
an infringement notice if the police stop
you and you are not carrying your driver
licence.
• A completed licence renewal form;
• An existing ACT photographic
licence (or satisfactory proof of
identity);
11
Licence classifications
Provisional licence
After you have passed your practical test,
or the CBT&A Scheme, you will be issued
with a photographic provisional driver
licence (red) for a three year period.
It should be noted that if you pass your
practical test, or the CBT&A Scheme, in
an automatic vehicle, your driver licence
will be endorsed with an ‘A’ condition
which will allow you to drive automatic
vehicles only. You will be required to
display ‘P’ plates on your vehicle for three
years. You will lose your licence if you
accumulate four or more demerit points.
However, you can reduce the length of
time that you must display your ‘P’ plates
to six months and increase your demerit
points limit to eight points if you complete
an optional Road Ready Plus course.
This course may not be undertaken until
six months after gaining your provisional
driver licence. Provisional licence
holders aged 26 years or older will have
their demerit points limit increased to
eight points and will be able to remove
their ‘P’ plates after six months without
having to undertake the course. All
Provisional licence holders must attend
an Access Canberra Shopfront to get their
12
Provisional Licence endorsed. Provisional
licence holders are restricted to towing
trailers up to 750 kilograms GVM for the
first 12 months.
Note: ‘P’ plates are meant to be easily
seen by other motorists, for your safety
and theirs. The plates must be placed
at the front and rear of the vehicle in a
conspicuous position so they are clearly
visible from in front of and behind the
vehicle. ‘P’ plates are not clearly visible
if they are placed, for example, behind
wiper arms, behind rear louvres or
inside tinted windows.
Motorcyclists only need to display one
‘P’ plate, at the rear of the motorcycle.
Note: It is an offence to drive a vehicle
with ‘P’ plates displayed, if you are NOT
the holder of a provisional licence.
Full licence
After a three-year provisional period has
been completed, you will be eligible to
obtain a full driver licence (gold).
Heavy vehicle licence
Safe driving tips
• Always obey the speed limit and adjust
your speed to suit the road, weather
and traffic conditions;
• When changing lanes or pulling out
from the kerb always perform a head
check to check the blind spots;
Applicants for a heavy vehicle licence
class will be issued with a heavy vehicle
driver licence (magenta) after successfully
passing a knowledge test and a practical
assessment.
Probationary licence
• Always use your indicators to give
other drivers sufficient warning when
required.
• For example, changing lanes, moving
out from the kerb, turning left or right,
diverging to the left or right;
• Never drive when you are tired;
• Always keep a three second safe
following distance between you and the
vehicle in front;
• Always stop completely at stop
signs;
Drivers/riders returning to driving/riding
after a court imposed cancellation or
disqualification will be required to hold a
probationary driver licence for 12 months
before progressing to the previous licence
held.
• Consider other drivers and drive
knowing you share the road with other
road users and respect their right to
travel safely; and
• Practice safe and courteous driving
behaviour.
Note: Drivers are required to carry their
driver licence at all times when driving a
vehicle. Failure to produce your driver
licence when asked to do so by police
could result in a substantial fine.
13
Safe System and Vision Zero
The ACT Government has adopted the “Vision Zero” philosophy, and consistent with
this, our policies must prioritise human life and health. Vision Zero is a philosophy – not
a target. It recognises the physical limits of the human body and that people will always
make mistakes. It means that we must design, construct and manage the road transport
system in such a way that people will not be killed or seriously injured in a crash.
The Safe System approach provides the technical methodology to move towards the Vision
Zero goal. The Safe System approach relies on – safe speeds, safe roads and roadsides,
safe vehicles, as well as safe people and safe behaviours.
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In a Safe System, vehicles are designed to protect the people in them as well as other road
users like pedestrians and cyclists in an accident. The Australian New Car Assessment
Program (ANCAP) website indicates the level of safety that a vehicle provides in the event
of an accident. This information can be found at: http://www.ancap.com.au/home Choose
the safest car you can afford and keep it well maintained!
Note: Safe System diagram adapted from Safer Roads, Safer Queensland: Queensland’s Road Safety Strategy 2015 - 21
14
Where to get further
information
Test your knowledge of the ACT Road
Rules on the following website:
www.roadready.act.gov.au
Road Ready is designed to help young
people in the ACT to become safer and
more competent drivers. Visit the Road
Ready website for more information:
www.roadready.act.gov.au
For information on speeding and traffic
enforcement, visit the ACT Policing
website at:
www.police.act.gov.au
or phone 6256 7777.
For further information about driver
licensing, vehicle registration and
inspection, parking, paying infringements
and changing your address on-line, visit
the Australian Capital Territory Road
Transport Authority website:
www.act.gov.au/accessCBR
or telephone Access Canberra 13 22 81.
You can access the Australian Road Rules
on the ACT Legislation Register at
For First Aid information, visit the
St John Ambulance website:
www.legislation.act.gov.au
www.stjohn.org.au
by selecting Popular Legislation and
Australian Road Rules.
or telephone (02) 6282 2399 (Canberra)
or 1300 360 455 (Australia-wide).
15
PART B - First steps to safe driving
• Seat Belts and Child Restraints
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––
––
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Seat belts
Child restraints
Carrying passengers
Technical advice
• Alcohol and Other Drugs
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Legal penalties
The legal limit
Mixing alcohol, drugs and medication
Warning signs after taking medication
Alcohol
Standard drinks
Effects of alcohol on the body
Effects of alcohol from person to person
Random breath testing (RBT)
Failing a breath test
• Using a mobile telephone
• Vehicle security
• Points Demerit Scheme
–– ACT points demerit schedule
• Fatigue
––
––
––
––
––
––
What is driver fatigue
Facts about fatigue
Signs of driver fatigue
Tips on avoiding fatigue
Community driver reviver
Road side rest areas
• Distractions
16
PART B - First steps to safe driving
Seat belts and child
restraints
Make sure that:
• the belt is done up tightly so that both
the lap and sash sections hold you
firmly;
Seat belts
• the sash sits over your shoulder (not
under your arm) to the opposite hip;
Seat belts have two purposes:
1. Seat belts prevent the occupant
hitting the dashboard/ windscreen or
from being thrown from the vehicle in
the event of a collision (injuries to the
head and chest are the most lethal in
car collisions).
• the lap section of the belt is across
your hips, not across your abdomen;
2. Seat belts spread the shock of a crash
over larger and stronger body areas,
reducing the shock to safer levels.
Seat belts and other restraints must be
used whenever they are available. If a seat
belt is not fitted to a seat occupied by a
passenger but one is available alongside,
then the passenger is required to move to
that position and use the seat belt.
Most front seat belts have “inertia
locking” devices. Under normal driving
conditions belted occupants can move
easily but in an emergency, such as a panic
stop or collision, the belt automatically
locks to hold the occupant in position.
• the belt is flat and without twists; and
• the buckle is at your side, not across
your body.
Unrestrained animals within the vehicle
and loose objects such as groceries can
be dangerous during a collision. Animals
should be securely restrained and loose
objects should be placed in the boot.
Photograph courtesy of Safe-n-Sound
You may not have to use a seat belt in
the following circumstances:
Wearing your seat belt correctly
• If you have a medical or physical
condition, which stops you wearing a
seat belt and have a certificate from a
medical practitioner.
• If you are doing delivery work that
does not entail travelling at more than
25 km/h between stops.
Some of the earlier seat belt designs need
to be adjusted to suit the user to provide
adequate protection.
17
Seat belt use by pregnant women
Child restraint rules
The medical profession supports the use
of seat belts by pregnant women since the
most frequent cause of death in vehicle
accidents for an unborn child is the death
of the mother.
A child less than 6 months old must be
restrained in a suitable approved rearward
facing child restraint or capsule.
Child restraints
The driver of a vehicle is legally
responsible to ensure that any child
travelling in that vehicle is restrained in
an approved child restraint or seatbelt.
Children are especially vulnerable if
they are not protected by the use of a
seat belt or an approved child restraint.
During a crash or even sudden braking,
unrestrained children may be hurled
around the interior of the vehicle.
The Australian Road Rules legislation
requires all children under 7 years old to
be restrained in a suitable approved child
restraint that is properly fastened and
adjusted.
All passengers who are at least 7 years
old or older, but under 16 years old, must
be restrained in a suitable approved child
restraint which is properly fastened and
adjusted, or occupy a seating position
that is fitted with a suitable seat belt and
wear the seat belt properly fastened and
adjusted.
A child who is at least 6 months old but
less than 4 years old must be restrained in
either a suitable approved rearward facing
or forward facing child restraint with an
inbuilt harness.
A child who is at least 4 years old but less
than 7 years old must be restrained in
either a suitable approved forward facing
child restraint with an inbuilt harness,
or a suitable approved booster seat and
seatbelt.
A child who is less than 4 years old must
not be placed in the front row of seats of a
vehicle with two or more rows of seats.
A child who is at least 4 years old but less
than 7 years old must not be placed in the
front row of seats of a vehicle with two or
more rows of seats unless all other seating
positions are occupied by a passenger who
is also less than 7 years old.
Baby capsule.
Child restraint standards
Child restraints must meet Australian
Standards and must display an AS/NZS
1754 symbol.
Rear facing child restraint.
18
Carrying passengers
The carrying of unrestrained passengers
of any age in the load area (eg station
wagons) is prohibited.
The carrying of additional unrestrained
passengers of any age after all seating
positions with a seat belt are occupied is
prohibited.
Drivers are responsible for making sure all
passengers are using a seat belt or child
restraint.
Forward facing child restraint.
Technical advice
If you need advice on fitting restraints
to your vehicle, you may contact the
Technical Standards Office of Road User
Services, or the Infant Restraint Loan
Service.
Vehicle Inspection and Technical Unit
VITU Ph: 62077236
KIDSAFE Infant Restraint Loan Service
Ph: 6290 2244
Remember:
Convertible booster seat.
• ALWAYS use a restraint, even for
short trips.
• NEVER put a child into a seat belt
with an adult. In a crash the weight
of an adult’s body will crush the child.
• NEVER put two children into one
seat belt.
Booster seat with lap/sash seat belt
19
The risks associated with
alcohol, drugs and driving
The legal limit
Alcohol, drugs and driving do NOT mix.
Any driver who combines alcohol, drugs
and driving runs the risk of:
• learner driver licence;
• injury and even death, of themselves
and/or others
• probationary driver licence;
• damage to his/her vehicle and other
property;
• foreign driver licence that is not
recognised as corresponding to an
ACT driver licence.
• loss of income (and perhaps his/her
job); and
• loss of insurance cover since most
insurance companies have a disclaimer
clause - if you are involved in an
accident and convicted of driving
under the influence of alcohol or
drugs, the insurance company may not
pay for any damage or injury.
A zero alcohol concentration (BAC)
applies to a person who holds a
• provisional driver licence;
• restricted driver licence; or
Or a driver of a:
• public passenger vehicle including a
taxi, bus, hire car and restricted hire
car;
• dangerous goods vehicle;
• heavy motor vehicle, that has a GVM
or GCM of more than 15 tonnes.
Legal penalties
Or a person:
Legal penalties for driving over the
prescribed alcohol concentration (BAC)
limit and/or for taking drugs include:
• who is learning to drive a heavy
vehicle over 4.5 tonnes GVM;
• possible fine or imprisonment; and
• immediate licence suspension even for
a first time offender.
In summary, drivers who drink or
take drugs are liable to Court imposed
penalties, and also run the risk of personal
financial ruin, injury and even death.
SO – DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE
DO NOT TAKE DRUGS AND DRIVE
• who is a driving instructor providing
driving instruction or assessment to
the driver of a vehicle;
• who is a heavy vehicle driver assessor
providing driver assessment to the
driver of a vehicle over 4.5 tonnes
GVM;
• who is a driving supervisor of a learner
driver.
In any other case, the legal limit is
UNDER 0.05.
The higher the BAC level, the greater the
likelihood of being involved in a crash,
and of that crash resulting in serious injury
or death.
•
20
Mixing alcohol, drugs and
medication
Driving under the influence of drugs is
dangerous, and is an offence.
Tranquillisers and sedatives,
antihistamines, marijuana, amphetamines,
heroin and LSD can all affect driving skills
for considerable periods (drugs can stay in
your system long after you take them, so
you could test postive hours or even days
after consumption). Keep in mind that
drugs such as marijuana, heroin and LSD
are illegal.
The effect of drugs is multiplied when
combined with alcohol and the potential
for being involved in a crash is sharply
increased. The effect of marijuana on the
nervous system has much in common with
alcohol. For example, research clearly
shows that marijuana affects both the
distance you can see, and your ability to
react quickly.
In the case of legal drugs, you should
check the label on the medication
container to see if the medication is likely
to cause drowsiness, OR ask your doctor
or pharmacist about your medication
before drinking alcohol or driving.
Warning signs after taking
medication
You should not be driving if you are taking
a medication and you feel:
• drowsy;
• dizzy, light headed, faint or shaky;
• aggressive;
• nauseous; or
Effects of alcohol on the body
Alcohol in the body is not easily removed.
It takes the body about one hour to get rid
of the alcohol in one standard drink and
this rate of elimination cannot be sped up.
This means that once a person has
reached the legal limit (under 0.05) it
only requires one standard drink per hour
thereafter to stay at that level.
Once alcohol is in the bloodstream its
effect on the brain cannot be prevented or
controlled.
Black coffee, sleep, cold showers and
exercise may alter the way you feel but
cannot change your BAC.
The safest BAC for driving is zero
regardless of what licence class you hold.
As a Learner and Provisional driver, you
must not drive after you have consumed
any alcoholic drinks or foods containing
alcohol.
Drinking any alcohol before driving will
affect your reaction, judgement, and
ability to drive. Getting back to zero takes
time.
Remember, after a heavy night of drinking,
you can still be booked for drink driving
the next day.
Standard Drinks
Standard drinks all contain about the
same amount of alcohol. Be aware that
‘low alcohol’ and ‘boutique beers’ vary in
alcoholic content. Most low alcohol beers
and wines are about 2/3 the strength of
ordinary beers and wines.
Drinking any alcohol in a 24 hour period
can put you over the legal BAC limit.
• have blurred or double vision.
21
Examples of Standard Drinks
• range and breadth of vision are reduced;
(containing 10 grams of alcohol)
• coping with bright lights becomes
increasingly difficult; and
• steering errors are corrected more
slowly, and less competently.
Alcohol impairment varies
The level of impairment from person to
person depends on:
• the metabolism and size of the
individual;
• the rate of consumption and type of
alcoholic drink consumed;
A one middy of full strength beer
(285ml)
B approx one port glass of fortified wine
(60ml)
C approx one nip of spirits (30ml)
• whether food has been eaten before
or during the period of alcohol
consumption;
• tiredness, mood, health;
• ingestion of other drugs; and
• many other factors.
D one can of low alcohol beer (375ml)
E Approx one small glass of table wine
(100ml)
F Approx one schooner of low alcohol
beer (425ml)
Alcohol can impair driving and riding
skills even when the blood alcohol content
is less than the legal limit.
Alcohol affects skills in the following ways:
• a false sense of security develops;
• the driver/rider remains unaware of
the level of driving/riding impairment;
• concentration deteriorates;
• speed is underestimated;
• reactions become slower;
• distances become harder to judge;
22
What is Alcohol Concentration
(BAC)
Alcohol concentration (BAC) is a
measurement of the amount of alcohol in
a person’s blood or breath. It is measured
in grams of alcohol per 100mL of blood if
the analysis is based on a sample of blood
or grams of alcohol in 210L of breath if
the analysis is based on a sample of breath
measured by a breath analysis instrument.
ACT Learner and Provisional drivers must
ensure that they comply with the BAC
restrictions applicable in the state or
territory in which they are driving.
Drinking alcohol while driving or riding
a vehicle is an offence. Drinking whilst
supervising a learner driver is also an
offence. Both offences carry a maximum of
20 penalty points.
Random breath testing and drug
testing
Random breath testing and drug testing
are used in the ACT to help reduce deaths
and injuries on our roads by discouraging
people from drinking and/or taking drugs
and driving.
If you have been drinking or taking drugs
- DO NOT DRIVE.
• Get a lift with a driver who has not
been drinking or taking drugs
• Catch a taxi or bus
• stay the night
If you consumed a large amount of alcohol
the night before, you will probably still be
over the legal limit to drive the following
morning.
Using a mobile telephone
Random breath testing
Police randomly screen test drivers for
both alcohol and drugs at the roadside. If
you fail a screening test, you will be taken
into custody by a Police Officer for a test
on a breath or drug analysis instrument.
Undertaking a police breath test requires
you to provide a sample of your breath by
blowing into a breath analysis instrument.
A drug test requires you to provide a
sample of your saliva for testing using a
drug analysis instrument. Unlike alcohol
which has a legal limit, any trace of
cannabis, methamphetamine or ecstacy
in your system while driving is an offence.
If you fail a drug or alcohol test, or refuse
to take a test, you will be prosecuted for
a drink or drug driving offence and must
complete an alcohol and drug awareness
course.
It is an offence to use a mobile phone
which is held in the hand while driving a
vehicle. This includes sending or reading
text messages, video messages and emails.
You can only use a mobile phone to make
or receive phone calls if your phone has
a hands free connection or is secured in
a commercially designed cradle. If your
phone is not fitted with a hands free
connection or secured in a cradle, you
must stop and park the vehicle before
answering or making a phone call. Drivers
can also use their mobile phones for GPS
purposes and vehicle system functions,
provided the mobile phone is securely
mounted to the vehicle.
The “do’s” and “don’ts” of using
mobile phones while driving
What you can do with a mobile phone,
when driving:
• Mobile phones can be used as a
driver’s aid for navigational and
intelligent highway functions, such as
through Google Maps, TomTom App,
Garmin App and others, provided
the phone is securely mounted to the
vehicle.
• Mobile phones can be used to stream,
play or listen to music or audio files
23
if the phone is not being held by the
driver and the use of the phone does
not require the driver at any time to
touch the phone in any manner.
• Mobile phones can be used to make
or receive a phone call provided the
phone is mounted to the vehicle.
Drivers and riders are legally allowed
to touch the phone if it is securely
mounted.
• If the phone is not mounted, it can
still be used to make or receive a
phone call, but the driver or rider
must not touch or hold any part of the
phone at any time, this can be done
via Bluetooth or voice activation.
Important road safety information:
• Use of mobile phones when driving
is distracting. Drivers and riders must
have full control of the vehicle and
pay attention to road conditions at all
times.
• Motorists using mobile phones for
GPS navigation are encouraged to
rely on the GPS’ spoken directions to
avoid the need to look at the phone
when driving.
What you cannot do when driving:
• It is illegal for drivers and riders to use
mobile phones for anything other than
for making or receiving a call and for
navigational purposes. The following
activities are not permitted (even if
the phone is securely mounted):
• texting and audio texting,video
messaging,emailing,using social
media,using mobile phone applications
other than for navigational purposes,
and taking photos.
24
Vehicle Security
Before leaving a vehicle, you must turn off
the engine, apply the parking brake and
leave it in gear or in the ‘park’ position.
Unless the vehicle is occupied by a person
16 years or older, you must remove the
key from the ignition. This rule applies
regardless of whether you are leaving
the vehicle for a few moments or for an
extended period of time.
Demerit points scheme
Drivers within the ACT who are guilty of
a traffic offence will incur a traffic fine and
possible demerit points.
With the introduction of a National Points
Demerit Exchange Scheme, points incurred
interstate will accumulate against your
licence in your home State or Territory.
• The holder of a learner driver licence,
who incurs 12 or more demerit points
within a three year period, will have
his or her learner driver licence
suspended for three months.
• The holder of a provisional driver
licence, who incurs four or more
demerit points within a three year
period, will have his or her provisional
driver licence suspended for three
months.
• A provisional licence holder, who
has held their licence for at least six
months and who has completed the
Road Ready Plus (P-Off) Course will
have their provisional driver licence
suspended for three months if they
incur eight or more demerit points.
• The holder of a full or heavy vehicle
driver licence, who incurs 12 to 15
demerit points within a three year
period, will attract a three months
suspension. Incurring 16 to 19
demerit points results in a four
months suspension, and 20 or more
demerit points results in a five months
suspension. The licensee may elect
for a good behaviour period of 12
months instead. A driver who incurs
two or more demerit points during a
good behaviour period is suspended
for twice the period of the original
suspension.
• The holder of a probationary
driver licence, who incurs two or
more demerit points, will attract
cancellation of that licence and will be
disqualified from holding a licence for
six months.
• The holder of a restricted driver
licence who incurs two or more
demerit points, will attract
cancellation of that licence.
Remember, your licence is a privilege –
not a right.
ACT Points Demerit Schedule
OFFENCE PENALTY POINTS
Exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more.........6 Points
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/h but not
more than 45 km/h................................................4 Points
Exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 km/h but not
more than 30 km/h................................................3 Points
Exceeding the speed limit by 15 km/h or less.............1 Point
Using a handheld mobile phone while driving...........3 Points
Failing to stop and/or give way at pedestrian, school or level
crossing..................................................................3 Points
Drive with passenger including children and infants not in
adjusted/fastened restraint/seatbelt.........................3 Points
Driving on wrong side of double lines or divided
highway.................................................................3 Points
Seatbelt not adjusted/fastened (driver).....................3 Points
Motorcyclists not wearing a helmet...........................3 Points
Careless/negligent driving........................................3 Points
Improper overtaking and passing.............................2 Points
Turning or stopping without signalling......................2 Points
Turning improperly..................................................2 Points
Failing to keep left..................................................2 Points
Failure to dip headlamps...........................................1 Point
Following too closely.................................................1 Point
Driving at night without headlamps on.......................1 Point
Fatigue
What is driver fatigue?
Fatigue is a term used to describe
the feeling of being ‘sleepy’, ‘tired’ or
‘exhausted’. It affects everyone no matter
how experienced a driver you are.
This is your body’s way of telling you
that you need to stop and rest or sleep.
The best way to avoid driver fatigue is to
make sure you have plenty of sleep before
you set off. The only way to treat driver
fatigue once you have already started
driving is to stop and rest until you are
refreshed.
Disobeying a traffic signal........................................3 Points
Disobeying major regulatory traffic control sign or Police
directing traffic........................................................3 Points
Failing to give way..................................................3 Points
25
Facts about fatigue
Fatigue is associated with the hours when
you would normally be asleep. The risk of
having a fatal fatigue crash is four times
greater between the hours of 10pm and
6am because this is when your body is
programmed to sleep.
Your circadian rhythms (natural sleep
pattern) cause this type of fatigue and
there is nothing you can do to stop it. So if
you drive at night or early in the morning
your risk of driver fatigue is increased.
The average person needs about eight
hours of sleep each night to function
normally, while teenagers need even more.
Fatigue is caused by the length of time you
have been awake. After being awake for
17 hours the risk of driver fatigue is greatly
increased.
The risk of driver fatigue increases with
the amount of time you have spent
driving. To reduce fatigue you should aim
to stop for 15 minutes every two hours.
But remember, the only cure for fatigue is
a good night’s sleep.
Signs of driver fatigue
Driver fatigue severely impairs your
concentration and judgement; it slows
your reaction time. In fact, some of the
effects of fatigue are as dangerous as the
effects of alcohol on your driving. Twenty
four hours without sleep has the same
effect on your driving ability as having a
BAC of .1 which is twice the legal limit for
a fully licensed driver.
26
As you drive, watch for the early warning
signs of driver fatigue:
• Yawning
• Eyes feeling sore or heavy
• Poor concentration
• Vision starting to blur
• Restlessness
• Drowsiness
• Starting to ‘see things’
• Slow reactions
• Boredom
• Feeling irritable
• Making fewer and larger steering
corrections
• Failing to see road signs
• Feeling stiff or cramped
• Cannot maintain constant speed
• Having difficulty staying within the
lane.
If you feel tired and you notice these signs
it is time to STOP. REVIVE. SURVIVE.
Regular breaks every two hours will help
avoid fatigue.
Some of the ‘signs’ of driver fatigue are
very dangerous and you should stop before
you are unable to avoid wandering over
lane lines or seeing things. The only cure
is a good night’s sleep.
Being part of the Safe System means only
driving when you are in full control of
your vehicle. Sometimes it is not easy to
choose not to drive. You might not have a
passenger to take over, your passenger may
be just as tired, it might not feel like a safe
place to stop, you might have important
commitments to meet. In short, you may
feel like you have no choice but to drive.
The best thing you can do is allow time
in your schedule for a good night’s sleep
and plenty of rest breaks on long drives.
If you find that you have developed a
pattern of driving while fatigued, think
about how you could improve your routine
or whether you have alternative ways of
travelling to where you are going.
Tips on avoiding driver fatigue
• Get plenty of sleep before starting off.
• Avoid starting a long drive at the end
of the day.
• Avoid driving between 10 pm and 6
am or when you would normally be asleep.
• Share the driving if you can.
• Aim to stop for 15 minutes every two
hours.
• Pull over and stop when you notice
the warning signs of fatigue.
• Have light snacks rather than fatty
foods.
• Avoid too much coffee or sweet soft
drinks.
• Drink plenty of water – dehydration
can cause fatigue.
• Stay away from alcohol at all costs.
• Stop before you’re tired.
Microsleep
A microsleep is a brief and unintended
loss of consciousness.
It is characterised by head snapping,
nodding or closing your eyes for more
than a couple of seconds. Microsleeps
occur when you try to stay awake to
perform a monotonous task such as
driving and can last from a few seconds
to a few minutes. During a four second
microsleep a car travelling at 100 km/h
will travel more than 110 metres while
completely out of the driver’s control.
Community Driver Reviver
During peak holiday travel periods, such
as Christmas, Easter and holiday long
weekends, Community Driver Reviver
sites operate in other states.
These are places where drivers should take
a break during a long journey.
Roadside rest areas
Rest areas are places where you can
park safely and refresh yourself before
continuing your journey. They are
available 24 hours a day, all year round
and are clearly signposted. Service centres,
petrol stations, parks and country towns
are other places you can stop and take a
break from driving.
Distractions
Distractions which can result in road
crashes and trauma include playing loud
music, adjusting the radio, inserting CDs
in the player or talking on the phone
(Refer Page 23).
Other distractions which are high risk
behaviour are failing to concentrate on
the driving task, failing to watch the road
and even talking to passengers.
Driving is a complex task and requires
a driver’s full concentration. All drivers
need to be aware of the limitations of their
driving experience and the consequences
of being distracted while they are driving a
motor vehicle.
27
PART C - Knowing the road rules
• Traffic Controls
Road markings
––
––
––
––
––
––
Lane lines
Merging
Form one lane
Diagonal bars
Painted islands
Arrows and other road turn
markings
• Traffic Signals
• Traffic Signs
––
––
––
––
––
Regulatory (Mandatory)
Warning (Advisory)
Information signs
Temporary signs
Bus priority traffic signals
• Speed Limits
––
––
––
––
ACT speed limit
Posted speed limits
Speed and red light cameras
Radar Detectors
• Intersections
––
––
––
––
––
Giving way at intersections
Types of Intersections
T-Junctions
Cross roads
Roundabouts
• Turning
–– Left-hand turns
–– Slip lanes
28
–– Right-hand turns
–– U-turns
–– 3-point turns
• Crossings
––
––
––
––
––
Pedestrian
Wombat
School
School zones
Railway
• Parking
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
Where not to park
How and where to park
Parallel parking
Centre of road parking
Angle parking
Goods vehicles
Heavy vehicles
Short stay parking
Parking meters
Ticket machines
Park ‘n’ ride
3 for free parking
Mobility parking
Parking regulations
How to avoid infringements
(PINs)
–– Parking Infringement Rules
• Miscellaneous
–– Throwing objects at vehicles
–– Failing to stop for police
PART C - Knowing the road rules
Traffic controls
Keep left and never
cross these except to
enter or leave a
driveway.
Road markings
Many of the road markings you will see,
and the rules you must follow, are set out
below.
Lane lines
You should keep to the left of these lines.
You can cross them to overtake if it is safe
to do so, but otherwise you must drive as
close to the left hand side of the road as
practical.
Double lines with an UNBROKEN line closer to you
You may cross these
lines to overtake
or do a U-turn, or
to enter or leave a
driveway, if the road
ahead is clear.
Double lines with a BROKEN line closer to you
NEVER cross any
single unbroken line
at an intersection.
Broken line in centre of the road
You may only
cross these lines to
allow the required
minimum distance
to pass a cyclist only
when it is safe to do
so.
Double unbroken lines
Keep left and only
cross these to enter or
leave a driveway, or to
allow the required
minimum distance to
pass a cyclist only
when it is safe to do
so.
29
Merging
Form One Lane
Lane changing procedures are required
when one lane ends and you are required
to merge into another lane. This includes
using your mirrors, indicators and doing
a head check. If you have to cross a lane
line, or merge line, you MUST give way to
any vehicles in the lane that you wish to
enter. You must not cross unless it is safe
to do so.
A and B must both be prepared to give
way or both may be charged following a
collision.
Merging with continuous lane separation.
A must give way to B.
DIAGRAM 1
Be prepared to use lane changing
procedures in this situation, ie using your
mirrors, indicators and doing a head
check.
Sometimes the lane separation line will
end and both lanes of traffic are required
to merge into one lane. When merging in
such cases, the vehicle that is ahead has
the right of way over the trailing vehicle.
DIAGRAM 2
You should use care, commonsense and
courtesy when merging.
30
Diagonal bars, painted islands
Traffic in the left lane MUST either turn
left or proceed straight ahead. Traffic in
the right lane MUST either turn right or
proceed straight ahead.
The word ‘ONLY’ is used to reinforce the
meaning of the arrow.
Do not enter a painted island at a slip
lane, as indicated in red in the diagram, or
other painted traffic islands, except in an
emergency.
Arrows and other road turn
markings
When approaching intersections and exit
ramps you may find white directional
arrows with (or without) the word ‘ONLY’
painted on the road surface. Traffic in
lanes with markings MUST proceed as
indicated by the marking. It is illegal to
ignore the word or the arrows.
Traffic in left lane
MUST turn left.
Traffic in centre
lane MUST
proceed straight
ahead. Traffic in
right lane MUST
turn right.
Right turn arrows
‘Oblique’ arrows are used to warn traffic
that vehicles in a particular lane must
turn further ahead. If you do not want
to turn, you should change into another
lane when it is safe to do so well before the
intersection.
31
Hold and turn lines
Stop hold lines
The hold line at a STOP sign shows you
where you should stop.
The front of the vehicle should not be past
this line.
The road markings at stop and give
way signs are gradually being altered to
conform to the new Australian Standard.
Give way hold line
Hold and turn lines
The hold line (A) and turn line (B)
are for your guidance when turning at
an intersection. Stay to the left of the
turn line.
Coloured bicycle lanes
Coloured bicycle lanes at intersections are
to remind motorists that this section of the
roadway is a travel lane for bicycle riders.
The marking highlights the existence of
the ‘bicycle lane’ to motorists and the
‘right of way’ legally provided to the
cyclist by a ‘bicycle lane’. Therefore,
where you see a bicycle lane and
particularly a green coloured area at an
intersection, be on the lookout for cyclists.
If a cyclist is in the bicycle lane, motorists
must give way.
The hold line at a GIVE WAY sign shows
you where you must stop, if you are
required to give way.
Green bicycle lane for cyclists
32
Traffic signals
Green circle light alone
means you may proceed
directly ahead or make a turn
in either direction providing
it is safe to do so. All turning
vehicles give way to
pedestrians at traffic lights.
Right turning vehicles
MUST give way to oncoming or left
turning vehicles not using a slip lane.
Note: Accidents commonly occur
at traffic lights when a right turning
vehicle fails to give way to an oncoming
vehicle. This usually occurs when there
is no right turning traffic light arrow.
Yellow circle light warns that
the red signal is about to
come on. You must stop at
the stop line and not enter
the intersection or junction.
You may enter the intersection if you are so close to
the stop line that a sudden
stop might cause an accident.
Red circle means STOP. Wait
at the stop line marked on the
road until the signal changes
to green.
Green arrow light
means you may turn
in the direction
shown by the arrow.
Yellow arrow light
warns that the red
signal is about to
come on. You must
stop at the stop line.
Do NOT enter the
inter-section or
junction if you intend
to go in the direction of the arrow. You
may enter the intersection if you are so
close to the stop line that a sudden stop
might cause an accident.
Red arrow light
means you MUST
NOT travel in the
direction of the arrow.
You MUST STOP at
the stop line marked
on the road at the
approach to the
signals.
The ARROW signals may be shown with
any of the CIRCLE signals. Remember the
ARROW signal MUST be obeyed if you intend to travel in the direction of the
arrow.
33
When only the CIRCLE
signal is displayed (for
example, after the RED
ARROW has switched off)
the CIRCLE signal MUST
be obeyed.
Pedestrians using pedestrian crossings at
traffic lights must obey the signals. The
signal may show ‘walk’, ‘don’t walk’ or a
person symbol.
(NOT FLASHING)
Pedestrians must not cross
Flashing yellow traffic
signals mean either the
traffic signals are malfunctioning or there is
a dangerous situation at
the intersection or
junction. If you see
flashing yellow signals slow
down and be prepared to stop or give way, in
accordance with the T junction rule or the
give way rule.
Give way to the right
When signals are flashing or are ‘out’
the give way to the right rule applies at
intersections, ie give way to all vehicles on
your right.
For a T junction, traffic on the
terminating street gives way to all traffic
on the continuing street when signals are
malfunctioning.
Give way to the right also applies at any
uncontrolled intersection, or when exiting
a slip lane while turning left.
Stop and Give Way signs also require
drivers to give way to the right, and also
give way to all other approaching traffic.
34
Pedestrians may start to cross
(FLASHING)
Pedestrians must not start to cross but may complete their
crossing quickly.
This sign is to
remind drivers
that they are
required to give
way to pedestrians
when turning at
an intersection
Note: Drivers at intersections who are
turning left or right must give way to all
pedestrians who are crossing.
Traffic signs
Australian road traffic signs may be
classified into four basic types:
• Regulatory signs (mandatory);
• Warning signs (advisory);
• Information signs; and
• Temporary signs.
Regulatory signs (mandatory)
These signs are usually red or black on
white background. Drivers are required by
law to obey regulatory signs.
At a stop sign, you must bring your vehicle
to a complete stop, with no part of the
vehicle over the unbroken (hold) line on
the road surface. You must then give way
to all vehicles approaching from the left
or right.
At a give way sign, the rules are the same
as those for a stop sign, except that you
are not required to stop if the road is clear
and you can continue with safety. If you
need to stop to give way, no part of your
vehicle can be over the give way (broken/
hold) line. Only proceed when it is safe
to do so.
Where two oncoming vehicles each face
a stop sign or give way sign, a vehicle
turning right must give way to the
oncoming vehicle ie. the vehicle moving
straight ahead.
Examples of regulatory signs
Where one vehicle faces a stop sign and
an oncoming vehicle does not face any
sign, the vehicle facing the stop sign must
give way to the oncoming vehicle if the
oncoming vehicle intends to turn right.
Only proceed when it is safe to do so.
35
Warning signs (advisory)
Information signs
These signs usually indicate a hazard
ahead.
These signs usually give directions to local
features.
36
Temporary signs
Bus priority traffic signals
Used usually when a road is under repair.
Bus priority traffic signals allow for buses
that are in a bus lane, to move off when a
white ‘B’ signal is showing, while all other
traffic is still held by a red traffic signal.
The ‘B’ signal is activated only when a
bus is in the bus only lane at traffic signal
intersections.
The white ‘B’ goes off when the red light
turns to green, allowing all traffic to
proceed.
Bus priority signals give buses a ‘head start’
at lights, in order to make changing lanes
and merging in heavy traffic easier and
safer.
It should be noted that only Buses,
Taxis, Hire Cars, and Motorcycles are
permitted to use a bus lane in the ACT.
Vehicles other than those mentioned
above must not drive in bus lanes.
37
Speed limits
ACT default speed limit
The default speed limit in a built up area
is 50 km/h for the ACT, unless a sign
shows a higher or lower speed limit on a
length of road.
Houses and streetlights, with the absence
of speed signs, denote a built-up area
where the default speed limit is 50 km/h.
The default speed limit in a rural area in
the ACT is 100 km/h.
Speed zones
These are for example; school zones, road
worksite zones, shared zones, residential
area zones etc, and are signed for the
length of the zone. You MUST obey
the speed limit shown on the signs, as
applicable, and pay close attention to
cyclists and pedestrian traffic.
Speed is the most important factor that
you can control in the severity of a crash,
even if you are not the driver ‘at fault’. It
might not feel like you are going very fast,
but:
• If you have a side-impact crash with a solid tree, pole or other vehicle
at more than 50 km/h, you or your
passengers are extremely likely to be
seriously injured or killed.
• If you have a head-on crash with
another vehicle at 70 km/h or more
you are almost certain to be seriously
injured or killed.
• Pedestrians and cyclists don’t have
the protection of a vehicle to cushion
them in a crash. They rely on you to
drive carefully around them. In a Safe
System, high - pedestrian use areas
have a low speed limit.
Safe speed
You will often need to reduce your speed
owing to road surface and alignment, low
sight distance, intersections, driveways,
weather, traffic density, pedestrians,
cyclists, wildlife, and on occasion, farm
stock. Always drive at a legal speed
comfortable for you, your car and your
passengers, but at a speed that will not
obstruct other road users.
• If a pedestrian or cyclist is hit at over
30 km/h they will be seriously injured
and may die.
Be very careful around children
• They don’t understand the road rules.
• They aren’t very good at choosing a
safe time to cross the road.
• They can be impulsive.
• You might be in control of your
vehicle, but you can’t control what
38
they do. The best you can do is
reduce your speed and be very alert,
particularly in school zones, at
crossings and around parked cars.
Speed restriction signs
For roads with a speed limit other than
the default speed limit of 50 km/h,
a speed restriction sign is the legal
maximum speed you may drive at on the
length of road, to which the sign is posted.
Take into account factors outlined under
‘safe speed’.
Posted speed limits
ACT learner and provisional licence
holders are permitted to drive to the
posted speed limit in the ACT. ACT
learner and provisional drivers / riders
travelling in other States and Territories
should check with the jurisdiction where
they intend to drive for local speed
regulations that apply.
Speed and red light
cameras
Fixed speed and red light cameras have
been placed at various locations within the
ACT to address the dangerous practices of
speeding and running red lights.
Sensors embedded in the road detect
the presence of vehicles at the red light
cameras. If a vehicle drives through a red
light, a signal is sent to the camera, which
then takes a series of photographs of the
vehicle as well as a close-up of the number
plate.
The same sensors also calculate the speed
of vehicles and activate the camera if
the pre-set speed limit is exceeded. This
occurs regardless of whether the traffic
lights are green, red or amber.
Vehicles that are speeding and running
red lights at the same time can incur
infringement notices for both offences.
The images and infringement details,
including the time and location, are
digitally recorded and downloaded to the
Traffic Camera Office.
A number of fixed speed only cameras
have been placed on high volume higher
speed roads using sensors in the road or
radar detectors.
Point-to-point cameras measure the
average speed of a vehicle over a stretch
of road and discourage drivers from the
practice of speeding up and slowing down
to avoid detection by conventional fixed
safety cameras. The ACT’s first pointto-point installation on Hindmarsh Drive
commenced operation in February 2012.
39
What to do when the traffic lights
change to amber
The amber light is a warning that the
traffic signal is about to turn red and you
must stop unless you are too close to the
intersection to pull up safely. There is
no need for panic braking, which could
result in someone running into the back
of your vehicle, or for accelerating over
the speed limit. However, if you continue
through the intersection after the traffic
light has turned red, you will receive an
infringement notice.
Drivers are reminded that they are
required to maintain a sufficient distance
from the vehicle ahead to enable them
to avoid a collision should it stop
unexpectedly. Road safety experts
recommend you keep a gap of at least
three seconds between your vehicle and
the one in front.
What happens when a vehicle is
photographed
If you are identified as the registered
operator of a vehicle detected by a camera
for running a red light or exceeding
the speed limit, you will receive an
infringement notice in the mail, usually
within five working days of the offence.
As with other traffic infringement notices,
you have 28 days to either pay the fine or
take some other action.
Anyone issued with an infringement
notice for a camera detected offence
can examine the image produced by the
camera, and obtain a copy if required.
40
Mobile speed cameras
Mobile speed cameras are also in use
within the ACT, on an “anywhere,
anytime” basis - including in school zones.
Mobile cameras may be operated from
inside the vehicles provided for this
purpose or mounted outside the vehicle
on a tripod. Cameras can operate in
both directions (monitor traffic in both
directions). Generally vans are used for
speed camera operations. Other vehicles
may be used during periods when vans are
being maintained.
At night one or more flash units may be
deployed to enhance the image taken of
motorists committing an offence. These
flash units can be deployed from the speed
camera vehicle and triggered by infrared
light emission.
Radar detectors
It is an offence in the ACT to use, sell or
offer for sale or purchase a traffic offence
evasion article such as a radar detecting
device or radar jamming device.
It is also an offence to drive or park a
motor vehicle in the ACT fitted with such
a device, and an owner found guilty of an
offence is liable for a substantial fine.
The Police may demand that any device
fitted to a motor vehicle be surrendered
to them, or surrendered within a specified
time or manner to any ACT Police
Station. Failure to comply may lead to a
substantial fine.
Intersections
Giving Way
There are three types of intersections:
• T-junctions;
• cross roads; and
• roundabouts.
Drivers must take action to avoid a
crash. Sometimes this may mean giving
way at intersections when the law would
otherwise not require you to. In other
words drive defensively so as to reduce
your chance of a crash.
The law says you must give way to:
• a vehicle on a continuing street if
you are on a terminating street at a
T- junction (diagrams 5, 6, 7, 8);
• emergency vehicles sounding their
sirens and/or flashing their emergency
lights;
• pedestrians at traffic signals when you
are turning left or right;
• pedestrians crossing the road the
driver is entering if you face a GIVE
WAYsign or STOP sign or where
there are no signs;
• pedestrians on pedestrian crossings;
• pedestrians approaching or on any
part of a school crossing;
• all other vehicles when exiting a slip
lane (diagram 10).
If in doubt, be prepared to give way to all
other vehicles.
• a vehicle on your right at an
uncontrolled intersection (diagram 9);
• vehicles on your left and right if you
face a GIVE WAY sign or a STOP
sign (diagram 1);
• vehicles already circulating on a
roundabout (diagram 11);
• all traffic when leaving a car park or
private driveway;
• all traffic before pulling out from the
kerb;
• vehicles on your right if you face a
“Turn Left At Any Time With Care”
sign (diagram 12);
• oncoming or left turning traffic when
turning right (diagram 2, 3, 4);
• all traffic before doing a U-turn or a
three-point turn;
41
Examples of giving way at
intersections
In each of the following diagrams the red
car must give way.
1
4
2
5
3
6
42
Examples of giving way at intersections
(continued)
In each of the following diagrams the red
car must give way.
7
10
8
11
9
12
43
Additional give way rules and
examples as depicted in the
Australian Road Rules
Giving way at a give way sign at a
bridge or length of narrow road
A driver approaching a bridge or length
of narrow road with a give way sign must
give way to any oncoming vehicle that is
on the bridge or length of road when the
driver reaches the sign.
Giving way at an intersection
(except a T-intersection or
roundabout)
If the driver is going straight ahead,
the driver must give way to any vehicle
approaching from the right, unless a
stop sign, stop line, give way sign or
give way line applies to the driver of the
approaching vehicle.
A driver at an intersection (except a
T-intersection or roundabout) without
traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give
way sign or give way line, must give way in
accordance with this rule.
Example 1 - Giving way at a bridge.
Example 1 - Driver going straight ahead giving way to a
vehicle on the right that is going straight ahead
Example 2 - Giving way at a length of narrow road.
In each example, vehicle B must give way
to vehicle A.
Example 2 - Driver going straight ahead giving way to a
vehicle on the right that is turning right
In each example, vehicle B must give way
to vehicle A.
44
If the driver is turning left (except if the
driver is using a slip lane), the driver must
give way to:
a. any vehicle approaching from the
right, unless a stop sign, stop line, give
way sign or give way line applies to the
driver of the approaching vehicle; and
b. any pedestrian at or near the
intersection who is crossing the road
the driver is entering.
Example 3 - Driver turning left giving way to a vehicle on the
right that is going straight ahead
In example 3, vehicle B must give way to
vehicle A.
If the driver is turning left using a slip lane,
the driver must give way to:
a. any vehicle approaching from the right
or turning right at the intersection
into the road the driver is entering
(except a vehicle making a U-turn at
the intersection); and
b. any pedestrian on the slip lane.
Example 5 - Driver turning left using a slip lane giving way
to vehicle that is turning right into the road the driver is
entering.
If the driver is turning right, the driver
must give way to:
a. a ny vehicle approaching from the
right, unless a stop sign, stop line, give
way sign or give way line applies to the
driver of the approaching vehicle; and
b. any oncoming vehicle that is going
straight ahead or turning left at the
intersection, unless:
Example 4 - Driver turning left giving way
to a pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering.
In example 4, the vehicle must give way to
the pedestrian.
i. a stop sign, stop line, give way
sign or give way line applies to the
driver of the oncoming vehicle; or
ii. the oncoming vehicle is turning
left using a slip lane; and
45
c. any pedestrian at or near the
intersection crossing the road the
driver is entering.
Example 8 - Driver turning right giving way to an oncoming
vehicle that is turning left into the road the driver is entering.
Example 6 - Driver turning right giving way to a vehicle
on the right that is turning right into the road the driver is
leaving.
In example 8, vehicle B must give way to
vehicle A.
Example 9 - Driver turning right giving way
to a pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering.
Example 7 - Driver turning right giving way to an oncoming
vehicle that is going straight ahead on the road the driver
is leaving.
In examples 6 and 7, vehicle B must give
way to vehicle A.
46
In example 9, the vehicle must give way to
the pedestrian.
Giving way when entering a road
from a road-related area or adjacent
land
Giving way when entering a roadrelated area or adjacent land from
a road
A driver entering a road from a roadrelated area, or adjacent land, without
traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give
way sign or give way line must give way to:
A driver entering a road-related area
or adjacent land from a place on a road
without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop
line, give way sign or give way line must
give way to:
a. any vehicle travelling on the road or
turning into the road (except a vehicle
turning right into the road from a
road‑related area or adjacent land);
b. any pedestrian on the road;
c. any vehicle or pedestrian on any roadrelated area that the driver crosses to
enter the road; and
d. for a driver entering the road from a
road-related area — any pedestrian on
the road-related area and any other
vehicle ahead of the driver’s vehicle or
approaching from the left or right.
Adjacent land or a road-related area can
include a driveway, service station or
shopping centre.
a. any pedestrian on the road;
b. any vehicle or pedestrian on any roadrelated area that the driver crosses or
enters;
c. if the driver is turning right from the
road any oncoming vehicle on the
road that is going straight ahead or
turning left; and
d. if the road the driver is leaving ends
at a T-intersection opposite the roadrelated area or adjacent land and the
driver is crossing the continuing road
any vehicle on the continuing road.
A road related area is any of the
following:
An area that divides a road; a footpath
or nature strip adjacent to a road; an area
that is not a road and that is open to the
public and designated for use by cyclists
or animals; an area that is not a road and
that is open to or used by the public for
driving, riding or parking vehicles (eg, a
car park).
Driver entering a road from a road-related area giving way
to a pedestrian on the footpath and a vehicle on the road.
In this example, vehicle B must give way
to the pedestrian on the footpath and to
vehicle A.
47
Types of intersections
T- intersections
A T -intersection is formed where a road
meets another and does not continue.
Example 1 - Driver turning right from a road into a roadrelated area giving way to an oncoming vehicle that is going
straight ahead and to a pedestrian on the footpath.
Two types of T- intersections
When two vehicles approach a
T- intersection from different roads
and there is reasonable possibility of a
collision, the driver of the vehicle on the
terminating road must give way to the
vehicle in the continuing road.
Giving Way at T- Intersections
Example 2 - Driver crossing a continuing road at a T–
intersection to enter a road‑related area giving way to a
vehicle on the continuing road.
In each example, vehicle B must give
way to vehicle A. In example 1, vehicle
B must also give way to the pedestrian on
the footpath.
In this example, the driver of the red car
must give way to the driver of the blue car.
48
Cross roads
A cross road is formed where two
continuing streets intersect.
Before crossing or turning at an
intersection, only proceed when you are
sure it is safe and that you will not block
the road by having to stop within the
intersection.
Divided roads (dual carriageways)
The red vehicle gives way in each case
At unusual intersections, eg
Y- intersections where it is not clear who
is on the terminating road, there will
generally be GIVE WAY or STOP sign
erected to advise drivers which vehicle
must give way.
Drivers turning at a T intersection must
give way to any pedestrian crossing the
road the driver is entering whether they are
turning from the continuing road or the
terminating road.
Note: If in doubt be prepared to give
way to all other vehicles.
Divided road intersection
Road rules and traffic movement at
divided road intersections are the same as
those at single road intersections.
When a two-way road is divided by a
median strip, a GIVE WAY or STOP sign
applies to the WHOLE of the intersection.
A vehicle which has stopped adjacent
to the median strip in the middle of the
intersection is still controlled by the STOP
or GIVE WAY signs.
A wide central median strip may allow a
vehicle to proceed to the position shown
on the diagram. However, if there is
a narrow central strip, a driver should
not enter the intersection unless the
intersection can be negotiated without
stopping.
The median strip or nature strip within a
dual carriageway must not be driven on.
49
Roundabouts
The following roundabout rules are
quoted from the Australian Road Rules
and are recognised nationally.
What is a roundabout?
A roundabout is an intersection with:
one or more marked lanes, or lines of
traffic, all of which are for the use of
vehicles travelling in the same direction
around a central traffic island; and a
roundabout sign at each entrance.
Entering a roundabout from a multi-lane
road or a road with two or more lines of
traffic travelling in the same direction
A driver entering a roundabout from a
multi-lane road, or a road with two or
more lines of traffic travelling in the same
direction as the driver, must enter the
roundabout in accordance with these
rules:
Leaving a roundabout less than halfway
around it
If the driver is to leave the roundabout less
than halfway around it, the driver must
enter the roundabout from the left marked
lane or left line of traffic.
Roundabout sign
Example 1 - Leaving a roundabout less than
halfway around it.
In simple terms: When approaching a
multi-lane roundabout with the intention
of turning left; approach in the left hand
lane, operate the left hand indicator before
entering the roundabout and continue to
indicate throughout the turn (Example 1
refers).
50
Leaving a roundabout halfway around it
A driver leaves a roundabout halfway
around the roundabout, if the driver
leaves the roundabout on a road that is
straight ahead, or substantially straight
ahead, from the road on which the driver
enters the roundabout.
Example 2 - Leaving a roundabout halfway around it.
In simple terms: When approaching a
multi-lane roundabout with the intention
of continuing straight ahead, approach in
either the left or right hand lane (Example
2 refers) and operate the left hand
indicator when leaving the roundabout.
Entering a roundabout
Leaving a roundabout more than
halfway around it
If the driver is to leave the roundabout
more than halfway around it, the driver
must enter the roundabout from the right
marked lane or right line of traffic.
Example 3 - Leaving a roundabout more than
halfway around it
In simple terms: When approaching a
multi-lane roundabout with the intention
of turning to the right, approach in the
right hand lane and operate the right hand
indicator before entering the roundabout
(Example 3 refers), continue to operate
the indicator until approaching the exit
lane and then indicate left.
It is not a requirement to indicate before
ENTERING a roundabout if you are
proceeding straight ahead and intend
leaving the roundabout half way around it.
51
Continuing all the way around a
roundabout
If the driver is to drive all the way around
the roundabout, or more than three
quarters of the way around it, the driver
must enter the roundabout from the right
marked lane or right line of traffic.
Giving way when entering a roundabout
A driver entering a roundabout must give
way to any vehicle in the roundabout.
Driving in a roundabout to the left of the
central traffic island
A driver driving in a roundabout must
drive to the left of the central traffic island
in the roundabout.
Obeying traffic lane arrows when driving
in or leaving a roundabout
If a driver is driving in a marked lane in
a roundabout and there are traffic lane
arrows applying to the lane, the driver
must:
Example 4 - Roundabout with 3 entry points
In simple terms: When approaching a
multi-lane roundabout with the intention
of continuing all the way around the
roundabout (U-turn), approach in the
right hand lane, operate the right hand
indicator before entering the roundabout
and continue to operate the indicator
until exiting the roundabout in the right
hand lane. (Example 4 refers)
a. if the arrows indicate a single
direction, drive in or leave the
roundabout in that direction; or
b. if the arrows indicate 2 or more
directions, drive in or leave the
roundabout in one of those directions.
Giving a change of direction signal when
changing marked lanes or lines of traffic in
a roundabout
A driver driving in a roundabout must:
a. g ive a left change of direction signal
before the driver changes marked
lanes to the left, or enters a line of
traffic to the left, in the roundabout;
b. g ive a right change of direction signal
before the driver changes marked
lanes to the right, or enters a line of
traffic to the right, in the roundabout.
52
Giving a left change of direction signal
when leaving a roundabout
If practicable, a driver driving in a
roundabout must give a left change
of direction signal when leaving the
roundabout.
Turning
Left-hand turns
Plan turns well in advance.
The driver must stop giving the change of
direction signal as soon as the driver has
left the roundabout.
This rule does not apply to a driver if the
driver’s vehicle is not fitted with direction
indicator lights.
Giving way by the rider of a bicycle or
animal to a vehicle leaving a roundabout
The rider of a bicycle or animal who is
riding in the far left marked lane of a
roundabout with two or more marked
lanes, or the far left line of traffic in a
roundabout with two or more lines of
traffic, must give way to any vehicle
leaving the roundabout.
Left turns must be made from the extreme left of the road.
Move to the left in good time before
reaching the intersection. Do not forget
to use your mirror, look over your shoulder
and signal your intention before moving
over.
If lanes are marked, use the left lane and,
if practicable, turn into the left lane.
You may make left turns from lanes which
have a left-turn arrow painted on the
road. Remember, you must keep in the
equivalent lane as you make your turn.
When turning left from a road that is
not a multi-lane road, or from a one way
street, you must approach and enter the
intersection to the left of any vehicle
travelling in the same direction, and as
near as practicable to the left edge of the
road you are leaving.
53
Left turn slip lane
12
Fig.1. Slip lanes at an intersection
Left -hand turns using slip lanes.
A driver turning left through a slip lane
with or without a Turn Left With Care
sign MUST give way to any vehicle on
the road the driver is entering or any
vehicle turning right at the intersection
into the road the driver is entering, or any
pedestrian on the slip lane.
All drivers need to exercise caution
when entering and exiting slip lanes. In
particular, watch out for pedestrians and
cyclists at such intersections.
Fig. 2 – Slip lane at a T-intersection
What is a Slip Lane?
Painted Islands and Concrete Islands
A slip lane is a branch of a road for the use
of vehicles turning left at an intersection
or T-intersection.
Traffic islands used to shape a slip lane
may take the form of a raised construction,
generally of concrete, or painted lines
(chevrons) on the road surface.
Figures 1 & 2. Shaded areas in diagrams
are slip lanes and traffic flow direction is
indicated by the arrows.
Fig. 3 – Traffic islands
54
Slip lanes should be regarded as
terminating roads.
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE:
Slip lane with its own traffic lane
In the ACT, a slip lane should be regarded
in the same way as the terminating road of
a T-intersection, ie a driver in a slip lane or
on a terminating road of a T-intersection
MUST give way.
The give way rule does not apply when a
slip lane leads into its own traffic lane.
A driver MUST give way to all traffic
when exiting a slip lane whether or not
there are signs such as “Turn Left At Any
Time With Care”, “Give Way”, or traffic
lights.
Fig. 6 – Vehicle A does not have to give way to vehicle B
Many drivers run into the rear of the
vehicle ahead while driving through a slip
lane. This happens when the driver in
front slows or stops to check for vehicles
approaching from the right.
Fig. 4 – Vehicle A (red) gives way to vehicle B
REMEMBER:
In the ACT, motorists exiting a slip lane
MUST give way to ALL other traffic
including PEDESTRIANS on the slip
lane.
DO NOT cross ANY unbroken line (or
lines) when exiting the slip lane to enter
the new street, or to merge with other
vehicles. Cross only the broken lines.
Note: When turning left ALWAYS use
your indicators.
Fig. 5 – Vehicle A gives way to vehicle B
55
Left Turn on Red Light
Right-hand turns
At selected intersections that are
controlled by traffic lights, you may be also
faced by a sign saying:
Unmarked lanes
Left Turn On Red Permitted After Stopping sign
This sign permits you to turn left even if
the traffic light facing you is red.
But remember:
• you MUST first stop your vehicle
completely;
• you MUST give way to all other
traffic;
• you MUST give way to pedestrians;
Laned roads
• it MUST be safe to then proceed; and
If lanes are not marked, make your turn
from as close as possible to the centre line.
• you CAN only do so where a sign is
displayed.
Penalties
A driver failing to stop before turning,
or stopping and then turning in an
unsafe manner, is liable to a fine and
Demerit Points.
56
Sometimes special lanes are marked for
the use of right-turning traffic.
When right turns are allowed from more
than one lane, you must keep in the
equivalent lane as you turn from one road
into another.
When turning from a road that is not
a multi-lane road, you must approach
and enter the intersection from as near
as practicable to, but to the left of, the
middle of the road. When turning right
from a one way road, you must approach
and enter the intersection from as near as
practicable to the right edge of the road
that you are leaving.
Note: When turning right ALWAYS use
your indicators.
Right turns with opposing vehicles
Right turns from more than one lane.
Directional arrows on the road may show
that right turns may also be made from
other lanes.
Opposing vehicles at intersections should
turn with the other vehicle passing/
turning on their left.
57
Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle
Giving way when making a U–turn
A driver making a U–turn must give way
to all vehicles and pedestrians.
Making a U–turn contrary to a no U–
turn sign
A driver must not make a U–turn at a
break in a dividing strip on a road if there
is a no U–turn sign at the break in the
dividing strip.
Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle sign
Motorists should remember that trucks
and other long vehicles (more than 7.5
metres in length) which show this sign
may have to use more than one lane when
turning. Be prepared to give long vehicles
such as trucks and buses room to turn.
A driver must not make a U–turn on a
length of road to which a no U–turn sign
applies.
A no U–turn sign on a road (except a
no U–turn sign at an intersection or at
a break in a dividing strip) applies to the
length of road beginning at the sign and
ending at the nearer of the following:
Motorcycles and bicycles
i. the next intersection on the road;
Take care not to squeeze these smaller
vehicles into the kerb.
ii. if the road ends at a T–
intersection or dead end — the
end of the road.
U-Turns and Three Point Turns
These are the basic methods of turning a
vehicle to face in the opposite direction.
When making a U-Turn or three point
turn you must give way to all other traffic.
No U–turn signs
U–turns
The following U-turn rules and examples
have been taken directly from the
Australian Road Rules and are recognised
nationally.
Beginning a U–turn
A driver must not begin a U–turn unless:
a. the driver has a clear view of any
approaching traffic; and
b. the driver can safely make the U–turn
without unreasonably obstructing the
free movement of traffic.
58
No U–turn sign
Standard sign
No U–turn sign
Variable illuminated message sign
Making a U–turn at an intersection with
traffic lights
A driver must not make a U–turn at
an intersection with traffic lights unless
there is a U–turn permitted sign at the
intersection.
Three point turns
Three point turns are completed in three
movements using forward and reverse
gear.
U–turn permitted sign
Making a U–turn at an intersection
without traffic lights
A driver must not make a U–turn at an
intersection without traffic lights, if there
is a no U–turn sign at the intersection.
First move
Starting a U–turn at an intersection
A driver making a U–turn at an
intersection must start the U‑turn:
a. if the road where the driver is turning
has a dividing line or median strip —
from the marked lane nearest, or as
near as practicable, to the dividing
line or median strip; or
b. in any other case — from the left of
the centre of the road.
Second move
Third move
Starting a U–turn on a road with a median strip
59
Crossings
Pedestrian crossings
Wombat crossings are used where there
is a need to slow the speed of vehicles to
make the crossing safer for use by children
or the elderly and slow pedestrians.
These crossings are marked across a raised
speed hump type section of street, and
are clearly signposted. Motorists MUST
give way to pedestrians and cyclists on a
marked wombat pedestrian crossing.
DO NOT overtake a stationary vehicle
at a wombat pedestrian crossing.
Pedestrian crossings are marked by white
stripes on the roadway and special signs.
School crossings
Motorists must give way to pedestrians
and cyclists on a marked pedestrian
crossing.
Note: It should be noted that some
crossings in the ACT have now been
made more distinguishable by the
implementation of flashing amber lights.
These crossings have the same regulations
as crossings without lights and should be
negotiated in the same way.
DO NOT overtake a stationary vehicle
at a pedestrian crossing.
Wombat crossings
School crossings are marked by white lines
on the roadway, and by red and white
striped posts on each kerb.
School crossings are operative only when
a traffic sign or flag with the words ‘School
Crossing’ or ‘Children Crossing’ is placed
on or near the crossing.
Vehicles MUST stop at the white hold
lines and remain stationary until the
crossing is clear of all pedestrians.
DO NOT overtake a stationary vehicle
at a school pedestrian crossing.
60
Pedestrian refuge zone
School Zones
Areas around schools have been
designated school zones. School zone
signs erected near schools in the ACT
are designed to be ‘closed’ or ‘open’.
When the sign is ‘closed’ a normal
default 50km/h speed limit applies unless
signposted otherwise.
Pedestrian refuge zones are designed to
provide a safe area for pedestrians when
crossing busy streets.
When the sign is ‘open’ a special speed
limit of 40km/h applies at the times and
days indicated on the sign.
Pedestrian refuge zones are yellow and red
with “Keep Left” printed on them.
They are located on refuge islands on
school crossings within school zones, at
shopping centres and in high traffic areas.
They are located in most suburbs, and
additional pedestrian refuge zones will be
installed throughout the ACT as the need
is assessed.
When you see a yellow and red refuge
zone, slow down and watch for children
and other pedestrians crossing the road.
‘Closed’
‘Open’
Lower part of sign swings up/down to open/close the zone.
61
Level crossings
You must not enter a level crossing if
While there are few railway level crossings
in the ACT, many ACT drivers are at
risk of injury or death when travelling
interstate. Therefore, it is important to be
aware of the rules and regulations for level
crossings.
a. warning lights (for example, twin
red lights or rotating red lights) are
operating or warning bells are ringing;
or
A level crossing is an area where a road
and a railway meet at substantially the
same level, whether or not there is a level
crossing sign on the road at all or any of
the entrances to the area.
You must obey “Stop” and “Give Way”
or any other warning sign at railway level
crossings.
b. a gate, boom or barrier at the crossing
is closed or is opening or closing; or
c. a train is on or entering the crossing;
or
d. a train approaching the crossing
can be seen from the crossing, or is
sounding a warning, and there would
be a danger of a collision with the
train if you entered the crossing; or
e. y ou cannot drive through the crossing
because the crossing, or a road beyond
the crossing, is blocked.
You must leave the level crossing as soon
as you can do so safely.
Level crossing signs
62
Parking
Where not to park your vehicle:
• Within 20 metres of the nearest
point of an intersection controlled by
traffic lights, and 10 metres from an
intersection without traffic lights;
• on the right hand side of the road
with your vehicle facing the oncoming
traffic;
• in a “No Stopping” zone. “No
Stopping” means a vehicle may NOT
stop or park on the street for any
purpose;
• in a “No Parking” zone, stopping is
permitted. Where signs indicate “No
Parking”, a vehicle may stop to pick
up or set down passengers or goods
only and must drive on within two
minutes of stopping. The driver
MUST remain with the vehicle
at all times. A vehicle is declared
unattended if a person is more than
three metres away from the closest
point of the vehicle;
Intersection
• parking is permitted within a
T-intersection along the continuous
side of the continuing road at the
intersection as shown below, unless a
parking sign indicates otherwise;
• on a dividing strip, nature strip,
painted island, footpath, bicycle path
or shared path within a built up area;
• in a “Loading Zone”, unless you are
loading/ or unloading goods to or from
a vehicle specifically permitted to do
so;
• across or within a passage,
thoroughfare, entrance driveway or
foot-crossing;
• double parked;
• in a “Taxi Zone”;
• upon a bridge, or 20 metres before or
10 metres after a pedestrian crossing
or school crossing, and 10 metres
before and 3 metres after a marked
foot crossing;
T Intersection
• at a bus stop, or on the road, within
20 metres before a sign on the road
that indicates the bus stop, and
10 metres after the sign, unless you
stop at a place on a length of road, or
in an area, to which a parking control sign applies and you are permitted to
stop at that place under the Australian
Road Rules;
63
• so that any part of the vehicle
overhangs any line marking or marked
parking bay;
• anywhere other than a marked bay,
if in a car-park with marked parking
bays;
• on a crest or curve outside a built-up
area unless:
your vehicle is visible for 100 metres
to drivers approaching the vehicle and
travelling in the direction of travel of
traffic on the same side of the road as
the vehicle; or
you stop at a place on a length of
road, or in an area, to which a parking
control sign applies and you are
permitted to stop at that place under
the Australian Road Rules.
• within 1 metre of a fire hydrant.
You must not stop or park on a road in a
position that obstructs access by vehicles
or pedestrians to or from a footpath ramp
or a similar way of access to a footpath, or
a bicycle path or passageway unless:
• you are dropping off or picking up,
passengers; or
• you stop in a parking bay and you are
permitted to stop in the parking bay
under the Australian Road Rules.
You must not stop on, or across, a
driveway or other way of access for
vehicles travelling to or from adjacent
land unless:
• you are dropping off, or picking up,
passengers; or
• you stop in a parking bay and you are
permitted to stop in the parking bay
under the Australian Road Rules.
64
Blocking a driveway
In the example, the vehicle marked with
an ‘X’ is stopped in contravention of the
rule above.
You must not stop on a road within three
metres of a public post-box, unless you:
• are dropping off, or picking up,
passengers; or
• stop at a place on a length of road, or
in an area, to which a parking control
sign applies and you are permitted to
stop at that place under the Australian
Road Rules.
• You must not double park your vehicle
- that is stand it on the road alongside
a parked car.
How and where to park
The rules relating to parking are set out in
the Australian Road Rules.
Vehicles should always be parked parallel
and close to the left-hand side of the street
facing in the direction the vehicle would
travel except when otherwise indicated
by a traffic sign or road marking (ie angle
parking, centre of the road parking).
Parallel parking
You MUST park:
• in-line with, and as close as
practicable to, the kerb;
• entirely within any marked bays;
• at least one metre from any vehicle in
front and behind.
The recommended distance from the kerb
is 30 cms.
Centre of road parking
Angle parking
You must angle park at the kerb if signs or
marked bays indicate angle parking. You
must always park at a 45 degree angle,
unless a sign or line marking indicates
otherwise.
Goods Vehicles
Goods vehicles primarily designed to carry
goods may park in loading zones for no
longer than 30 minutes unless signposted
otherwise, for the purpose of loading or
unloading ONLY.
Note: Other vehicles may park in
loading zones for the purpose of loading
and unloading goods only if they have
the appropriate parking permit affixed to
the windscreen of the vehicle.
Vehicles not loading or unloading goods
may be issued with a parking infringement
notice.
Where parking is allowed along the centre
of the road, marked bays are usually set
out at right angles to the traffic.
You must drive out forwards, do NOT
reverse.
Heavy Vehicles
Vehicles used for commercial purposes
with a GVM of more than 3.75 tonnes,
longer than 6 metres or more than
2.6 metres high, are not permitted to park
on residential land containing a multi-unit
development.
There are additional restrictions on the
parking of heavy vehicles in excess of
4.5 tonnes GVM in residential areas.
65
For further information, including
information about parking heavy vehicles
on residential leases, please contact
Parking Operations on 6207 7200.
Park ‘n’ ride
Short stay parking
Four types of short stay parking are
available in Canberra. These are meter,
ticket, boom-gate and time limited
parking.
Parking meters
You MUST
immediately upon
standing or parking
next to an expired
meter or when
parking in a multi
bay area, insert
the correct and
specified coins into
the meter.
Ticket machines
Park‘n’ride allows you to park your vehicle
for free in a Park‘n’ride zone provided that
you display a Park‘n’ride permit in those
areas that require a permit.
Park‘n’ride permits are available at
ACTION My Way offices. These permits
are valid for one calendar month only.
To obtain further information in relation
to Park‘n’ride permits and locations, visit
www.transport.act.gov.au
3-for-FREE parking
Free parking in Belconnen, Woden and
Tuggeranong for cars carrying at least
three people, arriving between 7.30am and
9.00am (10am in Tuggeranong), Monday
to Friday.
You must purchase a ticket immediately
AFTER parking your vehicle and display
the ticket face up on the dashboard of
your vehicle.
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For more information please telephone
6207 7200.
Disability parking sign
Throughout Canberra, parking spaces
are reserved for people with a mobility
disability who display a Disability Parking
Permit on their windscreens. These spaces
are conveniently located at all major and
suburban shopping centres, hospitals,
health and community centres, business
areas and places of interest.
For further information about Parking
Permits, telephone 13 22 81 or write to:
Manager
Road User Services
PO Box 582
DICKSON ACT 2602, or
www.act.gov.au/accessCBR
Some examples of parking signs
Parking regulations
Under the ACT Road Transport
legislation, the registered operator of a
motor vehicle is responsible for parking
offences incurred by that motor vehicle.
However, if the registered operator is not
the actual offender, he or she will not be
held liable if:
• the registered operator supplies an
Infringement Notice Declaration
stating the name and address of the
person driving at the time of the
offence; or
• the registered operator supplies
documented proof that at the time of
the alleged offence, the vehicle was
stolen or illegally taken or used.
Note: If you sell a vehicle you must
provide a notice of disposal to the RTA
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which includes the name and address of
the new operator. If you fail to do this
you remain liable for any outstanding
parking infringements.
Failure to pay a parking infringement
penalty within the prescribed period
will result in suspension of your ACT
licence and/or registration, or right to
drive in the ACT.
How to avoid Parking Infringement
Notices (PINS)
ALWAYS read parking sign carefully and
make sure you understand the sign.
Parking signs apply 24 hours a day and 7
days a week, unless restricted hours are
stated on the sign.
Look for the signs on upright poles or on
walls adjacent to the parking surface.
Parking – minimum distances from
other vehicles and dividing strip
The Rules
If you don’t pay your parking fines on time,
you will lose your right to drive.
You have just 28 days to pay your parking
fine from the day the ticket was issued.
If you don’t pay within 28 days you
have 28 more days, but have to pay an
administration charge, as well as your fine.
If you still don’t pay, your licence or
registration will be suspended. You
will have to pay your fine and the
administration charge, before you can
drive, or before the vehicle may be used
again.
How to keep on the right side of the law
If you do get an Infringement Notice,
pay it within 28 days to avoid the extra
administration charge.
less than 3m
less than 3m
If a road has a continuous dividing line
or dividing strip you must position the
vehicle at least 3 metres from any dividing
line or dividing strip, unless information
on a parking control sign indicates
otherwise.
If the road does not have a continuous
dividing line or dividing strip, you must
position the vehicle so there is at least 3
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Parking infringement
Best of all, park according to the rules and
don’t get an Infringement Notice.
more
than
1m
more than 3m
metres of road alongside the vehicle that
is clear for other vehicles to pass, unless
information on a parking control sign
indicates otherwise.
If you are paying by mail, please allow
enough time for the payment to be
received by the due date. Late payments
will attract the extra administration
charge.
If you do have to pay the extra
administration charge, pay it (and the fine
too if that isn’t already paid) within 28
days.
WARNING: You risk serious traffic
offences, if you are found to be driving
a vehicle with suspended registration or
driving while your licence is suspended.
Miscellaneous
Throwing objects at vehicles
It illegal to throw objects at, or place
objects in the way of, motor vehicles or
bicycles so as to risk the safety of drivers,
riders or passengers. This offence also
applies to throwing objects at other
vehicles, and covers actions such as car
drivers throwing objects at other car
drivers, or pedestrians throwing objects at
cars or trucks. These laws recognise the
significant risk to the safety of road users
posed by this type of behaviour.
Failing to stop for police
You must stop for police when you are
given a signal to do so. Make sure you
find a safe place to pull over, such as an
emergency break down lane or side street.
Drivers who commit the offence of
‘failing to stop for police’ are subject
to a maximum penalty of 12 months
imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines,
increasing to three years imprisonment
and up to $45,000 for repeat offenders.
Drivers can also have their licence
suspended and vehicle seized. The
registered owner of a vehicle which was
used to commit the offence can also face
serious penalties if they do not provide
information to police about who was
driving the vehicle when the offence was
allegedly committed.
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PART D - Road craft
• Craft
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Preparing to drive
Getting underway
Keeping a lookout
Keeping your distance
Steering
Letting others know
Lane positioning
Bus Lanes
Keep clear markings
Keeping to the left
Lane changing
Overtaking
Braking and stopping
ABS - Anti-Lock Braking Systems
Reversing
• Driving under difficult conditions
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Night driving
Fog lights
Winter and wet weather driving
Snow conditions
Steep hills
Unsealed roads
• Emergencies and what to do
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–– Possible head-on collision
–– Forced off road on to gravel
–– Shattered windscreen
–– Tyre blow-out or rapid puncture
–– Brake failure
–– Car fire
–– Stuck accelerator
–– Breakdowns and accidents
• What to do after a crash
PART D - Road craft
STEERING AND HORN
WINDSCREEN WIPERS AND WASHERS,
WINDSCREEN CLEAN AND FREE OF CRACKS
REAR VISION
MIRRORS
LIGHTS
BRAKES
TYRE CONDITION AND TREAD DEPTH
TYRE PRESSURE
Preparing to drive
Before attempting to drive you must:
• know the rules of the road as set out in
this handbook;
• know your vehicle and its controls; and
• make sure your vehicle is safe to drive.
Mechanical checks
• Brakes - do they operate effectively and
evenly? Does the handbrake stop the
vehicle from rolling on an incline?
• Headlights - are they of even power
and focus? Does the low-beam switch
work? Do the parking and number
plate lights work?
• Tail and stop lights - do the tail lights
work and show a red light to the rear?
Do the stop lights work when you apply
the foot brake?
• Turn indicators - check these
frequently. Replace bulbs that have
blown.
• Wheels - are they properly aligned and
balanced? Unbalanced wheels can
cause excessive tyre wear or even loss of
control. Do not forget the spare wheel
when you check your tyres.
• Steering -does the steering wheel have
excessive free movement?
• Windscreen wipers.
• Horn.
• Rear reflectors.
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Pre-drive checks
• Look for obvious faults or damage
around the outside of your car before
you drive away.
• Make sure there is nothing in the way
(especially children, bicycles, tricycles
or toys).
Getting under-way
Moving off
Before entering traffic remember to:
• ensure there will be no danger to
pedestrians;
• Keep your mirrors, windows and
headlights clean.
• look both ways for following and
oncoming traffic including bicycles;
• Do not place stickers or ornaments
where they can distract or block your
view of the road.
• clearly signal your intention.
• Make sure there are no loose items in
your car that could prove dangerous.
When leaving a private driveway or an offstreet parking area give way to all traffic
on the road and pedestrians and cyclists
on the footpath.
• Close all doors properly.
Keeping a lookout
• Make sure the driver’s seat is properly
adjusted.
• Get the big picture. Do not just
look at the road in front of your car.
Tunnel vision is dangerous.
• Make sure your seating position is high
enough to get a clear view of the road.
• Adjust your mirrors after you have
adjusted the driver’s seat.
• Look well into the distance, keep your
eyes moving to both sides and check
your mirrors.
• Make sure you and your passengers
are wearing seat belts.
• Make head checks to help you get the
big picture.
• Check the controls. You should know
where each of the controls are and
how they work.
• Check gauges and warning lights.
• Be sure you have enough fuel for your
trip.
Opening car doors
• A person must not cause a hazard to
any person or vehicle by opening a
door of a vehicle, leaving a door open
or getting off or out of a vehicle.
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The shaded areas are called “blind spots”
because you cannot see vehicles travelling
there without looking over your shoulder.
If you keep plenty of space (a ‘buffer zone’
or space cushion) around your vehicle,
you will be better able to avoid a collision.
Stay as far away as driving conditions
allow. Most motorists underestimate the
distance required to stop their vehicle.
Space in front
Reversing
When reversing, do not rely on your
mirrors alone. Turn your head and look
over your shoulder.
Buffer zone
Safe following distance
When following another vehicle, an
estimation of the appropriate following
distance can be obtained by using the
‘three second rule’.
Adjust your mirrors to give the best possible view
Correctly adjusted mirrors provide the
widest rear view possible while keeping the
blind spots to a minimum.
Keeping your distance
It is important that you do not follow
another vehicle too closely. Tailgating
(following too close to the rear of another
vehicle) is the cause of most chain or
‘concertina’ collisions. If the front vehicle
stops suddenly when you are tailgating a
crash is inevitable - you will not be able to
stop in time.
To use this following distance rule, you
should keep a gap of at least three seconds
or more between your vehicle and the one
ahead. This means that it should take you
at least three seconds (minimum time)
to get to where the car in front is at any
given moment.
The three second rule relies on alert
drivers driving vehicles in good
mechanical condition, fitted with good
tyres and driving on a good road surface
in good traffic and weather conditions.
Otherwise allow more distance.
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To check that you are at least three
seconds back:
Pick an object by the side of the road, such
as a tree or post, that will soon be passed
by the vehicle ahead.
As soon as the rear of the vehicle ahead
passes the object, say to yourself “one
thousand and one, one thousand and two,
one thousand and three”.
You should take the full three seconds, or
more, that it takes to say this, for the front
of your vehicle to reach the same object.
If you get there before you finish saying it you are too close to the other vehicle.
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Novice drivers and drivers of larger
vehicles such as buses and trucks, and
drivers towing trailers or caravans, will
need to allow longer following distances.
In poor road and weather conditions
(eg. gravel surfaces or frosty/wet
conditions), or if you are tired or driving
at night, you should also allow a much
greater distance from the vehicle in front.
In these circumstances, you should at least
double the time elapsed, ie from three
seconds to at least six or seven seconds,
and even more to be certain.
If another vehicle moves between you and
the vehicle in front, slow down briefly to
allow your vehicle to fall back to a safe
following distance.
Space to the sides
Space behind
Buffer zone
Buffer zone
Just as you need a buffer zone/space
cushion in front, you also need space to
the sides to protect you from mistakes. You
need to keep sufficient space from vehicles
that are:
Rear-end collisions are fairly common and
are in fact, the fourth most common injury
producing accident.
• alongside - if you have a choice, do
not drive next to another vehicle for
too long;
• oncoming - by keeping to the left you
make sure that you reduce the danger
of being sideswiped by oncoming
vehicles;
• parked - keep a space between you
and parked vehicles. Someone may
get out of a parked car suddenly, a
pedestrian may step from between
cars, or a driver may pull out without
looking.
Where possible allow a minimum of 1
metre between your vehicle and the
parked vehicle.
The driver behind has more control over
the space cushion than you do.
However, there is plenty you can do to
protect yourself.
When you are driving:
• keep a steady speed;
• signal in advance when you have to
slow down;
• do NOT stop suddenly;
• do NOT feel you have to go faster
when you are being tailgated (followed
too closely);
• let the other driver overtake as soon
as possible;
• gradually increase the buffer zone/
space cushion in front to give you
more room if a dangerous situation
arises.
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Steering
A good steering method is fundamental to
good driving. Remember the following:
• position your hands on the steering
wheel in the ’10 to 2’ or ‘1/4 to 3’
position - as on a clock;
• do not allow your hands to drop to the
bottom of the wheel or to hang loosely
on the steering wheel;
• turning movements should be made
smoothly using the push-pull method
or in certain circumstances, the handover-hand method;
• do not rest your elbow on the window
frame or grip the roof gutter;
• do not release your grip of the steering
wheel to allow the steering to self
centre;
• keep both hands on the wheel at
all times unless operating vehicle
controls;
Driver communication is important
Let others know what you are doing by
indicating well in advance.
Eye contact between drivers is important.
It can allow you to anticipate and avoid
mistakes by other drivers or pedestrians.
Tune into the messages that other drivers
are giving you. Look and listen and be
prepared to react as required to another
driver’s communications.
Note: One hand or the other MUST
have a firm grip of the steering wheel
at ALL TIMES when the vehicle is in
motion - otherwise your vehicle is not
under safe and proper control.
Letting others know
When a crash happens, it is usually
because:
• one driver does something
unexpected;
• one driver does not know the other is
there;
• one driver does not ‘tune-in’ to others
around him or her.
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Signalling
When you signal your intention to change
lanes or turn, you are giving other drivers
advanced warning of your intended
movements.
You are required by law to give ample
warning when signalling your intentions
to turn into or from an intersection or
driveway. Usually five seconds prior to
changing direction would be sufficient
warning.
You MUST also give adequate indication
BEFORE YOU START to diverge or
change lanes. You MUST give a minimum
five seconds indication before pulling out
from the kerb.
Note: Make sure that your indicators
are cancelled after you have completed
the manoeuvre.
Horn use
• you need to change lanes in order to
make a turn.
Drive in the centre of the lane and don’t
wander from side to side.
Bus lanes
In the ACT, Bus lanes are for buses but
also can be used by:
• Taxis;
• Hire cars;
• Demand responsive vehicles; and
• Motorcycles.
Other vehicles may only drive in bus lanes
for a maximum of 100 metres to enter or
leave the road.
Keep clear markings
Only use your horn or warning device to
warn other road users of danger.
Lane positioning
If lanes are not marked on the roadway,
drivers should drive their vehicles as near
to the left-hand side of the road as is
practicable.
A driver must not stop on an area of a
road marked with a keep clear marking.
Keep clear marking means the words
“keep clear” marked across all or part of
a road, with or without continuous lines
marked across all or part of the road.
If lanes are marked, stay within the line
markings.
If you are driving on a multi-lane road
it is advisable to drive in the left hand
lane, leaving other lanes available for
overtaking vehicles.
Once in a lane it is best to stay there
unless:
Example 1 - Keep clear marking bounded by line road
markings
• you wish to overtake a slower moving
vehicle, which is in the same lane as
your vehicle; or
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KEEP
A keep left unless overtaking sign on a
multi-lane road applies to the length of
road beginning at the sign and ending at
the nearest of the following:
• an end keep left unless overtaking sign
on the road;
CLEAR
Example 2 - Keep clear marking without internal line
markings
• a traffic sign or road marking on the
road indicating that it is no longer a
multi-lane road;
• if the road ends at a T–intersection or
dead end — the end of the road.
Keeping to the left on a
multi-lane road
This rule applies on a multi-lane road
where:
Keep left unless overtaking sign
• the speed-limit is over 80 km/h; or
• a keep left unless overtaking sign
applies.
You must not drive in the right lane
unless:
• you are turning right, or making a U–
turn from the centre of the road, and
are giving a right turn signal;
• you are overtaking;
• a left lane must turn left sign or left
traffic lane arrows apply to any other
lane and you are not turning left;
• you are required to drive in the right
lane;
• you are avoiding an obstruction;
• the traffic in the other lanes is
congested; or
• the traffic in every lane is congested.
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End keep left unless overtaking sign
If there are three or more available lanes,
use the left lane. Move with care to the
centre lanes if you need to pass slower
vehicles. Move back to the left lane once
it is again clear. The right lane is normally
reserved for overtaking and you must
move out of it as soon as it is safe to do so.
Lane changing
It is an offence to exceed the speed limit
when you are overtaking.
If you don’t need to change lanes, DON’T.
Before overtaking:
Changing lanes can be dangerous if you do
not follow safe, set guidelines.
• look in the rear vision mirror and
check that you are not about to be
overtaken yourself;
The basic steps to a safe lane change are:
• check your rear vision mirrors for
closely following, fast approaching or
overtaking traffic;
• don’t be too close to the vehicle in
front. Give yourself enough room to
manoeuvre by leaving a three second
gap;
• use your indicators to advise other
road users of your intentions (this
MUST be done BEFORE you turn
your steering wheel);
• signal your intention, complete a head
check, then pull out smoothly and
accelerate past;
• now do a quick head check over your
shoulder to make sure that no other
motorist is in the lane where you wish
to go - if there is, cancel your indicator
and be prepared to drive straight
ahead until that lane is clear to move
into. Adjust your speed slightly up or
down, to improve your opportunity of
finding a safe gap.
• do not cut in too soon. Look in the
rear vision mirror and when you can
clearly see the front of the overtaken
vehicle; indicate that you are moving
back to the same lane; do a head
check to make sure that it is safe for
you to move;
• steer back into your original lane.
Overtaking
If you are driving a vehicle that is being
overtaken, show consideration by moving
as far to the left as practicable. Do NOT
increase speed - it is dangerous and against
the law.
Overtake only when you have a clear
view of the road ahead, and you can do
so safely.
Leave enough room between your vehicle
and the one in front of you so other
drivers do not have to overtake two
vehicles at once.
Now and only now is it safe for you to turn
your steering wheel to steer into that lane.
When overtaking, remember to allow
for the speed of the vehicle you are
overtaking, and also the speed of
oncoming traffic. Remember, two vehicles
travelling in opposite directions at 80
km/h are approaching each other at a
combined speed of 160 km/h, or 45 metres
per second.
It is unwise to pull out blindly and follow
another vehicle which is overtaking a line
of vehicles further ahead. Its driver may
be a poor judge of distances or speed, or
there may be no space for you to pull back
into.
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OVERTAKING
Overtaking refers to two vehicles
travelling in the same direction.
Neither vehicle should be attempting to overtake in
this situation
Never overtake in these situations:
• approaching the crest of a hill or a
curve if you do not have a clear view
for at least 150 metres;
• where there are double unbroken lines
or an unbroken line on your side of
the centre line (unless allowing the
required minimum distance to pass a
cyclist when it is safe to do so);
• there is insufficient room, or you are
unsure what is ahead;
• approaching a pedestrian or school
crossing;
PASSING
• where there is an intersection or the
road narrows (eg at a bridge);
Passing refers to two vehicles approaching
each other from opposite directions.
• where you would have to exceed the
speed limit.
Remember to glance over your shoulder
before you move out and signal for a
reasonable time.
80
You must give way to traffic already in the
stream you are moving into.
Coasting, freewheeling and clutch
control
Vehicles should normally be overtaken
in the right lane. However, in certain
circumstances you may pass a vehicle on
the left hand side.
NEVER coast or freewheel your vehicle
with the clutch depressed or the gear lever
in neutral.
For example:
• on multi-lane roads you may pass
to the left of a vehicle which is in
another lane proceeding in the same
direction;
• on single lane roads, you may pass a
vehicle on the left hand side if the
driver of the vehicle has signalled an
intention to make a right hand turn
and has moved across to the centre
of the road to allow other drivers
sufficient room to pass on the left.
Passing or overtaking a vehicle
displaying a ‘Do Not Overtake Turning
Vehicle’ sign
Driving in gear helps your car to remain
stable and keep a good grip on the road
surface. When travelling downhill your
engine can act as a brake if you drive in
gear.
If you drive without the engine in gear
you lose stability and control of your car’s
speed, particularly while cornering. You
may lose control and run off the road or
roll over.
It is an offence to drive a vehicle unless
you have proper control of it. If you drive
with the clutch depressed for any distance
(other than the last 2 or 3 metres when
coming to a stop) you do not have proper
control of your vehicle.
Long vehicles can take up more than one
lane when they are turning. You must
not overtake any vehicle displaying a do
not overtake turning vehicle sign that
is turning and giving the relevant turn
signal, unless it is safe to do so.
These signs are displayed on certain long vehicles.
81
Braking and stopping
Stopping distance will depend on how
quickly you react to danger and the speed
at which you are travelling.
The average reaction time (from the time
drivers see danger to when the brakes are
applied) is two seconds.
Note: As your speed doubles, your
stopping distance more than doubles.
At 60 km/h a vehicle will travel 34 metres
while the driver is reacting to the danger,
and another 21 metres before the car
comes to a stop. Total stopping distance is
55 metres.
Two cars travelling at different speeds have different stopping
distances.
Stopping distances shown are for vehicles
with good brakes, on a good dry smooth
road surface, and fitted with good tyres
with the required tread depth.
The yellow car is only going 10 km/h
faster than the green car. The blue
truck suddenly pulls out and blocks the
intersection 60 metres away.
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The green car will stop in time - but the
yellow car will probably hit the truck at
about 30 km/h.
Reaction Time
How fast can you react to a hazard in
front of you? It takes a very alert driver at
least one second to react to an emergency.
Unless you are giving your complete
attention, it will take a lot longer.
Reaction time is the distance travelled
by a vehicle while a driver sees the need
to use the brake and actually starts to
physically apply the brake.
braking distance; or
• stop the brakes from fading during
heavy or prolonged use, eg driving
down a long hill and ‘riding’ the
brakes most of the way.
Reversing
Travelling at 60km/h, you will cover about
17 metres per second. If you double your
speed, you double the distance you will
travel during your reaction time.
Total stopping distance = reaction time +
Braking distance.
ABS - Anti-lock Braking System
Anti Lock Braking Systems (ABS) are
designed to assist the average motorist
in an emergency braking situation. ABS
stops the wheels locking during heavy
or emergency braking. This permits
the driver to steer the vehicle whilst
maintaining maximum braking.
Reversing
Before attempting to reverse, check your
inside rear vision mirror, then your left
and right hand external mirrors. Only if
your way is clear, should you reverse your
vehicle.
If you are not certain that the way is clear
because of blind spots, get someone else to
guide you, or get out and check yourself.
Advantages of ABS:
Look over your left shoulder through the
rear window when reversing.
• steering is maintained during
maximum braking; and
Children are often the victims of tragic
accidents when run over by reversing cars.
• stability is maintained when braking
on varying surfaces, eg. two wheels on
roadway and two wheels on the dirt
shoulder of the roadway.
Do’s and don’ts:
ABS will not:
• never reverse for a greater distance
than is necessary;
• shorten the braking distance of a
vehicle; in fact in some situations
(gravel roads) it may increase the
• never reverse from a minor road into a
major road;
• always try to enter and leave any road
in a forward direction.
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Major ACT arterial roads
• be ready and in the correct lane when
approaching your exit ramp (if you
miss your exit you cannot turn back –
continue ahead to the next exit);
• observe lane markings and do not
change lanes suddenly or without
warning;
There are no freeways in the ACT and
therefore no prohibited users. However,
some of the signs and basic rules of
freeways are useful for when you drive
interstate or use ACT arterial roads such
as the Tuggeranong Parkway.
• use all lane changing procedures
BEFORE attempting to overtake.
Make sure you are not being
overtaken yourself. If you are, allow
the vehicle to pass completely before
starting your overtaking manoeuvre.
Be sure to signal your intention;
• keep left at all times unless overtaking.
Using the entry ramp/lane
When driving on interstate freeways or
major ACT roads such as the Tuggeranong
Parkway:
• do not stop, except in an emergency
or in case of a breakdown. If you must
stop, use only the emergency lane
provided;
• do not travel in the emergency lanes
unless you are stopping;
• do not make U turns;
• do not reverse;
• signal well before changing lanes to
compensate for the higher speed of
travel;
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When entering a major road from an
entry ramp/lane, accelerate to near the
speed limit for the road you are entering.
Indicate for its whole length (dependent
on road and traffic conditions). Use your
mirrors and do a head-check. Look for an
appropriate gap to enter, and move onto
the major road smoothly. Be prepared to
give way to vehicles on the major road
if there are no suitable gaps in the traffic
flow.
You MUST give way to any vehicles already
travelling on any major arterial road.
When leaving a major arterial road the
exit lane will usually be on the left.
Move into the left lane in good time, give
a left turn signal, and prepare to reduce
speed to the ramp advisory speed sign,
if displayed. Additional care should be
taken in heavy traffic, inclement weather
or poor road conditions.
A “Wrong Way - Go Back” sign facing
you as you attempt to enter an exit ramp
means you are going the wrong way.
If this happens to you:
• pull to the side of the ramp and
reverse slowly back the way you came;
• use hazard warning lights to make
other drivers aware of possible danger;
• do not attempt to do a U-turn or
3-point-turn while on the ramp.
Watch for signs warning you that you are
approaching an exit ramp.
85
Driving under difficult
conditions
Night driving
• blinding another driver with your
lights on high beam is both dangerous
and illegal;
• when approaching oncoming vehicles,
avoid looking directly into their
headlights. If the oncoming vehicles
headlights remain on high beam, look
to the left hand edge of the roadway to
avoid the glare. If dazzled, slow down
or pull over until your eyes recover;
• always dip your lights when following
closer than 200 metres to another
vehicle;
Head and tail lights (not just parking
lights) MUST be switched on when you
are driving between sunset and sunrise.
The use of lights at other times, such as
during the day, or in fog, makes it easier
for other drivers to see you.
By law, your vehicle must be fitted with
at least two red reflectors (one on either
side) at the rear. Red reflectors must not
be fitted to the front of a vehicle; however
white ones are permitted on the front.
Points for night driving:
• You can use high beam on any road or
street, however, when using high beam
you must dip your lights for oncoming
vehicles as soon as possible and at
least 200 metres away.
This driver is driving too fast
86
• watch out for pedestrians or cyclists;
• watch the road for
animals which may be
dazzled by your lights if an animal is dazzled,
brake carefully and
sound your horn - if you are unable to
stop safely, steer around the animal;
• keep your speed down, and give
yourself time to react. You should be
able to stop within the distance that
you can see with the headlights. On
rural and/or unlit roads be prepared
for the unexpected.
Fog lights
Some vehicles are fitted with fog lights.
Front fog lights have a unique flat and
wide beam pattern with an effective range
of up to 50 metres. Rear fog lights are red
and have 20 times the luminous intensity
of your standard tail lights. Fog lights
should only be used when visibility is poor
so, if your vehicle is equipped with fog
lights, know when to use them.
Front fog lights - must only be used for
driving when fog, rain, snow or other
hazardous conditions reduce visibility. You
will see better in fog if you dip your lights.
Do not use high beam as the light will
reflect back at you. In severe conditions,
it can be beneficial to drive with only the
parking and fog lights switched on, further
reducing headlight glare.
Rear fog lights (red) - must only be used
for driving when fog, rain, snow or other
hazardous conditions reduce visibility. If
your vehicle does not have a rear fog light,
turn on the flashing hazard warning lights
instead. You must switch off your rear fog
light or hazard warning lights as driving
conditions and visibility improve.
Winter and wet weather driving
Make sure your vehicle is in good
condition for cold weather motoring.
Points for winter and wet weather driving:
• check the lights, brakes, tyres,
windscreen wipers, steering, radiator
and battery regularly;
• anti-freeze in the radiator is
recommended for the ACT;
• do NOT drive with dirty or fogged up
windows;
• try your brakes cautiously to test your
vehicles braking ability if the road is
wet or icy;
• keep well back from the vehicle ahead.
It takes at least twice the distance to
stop when the road is wet or icy;
• apply the brakes gently when stopping,
as harsh braking may cause the vehicle
to skid;
• always test your brakes after driving
through water;
• watch for icy patches on the road, in
areas shaded by trees, and on timber
bridges or exposed windy stretches.
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Snowy and icy conditions
Steep hills
Steep descent
Points for steep hills:
• when driving down a steep hill reduce
speed and engage a suitable low gear
in good time. This applies to both
manual and automatic vehicles;
Points for snowy and icy driving:
• even if you do not plan to leave
your vehicle, carry adequate warm
and protective clothing to ensure
comfort, and survival, in the event of
a breakdown or delay;
• check the tread on all tyres including
the spare;
• use anti-freeze in the radiator;
• carry a tool kit that includes a jack
and wheel brace, a strong tow rope
and a shovel;
• snow chains must be carried in certain
areas of the Snowy Mountains, eg
Kosciusko National Park;
• do not put off fitting chains until you
have become stuck;
• find a safe place to fit snow chains to
your vehicle. The middle of the road is
not a safe place.
88
• use the brakes as little as possible.
If you must brake, do so on a straight
stretch of road using controlled
pressure on the pedal;
• when following another vehicle down
hill allow at least three times the
following distance you would under
normal conditions (ie a six second
rule).
Towing
When towing a caravan, trailer or horse
float, note the following points:
• a caravan or trailer being towed must
be securely attached to the towing
vehicle;
• use a safety chain;
• slow down well in advance of corners
and accelerate lightly through;
• avoid hard braking through corners;
• be careful when descending hills or
overtaking as your vehicle’s braking
performance will be reduced;
• make sure any load in a towed trailer
is evenly distributed and secured
carefully. Avoidable injuries and
deaths have been caused by poorly
secured loads;
Emergencies and what
to do
Skids
• the weight of the trailer and its
load may be up to 1.5 times the
unladen weight of the towing vehicle.
However, the vehicle or tow bar
manufacturer may impose a lower
towing limit.
Unsealed roads
Skids occur when the force exerted on the
tyres by acceleration, braking or cornering
overcomes the grip of the tyres on the
road. Excessive speed is often a major
factor causing skids.
The risk of skidding is also greatly
increased when:
When driving on loose surfaces:
• reduce speed;
• reduce speed further when
approaching another vehicle - loose
stones thrown up by a vehicle’s tyres
can shatter a windscreen;
• do not brake or accelerate harshly.
Remember, ABS braking may actually
increase your braking distance on
gravel;
• do not allow your vehicle to drift out
on corners. Loose dirt and gravel
builds up on the outside of corners
and can cause loss of vehicle traction
and steering control;
• watch for corrugations and potholes in
the road;
• approach all river crossings with
caution - they may be deeply rutted.
• the driver brakes, accelerates or steers
harshly;
• the road surface is loose, wet or icy;
• the vehicle’s steering or suspension is
worn;
• the brakes grab or pull to one side;
• the tyres are worn, inflated to the
wrong pressure, or are mismatched
– eg, a combination of radial and
crossply.
To avoid the risk of skidding, you should:
• approach corners cautiously - reduce
speed early;
• always brake, accelerate and steer
smoothly, when negotiating a corner;
• be aware of your vehicle’s performance
and handling characteristics;
• allow for changing road conditions.
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Rear wheel skid
In front wheel drive cars, this skid can also
be caused by excessive acceleration while
cornering.
What to do:
• if the skid is caused by excessive
speed or harsh steering, unwind
steering slightly while easing off the
accelerator. Brake firmly, but not hard
enough to cause the front wheels to
lock up;
Cause: Excessive braking or deceleration
when entering a corner. In rear wheel
drive cars, this type of skid can be caused
by excessive acceleration when exiting
a corner.
What to do: Ease back on the accelerator
(or the brake if braking) and steer in the
direction in which the rear of the vehicle
is sliding. When the slide is under control,
gently steer in the direction you wish the
vehicle to travel.
• when steering control is regained,
continue at your reduced speed and
steer towards your intended direction;
• if caused by excessive braking, reduce
brake pedal pressure sufficiently to
allow front wheels to begin rotation
again and steering control to be
regained.
Four wheel skid
Front wheel skid
Cause: Excessive braking.
Cause: Excessive speed/excessive braking/
harsh steering when entering a bend or
corner. Steering control is lost as the
vehicle continues in a straight line instead
of following the intended course.
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What to do: Release the pressure on the
brake pedal but do not remove your foot
from the pedal. Then re-apply the brakes
so as to not re-lock the wheels.
The best skid is NO skid at all.
Possible head-on collision
Tyre blow-out or rapid puncture
If another vehicle is travelling towards you
and a head-on collision appears imminent
you should:
If your vehicle encounters a puncture or
rapid tyre deflation you should;
• brake firmly without locking the
wheels, while flashing your lights and
sounding your horn;
• give the approaching vehicle as much
room as possible and look for an
escape route if necessary; and
• prepare for further evasive action
which may include pulling off the road
away from the path of the oncoming
vehicle.
Forced off the road onto gravel
If you have been forced onto the gravel
surface at the edge of the road,
• maintain a firm grip on the wheel
while continuing to drive in a straight
line; and
• slow your vehicle speed and check
for traffic before re-entering the road
again.
Shattered windscreen
Most modern windscreens have laminated
safety glass and will crack rather than
shatter.
• some older vehicles may have
windscreens that will shatter;
• if this occurs, slow down by braking
smoothly and pull to the side of the
road as soon as possible.
• keep a firm grip on the steering wheel;
• do not oversteer to correct any vehicle
swerve or pull;
• take your foot off the accelerator;
• once the vehicle is under control
gently apply the brakes;
• slow down and pull over to the side of
the road; and
• if your vehicle is fitted with hazard
lights, switch them on to warn other
motorists.
A front wheel puncture will tend to cause
the vehicle to pull in the direction in
which the puncture has occurred while a
rear wheel puncture will tend to cause the
vehicle to swerve from side to side.
Brake failure
If you push the brake pedal down and the
vehicle does not stop or slow down, you are
experiencing brake failure. If this happens;
• it may help if you pump the brake
pedal hard and fast;
• move to a lower gear whether you are
driving a manual or automatic vehicle;
• gently apply the handbrake to slow the
vehicle being careful not to lock the
wheels;
• use your horn and flash your lights to
warn other motorists;
• move your vehicle to the side of the
road;
• carefully bring the vehicle to a stop
using the handbrake; and
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• if your vehicle is fitted with hazard
warning lights switch them on to warn
other motorists.
Car fire
If you see or smell smoke coming from any
part of the vehicle;
• slow down and stop immediately and
turn the engine off;
• assist all passengers to get out of the
vehicle and move well away as petrol
may cause an explosion;
• if a fire extinguisher is available use it
to extinguish the flames;
• disconnect the battery if at all possible
or if this is not practicable, rip loose
any burning wires with a handy
instrument;
• do not touch burning wires or
insulation with your bare hands as
severe injury could result; and
• call for emergency assistance as soon
as possible.
Stuck accelerator
If you release the accelerator pedal to
reduce speed and the car continues at
the same speed or increases speed, the
accelerator is stuck. If this happens;
• depress the clutch in a manual car or
select N for Neutral in an automatic
vehicle;
• apply firm pressure on the brakes
without locking the wheels;
• find a safe place to pull off the road
and stop;
• once the vehicle has stopped turn the
engine off;
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• move your vehicle to the side of the
road;
• carefully bring the vehicle to a stop
using the handbrake; and
• if your vehicle is fitted with hazard
warning lights switch them on to warn
other motorists.
Breakdowns and accidents
When a breakdown or accident occurs:
• try to move your vehicle off the road;
• activate vehicle hazard warning lights
to alert approaching traffic of potential
danger. It is a good idea to carry a
red light or a triangle of red reflective
material. In an emergency place the
warning sign on the road at least 50
metres before the obstruction on the
same side of the road;
• if you are attending a crash scene or a
broken down vehicle at night or in fog
etc, NEVER obscure the tail-lights;
• in case of a crash, switch off the
ignition of crashed vehicles to reduce
the risk of fire.
Interfering with the driver’s control
of the vehicle
A passenger must not:
• interfere with the driver’s control of
the vehicle; or
• obstruct the driver’s view of the road
or traffic.
Towing and being towed
Before towing another vehicle or being
towed you should note the following
points:
• your tow rope or solid towing bar
should be long enough to keep a safe
space between the two vehicles. The
maximum allowable distance between
vehicles is 3.5 metres;
• a white flag or cloth must be displayed
on the tow rope (at night the flag must
be illuminated by a white light and the
rear of the towed vehicle must carry a
red light);
• the tow rope or other flexible link
between the vehicles needs to be kept
taut. Slight pressure on the brake
pedal can be used to achieve this;
• a licensed driver must be in charge of
the towed vehicle;
• when stopping or slowing down the
towed vehicle should brake first;
• if moving at low speed or creating a
traffic obstruction, warn other road
users by switching on the hazard
lights;
• if the vehicle’s engine will not run,
power assistance will not be available
for steering or brakes and considerable
additional effort and pressure will be
needed to operate both systems.
What to do after a crash
If you are involved in a crash causing
injury or death to any person, or damage
to any property or vehicle, the law requires
you to stop your vehicle.
If your vehicle is obstructing traffic after
a crash, move it to the side of the road,
if possible. The law does not require the
vehicle to be left where it stopped after a
collision.
The law requires you to give your name
and address, the vehicle owner’s name
and address, and the vehicle’s registration
number to any other driver or injured
person involved in the crash and the
owner of any property or vehicle damaged
in the crash.
If any other person is killed or injured or
a vehicle involved in the crash is towed
away, the driver must provide his or her
particulars to a police officer as soon as
possible but within 24 hours after the
crash.
The police need not be called to attend
a crash if damage to vehicles or property
is only minor. However, you must report
all vehicle crashes to the police as
soon as possible. Except in exceptional
circumstances, this means within 24 hours
after the crash.
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PART E - Vulnerable road users and sharing the road
• Vulnerable Road Users
–– Inattentional Blindness
–– Share the road
• Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists
––
––
––
––
Pedestrians and drivers
Cyclists and drivers
Parking and cyclists
Coloured Bicycle Lanes
• Road Rules for Cyclists
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
Bicycle helmets
Helmet standards
Equipment on a bicycle
Riding at night
Optional hook turn
Giving way on a roundabout
Cycle Paths
Carrying pillion passengers on motorbikes
• Motorcyclists and drivers
• Horse traffic and drivers
• Sharing the road with trucks and buses
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
––
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Looking out for heavy vehicles
Oversize vehicles
Looking out for turning heavy vehicles
Sharing the road with dangerous loads
Sharing the road with local services buses
Bus priority traffic signals
Giving way to buses
Transit lanes
• Emergency vehicles
PART E - Vulnerable road users
and sharing the road
Vulnerable road users
On the road, our most vulnerable people
are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
These road users are vulnerable because
they do not benefit from the level of crash
protection which is provided by other
vehicles.
Protecting and supporting vulnerable road
users is a benefit to everyone in Canberra
regardless of which transport mode they
regularly use. Action in this area will help
reduce the number of road deaths and
injuries as there will be fewer cars on the
road. Increasing the number of people
who walk and cycle will also contribute to
improved environmental and public health
outcomes.
Inattentional blindness
Inattentional blindness is an event where
the affected person doesn’t see new and
unexpected things that appear within
their visual field. What this means for
road safety is that many drivers are only
registering other cars, and not pedestrians,
cyclists and motorcyclists. Road collisions
in which a driver fails to see another road
user that is clearly in view are common
and are referred to as “looked-but-failedto-see” collisions. When driving a car,
you should always drive responsibly and
recognise the potential harm you could
cause to vulnerable road user.
Share the road
The ‘Share the Road’ initiative is about
promoting positive attitudes towards
vulnerable road users and educating
drivers about how to drive safety in mixed
mode environments.
The ‘Share the Road’ initiative focuses on:
• different road users travelling on roads
or footpaths at opposing speeds;
• courteous and respectful behaviour
between road users to assist in the flow
of traffic and to keep our roads safe;
• giving way to police and emergency
services vehicles when they approach
with lights and sirens on; and
• reducing the rate of injury and
fatalities on ACT roads.
Promoting a safe, respectful and
harmonious relationship between road
users is crucial to reducing the number
of collisions on ACT roads. Regardless
of how you use the road, road safety is
everyone’s responsibility.
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Pedestrians, cyclists,
motorcyclists and horse
traffic
Pedestrians and drivers
Watch for pedestrians:
• near shared zones, town centres, group
centres and aged care facilities; near
schools, particularly when children are
arriving or leaving;
At traffic lights turning vehicles must give
way to crossing pedestrians. See page 41.
• at places where children walk or play;
• where there are parked cars or stopped
buses;
• when approaching school zones; and
• near bus stops and pedestrian
crossings.
You must give way to pedestrians when
you are leaving private property such as
driveways, or car parks, shopping centres
and service stations.
If you cannot see whether anyone is
coming, sound your horn and then drive
out very slowly.
If you are a pedestrian walking along a
road that does not have a footpath or
nature strip, you should walk on the right
hand edge of the road facing oncoming
traffic.
Do not overtake another vehicle at a
pedestrian or school crossing. That
driver may be stopped or stopping for a
pedestrian you cannot see.
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Pedestrians in Shared Zones
Cyclists and drivers
Shared Zones are pedestrian friendly
areas in which motorists must give way to
pedestrians. Shared zones are signposted
but will often have a different look and
feel to a normal road environment. Some
features of shared zones in the ACT
include:
Motorists must take care and show
consideration when sharing the roads with
cyclists, who have the same legal rights
and obligations as other road users.
• a slow speed zone of typically 10 or 20
kilometres per hour;
• raised entry thresholds at each end of
the street to show a changed traffic
environment;
• additional kerb ramps to improve
access for people with mobility
impairment as well as pedestrians and
cyclists;
• no formal pedestrian crossings;
• street art, landscaping and feature
lighting; and
• road pavement raised to footpath level
at intersections.
Although Canberra has cycle paths, it is
not compulsory for cyclists to use them.
Some people prefer to use the roads when
riding a bicycle as they often provide a
more direct route, a well maintained and
even surface, have less curves and fewer
interactions with pedestrians than paths.
When riding on roads with a marked
bicycle lane, cyclists must ride in that lane
unless it’s not practical to do so (e.g. a car
is parked in the lane or there is debris or
other hazards).
All road users must share the responsibility
for road safety. However, when driving a
car, you need to remember that cyclists
have less protection than motorists and
are more likely to be injured or killed if a
crash happens.
Overtaking a cyclist
Minimum overtaking distance
Although the roadway is shared, it is the
responsibility of motorists and cyclists to
give way to pedestrians. In this context
‘giving way’ means slowing down or
coming to a stop to avoid a collision.
All road users need to be mindful of one
another.
On the road, cyclists are particularly
vulnerable because they are smaller and
have less crash protection than motorists.
The minimum overtaking rule defines the
safe lateral space when overtaking cyclists
and will assist in addressing the number of
rear end and side swipe crashes involving
cyclists.
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The rule in a snapshot
• When driving a car you must provide
a minimum lateral distance of 1 metre
when overtaking a cyclist in speed
zones at or below 60km/h and 1.5
metres in speed zones above 60km/h.
Motorists should exercise care when:
• opening the vehicle door, check your
rear vision mirror and look over your
shoulder for cyclists and other motor
vehicles;
• driving near bicycle lanes, if a cyclist
is adjacent within a bicycle lane
motorists must give way;
• The distance is measured from the
right most part of the bicycle or rider
to the left most part of the motor
vehicle (or anything projecting at a
height that could strike the bicycle or
trailer eg. mirror).
• To enable drivers to provide the
minimum overtaking distances on
narrow roads or roads with narrow
lanes, motorists are allowed to cross
centre lines, straddle lane-lines and
drive on painted islands, provided
the driver has a clear view of any
approaching traffic and that it is safe
to do so.
• approaching a pedestrian crossing – a
motorist must give way to cyclists
who ride or walk across a pedestrian
crossing;
• overtaking cyclists - leave 1 metre in
speed zones below 60km/h and 1.5
metres in speed zones above 60km/h
in case they need to avoid a rough
surface or obstacle on the road;
• overtaking other vehicles - watch for
any oncoming cyclists. Wait until they
have passed before you overtake;
• negotiating intersections at the same
time as cyclists - slow down and allow
cyclists to negotiate intersections in
safety;
• If it is not safe to pass, drivers must
wait behind the cyclist until road
conditions change.
• Drivers who fail to comply with the
rule may be issued an infringement
notice and accrue demerit points.
98
This driver is not sharing the road. The driver should have
identified the cyclist and waited for them to pass before
turning left.
• driving at night - look for reflectors
on bicycle wheels or pedals, not just
headlights or tail-lights. It is illegal to
ride a bicycle at night without lights
but it does happen, so a reflector may
be the first thing you will see;
• children are riding - watch out for
children on bicycles because they are
not always aware of the road rules and
their riding is sometimes erratic;
that the bicycle lane gives a cyclist ‘right
of way’ does not necessarily mean that it
will be granted. Cyclists are often difficult
to see in adverse conditions and are
extremely vulnerable, so as a cyclist, it is
far better to be prepared to give way than
to have a collision.
A driver of a vehicle and rider of a
motorbike may only drive in a bicycle lane
for up to 50 metres:
• traffic is stationary- cyclists can
proceed on the left hand side of a
stationary vehicle.
• to enter or leave the road;
Parking and cyclists
• to avoid an obstruction.
Check your rear vision mirror and look
over your shoulder for cyclists and other
motor vehicles before opening the vehicle
door. Remember, cyclists generally travel
close to the left hand side of the road.
• see page 32.
• to overtake a vehicle that is turning
right or making a U turn; and
Road rules for cyclists
Where a cycle path crosses a street, the
crossing is marked by signs. Cyclists are
required to give way to all traffic on the
roadway and cross only when it is safe to
do so.
Bicycle lanes
Bicycle lanes are reserved for the use of
bicycle riders only. Bicycle lane markings,
including the coloured bicycle lanes at
intersections highlight the existence of the
‘bicycle lane’ to motorists and the ‘right
of way’ legally provided to the cyclist.
Therefore, where a motorist sees a bicycle
lane, he or she must be on the lookout
for cyclists as always. If a cyclist is on a
bicycle lane the motorist must give way.
The following road rules for cyclists
have been accepted nationally and are
a combination of the previous ACT
regulations and the Australian Road
Rules.
While the bicycle lane alerts motorists to
cyclist’s ‘right of way’, the bicycle rider also
needs to be vigilant, as these areas pose
a much higher risk of collision. The fact
99
Riding in a bicycle lane on a road
The rider of a bicycle riding on a length
of road with a bicycle lane designed for
bicycles travelling in the same direction as
the vehicle traffic must ride in the bicycle
lane unless it is impracticable to do so.
No overtaking to the left of a turning
vehicle
The rider of a bicycle must not ride past
or overtake to the left of a vehicle that is
turning left and is giving a left change of
direction signal.
Cyclists riding across a road on a crossing
In the ACT as part of a two year trial
that commenced on 1 November 2015,
a rider of a bicycle may ride slowly (no
more than 10km/h) across signalised
marked foot crossings, children’s crossings
and pedestrian crossings. The rider must
slow to 10 km/h on the approach to the
crossing and check for any approaching
traffic and be prepared to stop. This will
allow motorists to see and respond to the
rider before they make the crossing.
A rider of a bicycle must keep to the
left of the crossing and give way to any
pedestrian on the crossing. A rider may be
issued with a traffic infringement notice
for failing to comply with these road rules.
Riding two abreast
Cyclists are permitted to ride two abreast.
Three or more riders riding abreast is
not permitted. However, a cyclist can
overtake two other riders cycling abreast.
On certain roads riding two abreast may
not be the safest option. Commonsense
dictates that factors which should be
considered include the prevailing road,
weather and traffic conditions.
100
Cyclists - when riding two abreast it is
courtesy to move into single file to allow
other vehicles to pass.
Motorists - when approaching cyclists
who are riding two abreast, slow down
if necessary and wait until it is safe to
overtake.
Riding on a footpath or shared path
The rider of a bicycle riding on a footpath
or shared path must:
• keep to the left of the footpath or
shared path unless it is impracticable
to do so; and
• give way to any pedestrian on the
footpath or shared path.
Bicycle riders not to cause a traffic hazard
The rider of a bicycle must not cause a
traffic hazard by moving into the path of a
driver or pedestrian.
Riding too close to the rear of a motor
vehicle
The rider of a bicycle must not ride
within 2 metres of the rear of a moving
motor vehicle continuously for more than
200 metres.
The rider of a bicycle must wear an
approved bicycle helmet securely fitted
and fastened on the rider’s head, unless
the rider is exempt from wearing a
bicycle helmet under another law of this
jurisdiction.
Bicycle Helmets
far left side of the road that you are
leaving;
• move forward:
–– keeping as near as possible to the
far left side of the intersection;
–– keeping clear of any marked foot
crossing; and
Helmet Standards
Protective bicycle helmets must meet
Australian Standards and must display
either an AS 2063:1996 or a label
confirming it is approved and certified to
Snell Standard 1995.
Equipment on a bicycle
A person must not ride a bicycle that does
not have:
• at least 1 effective brake; and
• a bell, horn, or similar warning device,
in working order.
Riding at night
At night and in reduced visibility
conditions you must display:
• a flashing or steady white light that is
clearly visible for at least 200 metres
from the front of the bicycle; and
–– keeping clear, as far as practicable,
of any driver turning left from the
left of the intersection;
until you are as near as practicable to
the far side of the road that you are
entering.
• if there are traffic lights at the
intersection, remain at the position
reached under step 2, until the
traffic lights on the road that you are
entering change to green.
• if there are no traffic lights at the
intersection, remain at the position
reached under step 2, until you have
given way to approaching drivers on
the road that you are leaving.
• turn right into the road that you are
entering.
• a flashing or steady red light that is
clearly visible for at least 200 metres
from the rear of the bicycle; and
• a red reflector that is clearly visible
for at least 50 metres from the rear of
the bicycle when a low-beam vehicle
headlight shines on it.
Optional hook turn by a bicycle rider
To make a hook turn:
• approach and enter the intersection
from as near as practicable to the
Bicycle rider making a hook turn at an intersection without
traffic lights
101
Giving way by the rider of a bicycle or
animal to a vehicle leaving a roundabout
If you are riding in the far left marked lane
of a roundabout with 2 or more marked
lanes, or the far left line of traffic in a
roundabout with 2 or more lines of traffic,
you must give way to any vehicle leaving
the roundabout.
Cycle Paths
The use of bicycle paths is generally
restricted to non-motorised traffic,
including bicycles, pedestrians, joggers and
motorised wheelchairs.
• Keep to the left of any white centre
line that may be on the path.
• Bicycles do NOT have the sole right
to use cycle paths. You must give way
to any pedestrians.
• If approaching pedestrians from
behind, ring your bell to let them
know you are coming, slow down as
you pass and give them right of way.
Motorcyclists and drivers
Motorcycle riders are over represented in
fatal crashes in the ACT.
Drivers should be aware that motorcyclists
often position their bikes on the right tyre
track of the vehicle ahead because the
rider:
• avoids the oil slick formed in the
centre of the lane;
• can see oncoming vehicles better;
• knows oncoming drivers can see the
rider better;
• can use the full lane he/she is entitled
to, discouraging motorists from
crowding into the lane; and
102
• knows the driver ahead can probably
see the motorcycle in the rear vision
mirror.
Motorcycle Lane Filtering
Motorcycle lane filtering is when a
motorcyclist moves past stationary or
slow moving vehicles in the same lane.
It is allowed in NSW, QLD, and now in
the ACT as part of a two year trial that
commenced on 1 February 2015.
Lane filtering will continue to be allowed
in the ACT pending the outcome of a
current evaluation of the trial.
For the purposes of the trial, lane filtering
is:
• only allowed when safe to do so;
• not allowed at a speed greater than
30km/h;
• only allowed by fully licensed
motorcyclists (i.e. motorcyclists on L or
P plates are not allowed to lane filter as
they are less experienced);
• not allowed on kerbside next to
a footpath or in bicycle lanes or
breakdown lanes;
• not allowed in school zones during
school zone hours; and
• not allowed past heavy vehicles and
buses.
• Allow motorcycles as much space as a
car when overtaking them.
Lane filtering is different to the practice
known as “lane splitting”, where a
motorcycle rider moves past vehicles in
the same lane at a higher speed. Lane
splitting is illegal and is not allowed during
the trial.
• Regularly check your side and
rear vision mirrors and the blind
spot by looking over your shoulder
before merging or changing lanes.
Motorcycles can be easily hidden
behind a truck or car.
Carrying pillion passengers on
motorcycles
The rider of a motorcycle must not ride with
a passenger under 8 years old unless the
passenger is in a sidecar.
Head checks
• Drive at a safe distance from
motorcycles as they may need to avoid
hazards such as flying debris, oil slicks
and poor road conditions.
• Allow extra time for them to stop.
• Look for motorcycles before you turn
or proceed at intersections.
Motorcycles have ‘blind spots’ just as cars
do. A blind spot is the area next to you that
you are unable to see in your mirrors. When
you are about to change your position on the
road (e.g. make a turn, exit a roundabout,
move off or change lanes), make sure you
turn your head and look over your shoulder
to see if it is clear. This is called a ‘head
check’ and is the only sure way to see objects
that are in your blind spot.
• Look out for motorcycles in slow
moving traffic as they can manoeuvre
faster and could be lane filtering.
Motorcycles in bicycle lanes
Horse traffic and drivers
Motorcycle riders are not allowed to use
a bicycle lane, except for 50 metres when
entering or leaving a road or to avoid an
obstruction.
Canberra has a high rate of horse
ownership. Horses are easily startled by:
Sharing the road with motorcycles
• Always be on the lookout for
motorcycles as they are smaller than
cars and harder to see.
• Do not drive alongside and in
the same lane as a motorcycle.
Motorcycles need a full width lane to
ride safely.
Note: Pre-Learner Licence and Preprovisional motorcycle rider training
courses are compulsory. They are designed
to help novice riders master the basic skills
of riding. For further information contact
Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or attend
any Access Canberra Shopfront.
• noise – do not speed, sound your horn,
use airbrakes or call out. In particular,
motorcycle noise frightens horses;
• crowding – drive slowly, give horses
plenty of room and be prepared to stop
if necessary.
103
Sharing the road with
large vehicles
Looking out for turning heavy
vehicles
Looking out for heavy vehicles
Trucks and buses play an important role
carrying goods and passengers; they are an
essential part of our everyday lives. Most
heavy vehicle drivers are professionals and
will treat other road users with care and
courtesy. In turn, you must treat heavy
vehicle drivers with respect. Large trucks
and buses often weigh 20 times as much as
an ordinary car. They take much longer
to stop and cannot manoeuvre as easily as
cars. If you crash into a heavy vehicle or
bus, you may not survive.
Long vehicles displaying a DO NOT
OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE sign
may use more than one lane when turning
left or right.
Oversize vehicles
If you see this sign, the vehicle ahead is
wider than normal, longer than normal,
or both.
Sometimes an oversize vehicle may be
accompanied by the Police or a pilot
vehicle (escort vehicle with flashing lights)
to warn traffic that the load following is
very wide or very long. You should follow
any directions given by the Police or the
pilot vehicle.
When approaching an oncoming oversize
vehicle, you should reduce speed and be
prepared to move to the left side of the
road. You must be careful and keep left
of the centre line if the vehicle is coming
toward you. You should use extreme care
when overtaking an oversize vehicle.
Heavy vehicle using two lanes
When a long vehicle with a DO NOT
OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE sign
is turning, you must not pass on the left
or the right of the vehicle. You need to be
careful when any large, long vehicles are
turning. If you put your vehicle between
the turning vehicle and the kerb you may
be crushed.
Do not put your car between the kerb and the large vehicle
104
Large trucks and buses use more road
space and take longer to negotiate
roundabouts. You should stop and allow
these vehicles easy passage through
roundabouts and intersections.
Buses
Dangerous loads
Many trucks carry loads which are
dangerous and which can catch fire,
or which may be explosive, corrosive
or radioactive. If one of these trucks is
involved in a crash, many lives can be put
at risk. There are Emergency Information
Panels on the back and each side of these
vehicles with information about what they
are carrying.
There are four major bus interchanges in
the ACT. When driving in the vicinity of
bus interchanges and bus stops, remember:
• drivers of private vehicles are not
permitted to enter interchange areas;
• to obey all signs relating to the
interchanges;
• to watch for bus and pedestrian
movement;
• apart from buses, only taxis, hire cars
and motorcycles may use bus lanes
without restriction. A limit of 100
metres applies to all other vehicles, for
purposes such as entering or leaving
a road;
An Emergency Procedures Guide should
be in a holder attached to the driver’s
door. Follow these procedures if you need
to.
If you come across a crash involving a
vehicle with a dangerous load, call the
Police or Fire Brigade on 000. Try not to
touch spilled chemicals or breathe the
fumes or dust. Tell bystanders to keep
away from the crash.
• buses frequently stop to pick up
passengers. Watch for pedestrians,
especially children and the elderly, in
the vicinity of bus stops;
• be prepared to give way to buses
pulling out from the kerb;
105
Buses sign and is indicating its intention
to pull out from the kerb, you MUST slow
down or stop to allow the bus to enter the
line of traffic.
The rule does not apply if the road or
street is divided into multiple traffic lanes
travelling in the same direction and you
are not driving in the lane that is furthest
to the left.
• when travelling behind buses on
suburban streets, to be prepared for
them to stop frequently;
• to take care when overtaking buses
because of their extra length;
Bus priority traffic signals
These lights operate at selected
intersections to permit buses to move off
while other traffic is held by a red light.
Giving way to buses
When approaching a stationary bus from
behind and the bus displays a Give Way to
106
Red car gives way
Transit lanes
Emergency vehicles
Drivers should be aware that transit lanes
are for use by high occupancy and other
authorised vehicles during the hours and
days displayed on the signs. The lanes may
be used by all traffic outside those times.
Police and other emergency vehicles such
as fire engines and ambulances are usually
equipped with warning devices such as
flashing lights and sirens.
During the restricted hours, transit
lanes can only be used by buses, taxis,
motorcycles and hire cars. Motor vehicles
with three or more occupants can travel
in a transit lane, if the transit lane sign
applying to the transit lane is a transit lane
T3 sign.
Motor vehicles with two or more
occupants can travel in a T2 transit lane.
Unauthorised drivers in a Transit Lane
may incur a traffic infringement notice.
When a police or emergency vehicle
approaches sounding a warning or flashing
its lights, drivers of other vehicles must
clear a passage. This could mean stopping
to let it pass or moving out of the way.
You must also give police and emergency
vehicles every opportunity to overtake
safely.
These requirements take priority over
every other road rule.
Examples of transit lane signs
107
Index
A
ABS - Anti Lock Braking systems......... 83
Accidents................................................ 92
ACT Licence class codes......................... 3
ACT licence classifications.................... 12
ACT demerit points schedule................ 25
Advisory (Warning) signs....................... 36
Alcohol, other drugs and medication.... 21
Angle parking......................................... 65
Arranging a driving test........................... 9
Arrows and other road turn markings... 31
B
Bicycle helmets..................................... 101
Bicycle lanes.....................................32, 97
Brake failure............................................ 91
Braking and stopping.............................. 82
Breakdowns and accidents..................... 92
Buses .................................................... 105
Bus lanes................................................. 77
Bus licences............................................... 4
Bus Priority traffic signals...............37, 105
C
Coasting/Freewheeling/ Clutch
Control...........................................81
Competency based training and
assessment............................................... 11
Concrete islands..................................... 54
Cornering turning left and right..... 53, 56
Crossings................................................. 60
Cross roads.............................................. 49
Cycling on a roundabout........................ 53
Cyclists and drivers................................. 97
Cycle paths........................................... 100
Cyclists – road rules................................ 99
D
Dangerous loads................................... 105
Demerit points..................................23, 24
Diagonal bars, painted islands................ 31
Distractions............................................. 27
Driver competencies............................... 10
Driving - alcohol..................................... 20
Driving outside the ACT......................... 9
Driving tests.............................................. 9
Driving under difficult conditions.......... 86
Drugs and driving................................... 20
During a practical driving test................. 9
Car fires................................................... 92
Carrying passengers................................ 19
Carrying pillion passengers on
motorcycles....................................... 103
Centre of road parking........................... 65
Child restraints/harnesses....................... 18
Child restraint rules................................ 18
108
E
Effects of alcohol on the body................ 21
Emergency vehicles.............................. 107
Equipment on a bicycle........................ 101
Evidence of change of name.................... 8
F
I
Failing a breath test................................ 23
Icy conditions......................................... 88
Fatigue..................................................... 25
Indicating (Signalling)......................76, 77
Fog lights................................................. 87
Infant restraints and harnesses............... 18
Following distances................................. 73
Information signs.................................... 36
Forced off road onto gravel.................... 91
Infringement notices - parking.........68, 69
Form one lane......................................... 30
Interfering with the driver’s
control of the vehicle........................... 92
Freeways.................................................. 84
Freewheeling/Clutch Control/Coasting....81
Full driver licence (Gold)....................... 12
Further information................................ 15
G
Getting underway................................... 72
Give way to the right.............................. 34
Giving way at intersections.................... 42
Giving way to buses.............................. 105
Goods vehicles........................................ 65
H
Harnesses - child restraints.................... 18
Hazardous loads.................................... 105
Heavy vehicles................................65, 102
Heavy vehicle licence codes.................... 3
Heavy vehicle licence (Magenta).......... 13
Helmet standards................................. 101
Hire car licences....................................... 4
Hold and turn lines................................ 32
Hook turns for cyclists.......................... 101
Horn use................................................. 77
Horse traffic and drivers....................... 103
How and where to park.......................... 64
How to avoid parking
infringements (PINS)............................. 68
Intersections........................................... 41
Intersections - types................................ 48
K
Keeping to the left.................................. 78
Keeping a lookout................................... 72
Keeping your distance............................ 73
Keep clear markings............................... 77
Knowledge test ........................................ 9
L
Lane changing........................................ 79
Lane positioning..................................... 77
Large vehicles....................................... 104
Learner Driver Licences (Green)............. 5
Left-hand turns....................................... 53
Left hand turns using slip lanes.............. 54
Left turn on red...................................... 56
Legal alcohol limit.................................. 20
Legal penalties for drink driving............ 20
Letting others know............................... 76
Level crossings........................................ 62
Licence classifications............................ 12
Licence class codes................................... 3
Licence eligibility requirements............... 4
Long vehicle turns.................................. 58
109
Looking out for heavy vehicles............ 104
Parking meters........................................ 66
‘L’ plates..................................................... 5
Parking regulations................................. 67
Passing..................................................... 81
M
Pedestrian crossings................................ 60
Mandatory (Regulatory) signs................ 35
Pedestrians and drivers........................... 96
Medical Information................................. 4
Pedestrian refuge zones........................... 61
Medication and driving.......................... 21
Points demerit scheme............................ 24
Merging................................................... 30
Possible head-on collision...................... 91
Merging to form a single lane................. 30
‘P’ plates ................................................. 12
Mixing drugs, alcohol and
medication.............................................. 21
Preparing to drive................................... 71
Mobile Telephones................................. 23
Proof of name change............................... 8
Motorcyclists and drivers..................... 102
Probationary licences (Blue).................. 13
Moving off............................................... 72
Provisional licences (Red)...................... 12
N
Night driving.......................................... 86
No riding across a road on a crossing... 100
O
Proof of identity and residency................ 6
Public vehicle endorsement..................... 4
R
Radar detectors....................................... 40
Railway level crossings........................... 62
Random Breath Testing (RBT).............. 23
Opening car doors.................................. 72
Random Drug Testing............................ 23
Overseas applicants.................................. 8
Red light cameras................................... 39
Overseas licence holders.......................... 8
Refuge zones........................................... 61
Oversize vehicles.................................. 104
Regulatory (Mandatory) signs................ 35
Overtaking.............................................. 80
Reversing................................................ 83
Riding a bicycle at night....................... 101
P
Riding in a bicycle lane on a road........ 100
Painted islands and concrete islands...... 54
Right hand turns..................................... 56
Parallel parking....................................... 65
Risks of alcohol and other drugs............ 20
Park ‘n’ Ride/ 3 for FREE parking.......... 66
Road markings........................................ 29
Parking ................................................... 63
Road Rules for cyclists............................ 99
Parking and cyclists................................ 99
Road rules test.......................................... 9
Parking fines........................................... 68
Roundabouts - Approaching,
driving on, leaving, signalling...........50, 51
Parking signs........................................... 67
110
S
T- intersections....................................... 48
Safe following distance........................... 73
Towing and being towed...................88, 93
Safety helmets for cyclists..................... 101
Traffic controls........................................ 29
Safety tips................................................ 13
Traffic signals.......................................... 33
Securing your vehicle............................. 24
Traffic signs............................................. 35
School crossings ..................................... 60
Trailers and caravans.............................. 89
School zones........................................... 61
Transit lanes.......................................... 107
Seat belts and child restraints/
harnesses................................................. 17
Turn lines................................................ 32
Shattered windscreen............................. 91
Three second rule................................... 74
Short stay parking................................... 66
Types of intersections............................. 48
Signalling (Indicating)............................ 77
Tyre blow out-rapid puncture................. 91
Turning .............................................53, 56
Signs........................................................ 35
Skids/skidding......................................... 90
Slip lanes................................................. 54
U
U-Turns and three point turns............... 58
Snowy conditions................................... 88
Unbroken lines....................................... 29
Space cushions - behind,
front, sides............................................... 73,75
Unsealed roads....................................... 89
Speed cameras........................................ 39
Speed limits............................................. 38
Standard drinks...................................... 22
Steep hills .............................................. 88
Steering................................................... 76
Stopping and braking............................. 82
Stuck accelerator.................................... 92
V
Vehicle security....................................... 24
Vulnerable road users............................. 95
Vision Zero.............................................. 14
W
Warning (Advisory) signs....................... 36
T
Tailgating................................................ 74
Taxi licences.............................................. 4
Temporary signs...................................... 37
Theory test................................................ 9
The Safe System..................................... 14
Three point turns................................... 59
Ticket machines..................................... 66
Warning signs after taking medication.. 21
What is alcohol concentration (BAC).. 22
What to do after a crash........................ 93
Where not to park your vehicle............. 63
Who is this book for................................. 1
Wet weather driving............................... 87
Winter driving........................................ 87
Wombat crossings................................... 60
111
112
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