Did you know that Australia’s constitution does not provide for the federal parliament to legislate road rules? 

This means, that responsibility of deciding road rules, is left to each state and territory, meaning there is no consistent traffic rules all over Australia. 

Historically, the difference between states and territories road rules has led to road users being confronted with inconsistent rules, resulting in unnecessary inefficiencies and avoidable fines.

There was an effort in January 1999 by the Australian Transport Council for the adoption of a common regulatory framework. Whilst approved, these rules remain only a guideline. 

Examples of inconsistent road rules include:

  • In the ACT, QLD, TAS and VIC, when you are leaving a parking area in the centre of the road, you must leave the parking area by driving forward ONLY.
  • In ACT, NSW, SA and VIC, when you are passing a stationary emergency vehicle, you must slow to 40km/h. 
  • In NSW a driver must take due care, by slowing down, or stopping a vehicle in order to not splash mud on; a) any person in or on a bus, b) any person entering or leaving any bus, c) any person waiting at any bus stop.
  • In every state, except for the NT, the default speed limit on a road outside a built up area is 100km/h.
  • In every state, except for the NT, the default speed limit on a road in a built up area is 50km/h.
  • In every state, except VIC, you are allowed to cross a single continuous dividing line to safely pass a bicycle rider. 

To find out more, we recommend the following useful links, alternatively, our team specialise in traffic law. Our role is to sit down with you and work out the strategy that will get you the best possible result. If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.