Australian Rules of the Road

In Australia, traffic accidents account for many of the deaths that occur in the country each year, just as they do in many other countries such as the U.S. While you might expect many of those accidents to be due to people texting while driving and otherwise operating their mobile devices when their attention should be on the road, you might be surprised to learn that this isn't necessarily the case in Australia. In fact, according to the Road Traffic Authority's database of annual traffic accidents in Australia, only 0.9% of casualty crashes in the country from 2000 throughout 2011 were due to operating a mobile phone while driving. Instead, the leading causes of casualties in traffic accidents in Australia are due to intoxication and driving while sleepy or fatigued. 

Traffic Basics in Australia

Perhaps the most notable driving basic that should be mentioned concerning Australia's traffic laws is that traffic drives on the left side of the road rather than the right side as U.S. people are accustomed to doing. When turning at an intersection, make sure you always look right, then left and then right again before making your turn to ensure the way is clear. 


Infographic by Hollows Boonen Lawyers

 

Licensing

Travelers can drive in Australia, but in order to be able to legally do so, they must possess an international driving permit as well as a valid driver's license that's issued by the country they live in. Therefore, if your license is suspended or revoked in your home country, then don't expect to be able to drive in Australia until you take care of the issues concerning your license in other countries first. 

Safety Standards

Just as most other countries require you to wear a seat beat, so does the Australian government. Drivers and passengers are all required to wear seat belts at all times, regardless of their ages, and children under 7 years old are required to have the proper child restraints in accordance with their heights and weights. 

Additionally, just as center road lines communicate information to drivers in other countries, so do they let drivers in Australia know what's permitted in certain areas of the road and what's not. As in other countries, if the road consists of two unbroken centre lines, then drivers cannot pass other vehicles in those areas because it's deemed that they don't have enough clearance to amply and safely do so. However, if the road has a single broken line or the line closest to your side of the rode is broken, then it's okay to overtake other vehicles in those areas. 

Speed Limits and Other Laws

Speed limits are strictly enforced in Australia, just as they are in various other countries. Moreover, although some parts of Australia do not have speed signs posted, speed limits still apply is those areas, so it's best to go slower in areas where you're unsure of the speed limit, especially if those areas are centered in residential neighborhoods or school zones. 

Like almost every other country, Australia also makes it against the law to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, Australia has one of the lowest intoxication limits set in the world. In Australia, drivers aren't permitted to drive if their blood alcohol content levels are above 0.05%, whereas in the U.S., the limit is 0.08%. Additionally, those people who have a probationary or provisional driver's license aren't allowed to have any percentage of alcohol in their blood at any given tie while driving. 

Australian Traffic Lawyers

Just as you can find yourself in traffic accidents throughout the rest of the world, so can you in Australia. No matter whether the traffic accident is or isn't through any fault of your own, it would probably behoove you to seek the assistance of Australian traffic lawyers who know the appropriate procedure for navigating the Australian legal system. 

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