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Some unusual road rules you may not know...

About the Australian Road Rules

In Australia, the road rules come under State or Territory jurisdiction. In 1999 the National Road Transport Commission (NRTC) introduced the Australian Road Rules (ARR), which are 'model laws' for the nation's vehicles and road users but do not have their own legislative force. The ARR is to encourage a uniform adoption of rules in the respective road laws of Australia's States and Territories. You should be mindful when reading the ARR as they are guidelines and its provisions may have not been copied word-for-word into State/ Territory laws. Some recommendations may have been left out altogether.

As mentioned in the ARR, "readers of ARR must determine the extent to which the ARR have the force of law in the States and Territories of Australia by examining the laws of each State and Territory on the subject. In the absence of any such law, the ARR reproduced in this publication have no legal effect in a State or Territory."

Have you heard of this law: taxis in Queensland must carry a bale of hay in the boot of the cab? It hails from the times when a taxi cab was a horse and cart, but rumour has it that the law was never repealed!

In this article we've listed some funny and bizarre road rules that may not have been covered on your learner's test from the Australian Road Rules (ARR).

A horse is also considered a vehicle if it is being ridden or drawing a vehicle, according to the Australian Road Rules.

Did you know that a dog, pig, cow or horse can be considered a vehicle as long as it is being ridden or drawing another vehiclei? Please do consider your personal (and the animal's) safety and don't go riding your pet on the road now that you know about this rule though!

Do you think it is harmless to drive around with ear-deafening music, a loud engine or exhaust? If your answer is 'yes' and you are exposing the public to such noise, you may need to do something about it. It is an offence for a person to start or drive a vehicle in a way that makes unnecessary noise or smokeii.

For pet lovers who take their pets with them everywhere, the ARR prevents you from riding your motorbike with your pet on the petrol tankiii. Not all States/ Territories have adopted this rule though. Queensland left it out and in South Australia and Victoria they replaced it with their own rule "the rider must not ride with an animal on the motor bike between the rider and the handlebars".

Sk8ers, scooters, and bladers beware! If you travel in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy - including scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, tricycles or other children's toys - then according to the ARR, you're a pedestrianiv and there are rules that you need to follow when on the roadv. They include: not travelling on a road with a dividing line or median strip; a road on which the speed limit is more than 60km/h; or a one-way road with more than 1 marked lane. As always, these rules may vary across States and Territories.

And if you're a NSW bus commuter waiting at the bus stop, rain, hail, or shine, check this handy rule out: the New South Wales Road Rules consider it an offence for drivers to unlawfully splash mud on people waiting at a bus stopvi!

You've bought your new home, consider home and contents insurance to protect your investment in the building and your possessions.

Remember the ARR only acts as a guide and you should always check what your respective State/ Territory road rules are. Who knows, you might just come across yet another bizarre rule!


i s15 Australian Road Rules 1998, National Road Transport Commission, Feb 2009 Version, http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/AustralianRoadRulesFebruary2008.pdf

ii s291 Australian Road Rules 1998, National Road Transport Commission, Feb 2009 Version, http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/AustralianRoadRulesFebruary2008.pdf

iii s297(3) Australian Road Rules 1998, National Road Transport Commission, Feb 2009 Version, http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/AustralianRoadRulesFebruary2008.pdf

iv s18 Australian Road Rules 1998, National Road Transport Commission, Feb 2009 Version, http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/AustralianRoadRulesFebruary2008.pdf

v Part 14 Division 2 Australian Road Rules 1998, National Road Transport Commission, Feb 2009 Version, http://www.ntc.gov.au/filemedia/Reports/AustralianRoadRulesFebruary2008.pdf

vi s291-3 Road Rules 2008, NSW legislation, http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/viewtop/inforce/subordleg+179+2008+fn+0+N


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