State by State: Unique Traffic Laws You Should Know

How well do you really know the road rules in your state? You may have broken these little-known traffic laws without even realising it. Brush up on the most unique traffic laws from around Australia before you next get behind the wheel.

Northern Territory


In the Northern Territory, if you are seen or suspected of doing burnouts or damaging the surface of a road or public place, the police can take possession of your vehicle on the spot for up to 48 hours and you can be fined.


Having a Window Gap of More than 5cm

If you pop into the shops on a hot day with your window down more than 5cm, you could be looking at a fine. In Queensland, if a driver has walked more than 3 metres away from their vehicle, the engine must be off, the hand brake must be applied, the ignition key must be removed (unless someone over 16 is still in the car) and the windows must be up with a gap of 5cm or less.

Not Giving Way to a Horse

Under Queensland law, drivers must give way to any restive horse, moving to the side of the road and turning off their engine. Once the horse has passed and the noise and movement of the car cannot upset the horse, the driver can then continue to drive.

New South Wales

Illegal Use of a Warning Device

In New South Wales, using your horn to toot goodbye to your friends or family or when stuck behind a slow driver could cost you $298.

Limb Protruding from Vehicle

If you have any body part out of your vehicle, including resting your elbow on the window, you can receive a $298 fine and lose three demerit points.

Supervising Driver Failing to Prevent a Traffic Breach

If a learner driver runs a red light or breaks a road law, and the supervising driver was talking on their mobile phone during the offence, the supervising driver can be slapped with a $99 fine for not paying attention.

Cutting in on a Funeral Procession

Under NSW law, it is an offence to “interfere or interrupt” any vehicle or person forming a funeral or other authorised procession on a road. This can land you a hefty fine.

Western Australia

Entering Bicycle Area

In Western Australia, cars are expected to steer clear of designated bicycle lanes. Entering a bicycle area at an intersection could cost you two demerit points and a $200 fine.

Inappropriate Use of Headlights

If you are driving less than 200m behind a car, or an oncoming car is less than 200m away, and you are using your high beams, you can be docked one demerit point and a $100 fine.

South Australia

Parking Too Close to a Dividing Line

According to South Australia road laws, if a driver parks their vehicle on a road with a continuous dividing line or strip, they must park the vehicle at least 3m away from the line or strip, or they could face a fine of up to $120.

Hazarding a Person or Vehicle

If your car door causes hazard to a person or vehicle by being left open, or while you are getting in or out of your vehicle, you could be fined a maximum of $225.


Improperly Fitted Seatbelt

Tucking your seatbelt under your arm or chest can cost you $298 and three demerit points in Victoria.

Incorrectly Displaying “L” or “P” Plates

In Victoria, displaying “L” or “P” plates when not required (e.g. if the driver is actually fully licenced) is a $141 fine.


Refusing a Breath Test

If you’re pulled over for a breath test in Tasmania and refuse to participate, your licence could be disqualified for up to two years.

While some road rules may seem like common sense, others may have you scratching your head. Next time you hit the road in Australia, keep these unique traffic laws in mind to stay safe and out of trouble.

If you find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident that you believe is the fault of someone else who may not be so up-to-date with the traffic laws, get in touch with Car Accident Helpline today to discuss your options.

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