top of page

The Most Surprising Road Rules in Australia That Drivers May Not Be Aware Of

Australia's road rules are designed to ensure safety and order on the roads, but some regulations might catch even experienced drivers by surprise. At Excel Drive Corporate, we believe that being aware of these lesser-known rules can help you avoid fines and drive more safely. Here are some of the most surprising road rules in Australia that you may not be aware of:

1. No Waving Pedestrians Across the Road

In many parts of the world, it's common courtesy to wave pedestrians across the street. However, in Australia, this is discouraged. Waving can lead to confusion or accidents, as other drivers might not be aware of the pedestrian. It's best to let pedestrians cross at designated crossings without any gestures.

2. No U-Turns at Traffic Lights (Unless Signposted)

In some countries, making a U-turn at traffic lights is common, but in Australia, it’s generally prohibited unless there’s a specific sign allowing it. Always look for signage indicating whether a U-turn is permitted at an intersection.

4. No Hands-Free Mobile Phone Use for Learner and P1 Drivers

While fully licensed drivers can use hands-free devices, learner drivers and those on their P1 provisional licenses are not allowed to use any form of mobile phone while driving, even if it’s hands-free. This strict rule aims to minimize distractions for inexperienced drivers.

5. Using Your Horn: Only for Safety

In Australia, using your car horn is legally restricted to situations where it’s necessary to warn other road users of your presence for safety reasons. Using the horn to express frustration or hurry someone up can result in a fine.

6. Overtaking Trams

In Melbourne and some other cities, trams are a common mode of transport, and there are specific rules for overtaking them. When a tram stops to let passengers on or off, you must stop behind it and not proceed until the doors close and the road is clear.

7. Giving Way to Buses

In certain areas, drivers must give way to buses when they are merging back into traffic from a bus stop. This rule is designed to help public transportation run smoothly and reduce delays.

9. Headlights in Tunnels

In some Australian states, it’s mandatory to switch on your headlights when driving through tunnels, regardless of the time of day. This rule helps improve visibility and safety within the enclosed space.

10. Alcohol Limits for Supervising Drivers

If you are supervising a learner driver, you must adhere to the same alcohol limits as the learner. In most states, this means having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.00, ensuring you are fully alert and capable of supervising safely.

11. Cyclist Passing Distance

When overtaking cyclists, drivers must leave a minimum distance of one meter in speed zones up to 60 km/h and 1.5 meters in zones over 60 km/h. This rule helps protect vulnerable road users and promotes safer sharing of the road.


Staying informed about all road rules, even the less obvious ones, is crucial for safe driving and avoiding fines. Our training programs cover surprising rules and more, ensuring that your drivers are fully prepared for any situation on the road. By understanding and adhering to these regulations, your team can contribute to a safer and more efficient driving environment for your organisation.


bottom of page