Lesser known road rules that may land you in trouble with the law

Posted on Oct 12, 2017 by Terry Morgan   |   Categories: Criminal & Traffic Law

There are many rules that govern the way in which vehicles are to be operated to maintain the safety of our roads, most of which are contained within the Road Rules 2014 (NSW). Many of these rules are well known to road users, however in this article, I will explore a few of the lesser known rules that may cause you problems with the law should you fail to abide by them.

A breach of any of the following rules can result in you receiving a fine of up to $2,200.00:

– Rule 291.1: The driver of a vehicle that is stationary must switch off the vehicle’s engine so far as may be necessary for the prevention of noise. This does not require a driver stuck in traffic to turn off their engine, however those of you who may leave your engine running to keep the car cool whilst ducking into the shops, could find yourself in trouble here.

– Rule 291.3: A driver must take due care, by slowing down or stopping the driver’s vehicle if necessary, not to splash mud on any person in or on a bus, entering or leaving any stationary bus, or waiting at any bus stop if the bus concerned is being used to provide a public passenger service or the bus stop concerned is a stop relating to buses used for that purpose.

If however you decide to skip the bus and take a stroll down the footpath and happen to be on the receiving end of a splash from an unfriendly road user, there is nothing that the law will do to punish that driver.
– Rule 296 – The driver of a vehicle must not reverse the vehicle unless the driver can do so safely and must not reverse the vehicle further than is reasonable in the circumstances. Next time you see a parking space become available in your mirrors back down the street, think twice before reversing the 50 metres to take advantage.

– Rule 194 – A driver must not stop within 1 metre of a fire hydrant, fire hydrant indicator, or fire plug indicator, unless the driver is driving a public bus, public minibus or taxi and stops in a designated zone for that vehicle without leaving the vehicle unattended. The same applies to post boxes. The writer has been caught out by this one and can assure you that it is enforced! Be sure to check what is sitting by the kerb before parking!

– Rule 248 – The rider of a bicycle must not ride across a road or part of a road at a children’s or pedestrian crossing. You must dismount your bicycle to cross the road.

– Rule 301- The driver of a motor vehicle must not lead an animal, including by tethering the animal to the motor vehicle unless permitted to do so under another law of NSW. You’ll have to take your dogs for a walk the old fashioned way.

It may also interest you to know that the road rules apply to not only cars, trucks and motorcycles, but also to trailers, trams, bicycles, animal drawn vehicles, animals that are being ridden by humans and interestingly, motorised wheelchairs that can travel at speeds exceeding 10km per hour on level ground. Other vehicles that are built to be propelled by a motor which forms part of the vehicle are also classified as motor vehicles for the purposes of the Rules.

Most Road Rules will seem like common sense. If you are unsure about what you are doing the best advice we can provide is that if it doesn’t feel right then it is probably not right.