Australia’s most obscure road rules have been revealed, with waving, splashing, driving too slow and U-turns featuring on the list of lesser-known offences.
Aussies hitting the road this festive period will need to keep their wits about them to avoid getting caught out by a lesser-known set of obscure road rules.
While most drivers manage to navigate the road regulations without any hassle, some could be unwittingly breaking the rules out of blatant unawareness.
From tailgating, executing U-turns, leaving doors unlocked, waving and splashing pedestrians, there’s a host of acts that, if spotted by police, can cost drivers hundreds.
Driving too slowly is one of the most obscure road rules in Australia and can set drivers back a $185 fine if a police officer catches them in the act.
Those busted tailgating may incur and even steeper fine, with the offence carrying a $448 fine and three demerit points in NSW and a $303 fine with one demerit point in Victoria.
In all Australian states it’s illegal to drive with an animal on your lap, no matter how small (or cute) they are, with the offence carrying a $338 fine and three demerit points.
Drivers who absent-mindedly leave their car unlocked while they duck in to pay for fuel could cop a heavy penalty in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT, where it’s illegal to not properly secure a vehicle.
While those in NSW can only be fined if their car is unlocked when they are more than 3m away from it, drivers in South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT, could be fined $177 if their window is lowered with more than a 2cm gap.
In Queensland and Victoria, if a window is left open by more than 5cm, a driver could be hit with a penalty charge.
One of the more peculiar road rules that applies in NSW is that it is illegal to drive through a puddle and splash water or mud on pedestrians waiting at a bus stop.
The offence, which doesn’t exist in any other state, carries a $191 fine.
And while waving may seem an innocent, it’s actually illegal in all states if it involves body parts hanging out of a vehicle while it is being driven.
Pulling up next to a post box or fire hydrant could also prove costly if done in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, South Australia or Western Australia.
Stopping within 3m of a post box in NSW, Queensland and Victoria is illegal.
And steer clear of that fire hydrant – in NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia drivers are not allowed to stop within 1m of one.
Honking the horn is another seemingly innocent act that actually carries hefty penalties if done at what is deemed an irresponsible occasion.
It should only be used when warning other drivers that your vehicle is approaching, trying to get animals off the road, or as part of an antitheft or alcohol interlock device.
In NSW the offence carries a $298, while in Victoria drivers can be stung $282.
Tricky rules also apply to executing U-turns, with jurisdictions not helping driver confusion by enforcing them differently.
In NSW, Queensland and South Australia, a U-turn is not allowed at any intersection unless it is signed otherwise.
In Victoria however, motorists can make a U-turn at all intersections, including traffic lights, unless there are continuous lines or a sign saying, “no U-turn”.
For drivers in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Territories, making a U-turn is allowed at all intersections, but not at traffic lights unless it’s signed otherwise.