We all know that operating a phone while driving is a recipe for disaster one way or another, and this year West Australia is changing the rules to reflect just how serious an offence it is.
West Australia recently introduced a new fine for motorists caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel, and it’s steeper than ever before. You can get slapped with a $1,000 fine, the highest amount possible, as well as four demerit points.
Not a great way to start your driving career.
So, now you’re caught up on WA mobile phone road rules, but what about the other road rules?
Unfortunately for new drivers, no one gets a free pass for accidentally breaking rules they didn’t know about. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to familiarise yourself with laws and road rules, and taking local Perth driving lessons with educated and professional driving instructors will teach you everything you need to know.
We know it can get confusing, though, and we want to help! To start, here are five WA road rules you may not have heard about.
Learn Them and Live Them: 5 WA Road Rules You Should Know
Attempting a U-turn at an inappropriate place or time, or even just making an unsafe turn, can carry a $100 fine and up to three demerit points. Don’t make your U-turns unless there’s a sign stating it’s allowed. And when you do make the turn, do it safely!
Fun fact: Unlike the rest of Australia, WA permits U-turns over a continuous white line.
It’s a delicate process that could end up being more costly than you’d think. The next time you’re about to overtake that car in front of you, consider carefully. If you:
- Don’t overtake at a safe distance
- Overtake at a crossing
- Overtake on a continuous white line
- Exceed the speed limit
- Don’t safely overtake a cyclist
You could cop a fine of anywhere from $200 or more, as well as several points.
If that vehicle in front of you is a little too close, you might end up paying the fine. Two points and a $200 fine are the consequences of failing to follow at a safe distance.
Aim for at least two seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you, and don’t hesitate to increase the distance if the weather or other road conditions are getting hairy, especially when driving in wet weather.
We’ve probably all heard that, when entering a roundabout, you should give way to the car on your right.
Well, that’s not quite true.
Vehicles that are already in the roundabout have the right of way, regardless of their position to you. That’s good to know considering that the fine for failing to give way correctly is $150 and a hefty three points. Other offences can cost you up to $100 and two points.
5. Emergency vehicles at red lights
An emergency vehicle is approaching, lights are flashing, sirens blaring, and you need to get out of the way.
Whatever you do, don’t drive through that red light to clear a path. Yes, if you don’t give way to an emergency vehicle, it can cost you big time (we’re talking about $400 and four points), but speeding to get away or driving through a red light is still breaking the law, and the fine will be on you if you do that, no matter your intentions.
When in doubt, use your indicator, slow down, and move as far to the left as you can.
Take the Time; Avoid a Fine
Listen, we know that driving can be confusing, especially with all of the rules that motorists are required to follow.
If you’re a student or new driver, take the time to learn as much about Australian road rules as possible so you can avoid incurring fines and demerit points. It might even be worth scheduling in a defensive driving course to go over more advanced driving tactics. And if you’re lucky enough to be taking lessons, utilise your resources!
Talking to your driving instructor is a great way to learn more about the rules of the road and vehicle safety, so take advantage of it while sitting your driving lessons.
Disclaimer: This information is correct as of 1st July 2020.