Whether you’re travelling interstate, moving to NSW, or are just new to driving altogether, there are some key road rules you need to be aware of. While most Australian driving rules apply throughout the country, each state and territory has a number of specific differences. Discover the main NSW road rules and differences that you may not know about.
NSW Australia Driving Rules
While most speed limit laws are the same throughout the country, it’s always good to be aware of the default speed limits within the state you’re travelling through. In NSW, the default speed limit in residential areas is 50km/h. Outside built-up areas, the default is 100km/h and the overall maximum signed speed permitted is 110km/h. The default speed for school zones in NSW is 40km/h
Speed Limits For Learners & P Platers
If you have a learner license or a provisional license in NSW, you may not always be permitted to drive at the signed speed limit. Provisional P1 drivers and Learner drivers are not permitted to ever drive faster than 90km/h. Provisional P2 drivers are limited to 100km/h at all times.
Signed Speed Cameras
Throughout Australia, hidden speed cameras that catch you unawares are usually the norm. In NSW, most speed cameras are preceded by permanent roadside warning signs.
While all NSW speed cameras used to be signed, the rules were briefly changed in 2020 to allow for hidden speed cameras. After 9 months and an increase in both road deaths and monthly fines, the warning sign rule was reinstated. Keep an eye out for these signs to avoid being fined on NSW roads.
Double Demerit Points on Public Holidays
If you are spending your holidays in NSW, you may want to be extra careful on the road. On certain public holidays each year, offending drivers in NSW will receive double the usual demerit points for that offence. While the list of exact dates changes every year, the police force releases an up-to-date list annually. Ensure you check this list before you hit the road in NSW to avoid hefty fines on those days.
Don’t Use Your Phone While Driving
While you, of course, shouldn’t be using your phone while driving anywhere in Australia, NSW is particularly strict when it comes to this rule. The only operation of your phone that is permitted is answering your phone through voice activation or hands-free BlueTooth technology. You may also use your phone’s GPS function only while your phone is securely mounted to your dash and doesn’t obscure the road.
All NSW drivers are never permitted to touch their phones while driving or even when stopped. Learners and provisional drivers are not permitted to use their phones in any capacity while driving, even through voice activation or Bluetooth.
Don’t Splash Pedestrians at Bus Stops
An extremely specific rule for NSW drivers is that you are not allowed to drive through a puddle and splash pedestrians waiting at a bus stop. The rule even goes so far as to stipulate that you must slow down or even stop if necessary to avoid splashing bus stop pedestrians. While a strange rule, breaking it could leave you with a hefty fine.
One thing that all NSW drivers need is Compulsory Third Party Insurance or a Greenslip. This type of insurance provides compensation for NSW drivers who are injured or killed in an accident. You are not permitted to drive on any NSW road without CTP insurance.
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