5 Traffic Offences You Don’t Know You’re Committing

Whether you’re a seasoned driver or still on your P plates, it’s pretty easy to grasp the basics of driving. Stop at red lights, stay under the speed limit, wear a seatbelt, don’t drink and drive – how hard can it be? The truth is that while the majority of us are aware of the most important road rules in New South Wales, they are much more extensive than we may realise. Here are some offences you probably didn’t know exist and how you can challenge them.

Running a yellow light

Believe it or not, that’s not a typo. A yellow light is a signal to stop, not a licence to punch it and dash through the traffic lights before it turns red. When you see a yellow traffic light, you must come to a stop as long as it is safe to do so – this means you are only permitted to drive through if there’s not enough time or distance to stop.

Using your hazard lights as a parking permit

The belief that you are allowed to park illegally as long as you turn on your hazard lights has evolved from tongue-in-cheek to a genuine misunderstanding. Using your hazards is only permitted for specific purposes, including if you are blocking other vehicles or pedestrians, stopped in an emergency lane or driving in bad weather. Even if your use of hazards is justified, it’s not a free pass to park where you want.

Honking your horn

We know what you’re thinking, but just like your hazard lights there are rules on what justifies using your horn. Warning other drivers of your position or that you’re approaching, alerting animals in danger of being hit and setting it off as part of an anti-theft system are all fair game. But slamming on the horn in a bout of road rage? Not so much. It might seem harsh, but you’ll be thankful next time one of your disgruntled neighbours leans on the horn outside your bedroom window.

Flashing high beams around a speed camera

If you pass a speed camera and feel like doing other motorists a favour with a cheeky flash of your high beams, you’ve technically committed an infringement. The rulebook forbids use of high beams less than 200 metres from an oncoming vehicle and applies whether you’re driving down the highway at three in the morning or on a suburban road at lunchtime.

Entering blocked intersections

It’s happened to all of us at least once: you get a green light only to find yourself stuck in the intersection thanks to a traffic jam ahead. You might consider yourself unlucky but the law sides against you in this regard, stating that drivers must stop before entering the intersection if there is a potential blockage ahead.

Need help challenging a traffic infringement? Get in touch with Powerhouse Law today.

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