We’ve all been in front of an impatient car, the one that instantly honks their horn a millisecond after the traffic light has signalled go. We’ve also occasionally honked the horn to say ‘Hello’ or ‘Goodbye’. Well that innocent act of greeting or farewelling a fellow driver is in contravention of regulation 244 of the Road Rules 2014 (NSW), which are made under the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).
Regulation 224 of the Road Rules states:
“A driver must not use, or allow to be used, a horn, or similar warning device, fitted to or in the vehicle unless it is necessary to warn other road users or animals of the approach or position of the vehicle; or it is being used as part of an anti-theft device, or an alcohol interlock device, fitted to the vehicle”.
Use of your horn or warning device unnecessarily can result in a maximum penalty of $2,200 in NSW.
This may come as a shock to many given how often we see people ‘beep’ hello and goodbye. You may be thinking that next time you will simply roll down your window and wave a greeting to your friend outside the car instead. Regulation 268 of the Road Rules states however that:
“A person must not travel in or on a motor vehicle with any part of the person’s body outside a window or door of the vehicle, unless the person is the driver of the vehicle and is giving a hand signal”
Thus, drivers can be penalised if they put their hand outside the window to wave to a friend. This rule also applies to passengers, and drivers can be penalised up to $2,200 if either themselves or their passengers are found in contravention of this rule. The only exception to the rule is if the driver of the vehicle is giving a hand signal to indicate changing direction to the right, or stopping and slowing.
Finally, who hasn’t been driving in a car before suddenly remembering that you may have left the stove on. In your rush, you do a U-turn, drive back home and barely even park properly, leaving your engine running in your haste to get inside and prevent your from burning down. Thankfully, everything is in the clear so you drive back to your previous destination feeling relieved. Turns out however that in your rush to protect your property, you may have broken regulation 213 of the Road Rules.
Regulation 213 of the Road Rules provides that:
(3) “If the driver will be over 3 metres from the closest part of the vehicle, the driver must switch off the engine before leaving the vehicle.”
(5) “If the driver will be over 3 metres from the closest part of the vehicle and there is no-one left in the vehicle, the driver must: (a) If the windows of the vehicle can be secured—secure the windows immediately before leaving the vehicle, and (b) If the doors of the vehicle can be locked—lock the doors immediately after leaving the vehicle.”
The rule clarifies that a window is considered “secured” even if it is open, by up to 2cm. As ridiculous as regulation 213 may appear, breach of the rule can come with a penalty of up to $2,200.
Road Rules 2014 (NSW) provides hundreds of rules that cover every aspect of the road including angled parking, how to make turns, and rules for pedestrians. Most other states and territories have an equivalent to the Road Rules 2014 (NSW) which include similar, if not the same, regulations. Find all the regulations applicable in NSW at http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2014104/.
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