Common International Driving Rules

Followings are the most common and compulsory driving practices you must follow (specially when driving overseas roads)

1. Dividing lines
Dividing lines are road markings formed by one line or two parallel lines, either broken or continuous. Most of us know to drive on the left of any type of dividing line, but it’s also important to keep the following points in mind:

Overtaking: you may cross a broken dividing line – or a broken dividing line to the left of a single continuous dividing line – to overtake, but only if you have a clear view of approaching traffic and it is safe to do so
U-turns are not permitted across any single continuous line or double dividing lines
You may drive to the right of a dividing line in order to enter or leave the road by the shortest practicable route

2. Edge lines
Edge lines are marked along the road at or near the far left or far right side of the road and you must not stop there.

international driving tips for migrants, and overseas workers

Image Credit: driverstorymagazine.com

If prosecuted for doing so, some of the possible grounds for defence include:

If your vehicle is disabled (only until it can be safely moved)
If you must stop to deal with a medical or other emergency
If yours or a passenger’s condition necessitates stopping.

3. Crossing lanes & merging
It’s important to distinguish between crossing lane lines to change lanes and merging. If you are on a road with two or more lines of traffic traveling in the same direction, and you are moving from one line of traffic to another (whether or not your line of traffic is ending), you must give way to any vehicle in the line of traffic into which you are moving.

If your lane is merging with another, you have right of way if any part of your vehicle is ahead of other vehicles traveling in the same direction. However, if your lane ends and you must cross lane lines to merge, you must give way if any part of another vehicle is ahead of your vehicle.

4. Painted islands
Painted islands are indicated by an area of a road surrounded by a line or lines (whether broken or continuous), on which there are stripes marked on the road surface in white or another color contrasting with the color of the road.

Generally, you must not drive on or over a single continuous line, or two parallel continuous lines alongside or surrounding a painted island. However, you may drive on a painted island:

to avoid an obstruction on the road (if you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and you can do so safely)
to enter or leave the road
to enter a turning lane that begins immediately after the painted island
Note: It’s important to continually refresh your memory and stay up-to-date with the rules regarding road markings, lines and lanes.

Be aware of special circumstances that require drivers to interpret the rules judiciously, such as if there is an obstruction on the road. Always adhere to the road rules but don’t forget to use your common sense.

Roundabout rules

Do roundabout rules leave you feeling dizzy and confused? Many people are unclear about who has right of way and when is the appropriate time to indicate when using a roundabout. Here we unravel the roundabout mystery.

1. Approaching a roundabout
Take special care when you approach a roundabout. Slow down and prepare to give way to any vehicle in the roundabout. Only enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic.

2. Turning left
If you intend to turn left from the roundabout, approach from the left lane. indicate left, give way to other vehicles in the roundabout

3. Turning right
When turning right, approach from the right lane, indicate right and stay in the right lane. Where practical, you must signal a left turn after you have passed the exit before the one you intend to use. Exit in the same lane as the one in which you entered.

4. Going straight ahead
You do not need to indicate when approaching the roundabout if you intend to go straight ahead. However, you must signal a left turn after you have passed the exit before the one you wish to use. Exit in the same lane as the one in which you entered.

5. Full turn
If you are using the roundabout to make a full turn, follow the same instructions as for turning right. Always be aware of cars leaving the roundabout.

NOTE: The penalty for driving contrary to roundabout road rules is three demerit points.

Parking rules

Parking rules help traffic run smoothly. They are designed to stop people parking where it could be dangerous or inconvenient for other road users.
1. How to parallel park
To parallel park, indicate left and stop safely just beyond the parking spot. Look behind and reverse slowly until your car is parallel to the front vehicle. Turn the steering wheel to left lock. Reverse slowly until the car is at a 45 degree angle, then turn the wheel to full right lock. Check that you will clear the car in front and look over both shoulders. As the front of the vehicle nears the kerb, straighten the wheel. Straighten up and park at least one meter from both vehicles.

2. Clearways
Clearways are used to improve traffic flow and safety conditions during peak periods. You must not stop your vehicle at the kerb during the times shown on a clearway sign. Buses and taxis may stop at the kerb to pick up or set down passengers. A broken yellow line is also used to indicate a clearway.
3. Angle parking
You should angle park at the kerb if this is indicated by signs or marking lines. Always park at an angle of 45 degrees unless a sign or road marking indicates differently. Park your vehicle in the direction shown on the sign. If there is no direction on the sign, you may park either front-to-kerb or rear-to-kerb.

4. ‘Motorbikes only’ signs
Do not park between ‘Motorbikes only’ signs unless you are riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles may be angle-parked anywhere it is legal to park, even if a sign shows parallel parking. Make sure that the motorcycle does not stick out further than any parallel parked vehicle.

5. The most common way to park
Parallel parking is the most common way to park. You must park parallel and as close as possible to the left kerb. It is illegal to park facing the wrong way. However, on a one-way street you can also park on the right-hand side. You should be entirely within any marking lines and at least one meter from any other parked vehicle.

Using high and low beam

About a third of crashes occur at night, so it’s important to know when and how to use your low beam, high beam and fog lights.

1. Fog lights
If your vehicle has fog lights, turn them on in fog only. They shine low and wide to help you see the road in fog, while the powerful red lights at the rear help the drivers behind to see your vehicle sooner. Switch off your fog lights once visibility is clear as they can blind other drivers.

2. Headlights
You must switch on your headlights when driving between sunset and sunrise, or any other time when there is not enough daylight to be able to see a person wearing dark clothing at a distance of 100 meters. Don’t drive with high beam on during the day.

3. Extreme conditions
In extreme conditions, such as heavy rain, fog or snow, put your headlights on to low beam. High beam in fog will reflect the light, making it difficult to see. In very poor visibility, the law permits you to turn on your hazard lights to help others see you.

4. High beam
You can use high beam lights on any road, even if there are street lights. However, you must dip your headlights to low beam when a vehicle coming toward you is within 200 meters and when driving 200 meters or less behind another vehicle.

5. Oncoming vehicles
Avoid looking at the headlights of oncoming vehicles. If you are dazzled by glaring or high beam lights, you should look to the left side of the road and drive to the left of the lane, slow down or pull over until your eyes have fully recovered.

Sharing the road

Motorcycle deaths are on the rise – and much of the responsibility lies with car drivers. Motorcyclists and cyclists have rights on the road, too. Follow these tips to help make the road safe for all.

1. Always check your blind spots
Motorcycle crashes occur most frequently at intersections. It is a must to check bind spots in all states and territories in australia. A common cause is the failure of a right-turning driver to notice an oncoming motorcycle. Before turning or entering an intersection, make a final check that a motorcycle or bicycle is not approaching.

2. Is the road clear?
Motorcyclists and cyclists can be hidden by overtaking trucks or buses.

Do not move left or turn left from behind a large vehicle unless you are sure the road is clear. Be alert when changing lanes.

3. Leave enought clearance
When overtaking a cyclist, leave at least a one-metre clearance in a 60 km/h zone. Cyclists are entitled to a whole lane and can also travel two-abreast (side by side) in a lane provided they ride no more than 1.5 metres apart.

4. Never underestimate their speed
Sometimes motorcycles and bicycles travel as fast or faster than a car, particularly in heavy traffic. Never underestimate the speed of a cyclist or motorcyclist and be sure not to cut them off by pulling out in front of them.

5. Check before you open your car door
A common cause of injury for cyclists is crashing into a car door that is suddenly opened in front of them.

Always remember to check for cyclists and motorcycles before you open the door.

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