Australia is already a very expensive country to own a car in. Rego, CTP, crazy petrol prices… Not to mention the proclivity of this nation’s council rangers to fine the living hell out of you for parking just one minute over the limit.
But just when we thought we had this car ownership thing down pat, it turns out there’s a bunch of obscure road rules that you could be breaking without even realising.
Eating while driving, applying makeup or honking your horn to say goodbye could attract fines well in excess of $300, Sunrise reported this morning.
The makeup thing makes sense, but as the Sunrise presenters rightly pointed out… Why do cars have cup holders if we can’t get our grub on behind the wheel? Why are drive-throughs on every major road in this country?
There’s plenty of other motoring laws that Australians break all the time without realising. For example, it’s actually illegal for any limb to be sticking out a car window. This one’s a confusing one because 1) basically every man and his dog breaks this one, and 2) if your indicators are broken, what are you supposed to do? You’re also supposed to physically indicate which direction you’re turning in absence of indicator lights, so in that instance, are you supposed to break the law?
Each state’s got its own weird road rules on the books. Hyundai’s collected some of the strangest…
- In NSW, it’s illegal to splash mud on someone waiting for a bus. Sure, we can understand that. However, the law is literally that specific. So you can splash people with water, and if it’s not a bus stop, go wild! (Please don’t go wild.)
- In Tasmania it’s completely illegal to use your phone’s GPS under any circumstances. This includes if it’s mounted. Actually worth keeping in mind if you’re planning a getaway down south.
- WA has one of the oddest: you’re not allowed to transport over 50kg of potatoes in your car, unless you’re a “potato corporation”. This one’s a legacy of the Great Depression and WWII, although I’m sure there’s some enterprising Irishmen out there who might take offence at this weird law.
You can look at this one of two ways. Either this is Australia living up to its reputation of being a rules-obsessed nanny state, or you can consider it a good thing we’ve got such thorough road rules. Australian roads are pretty safe – the road toll in the US is more than twice as high as ours, for example.
In any case, wait till you get to the office before having your morning toast and tea.