Drive responsibly and driving rules

Driving in traffic is more than just knowing how to operate the mechanisms which control the vehicle; it requires knowing how to apply the rules of the road (which govern safe and efficient sharing with other users). An effective driver also has an intuitive understanding of the basics of vehicle handling and can drive responsibly.

A driver is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which he or she is driving. Most countries also have differing laws against driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs..Motorists are almost universally required to take lessons with an approved instructor and to pass a driving test before being granted a license. Almost all countries allow all adults with good vision and health to apply to take a driving test and, if successful, to drive on public roads.

A driving test (also known as a driving exam, driver’s test, or road test) is a procedure designed to test a person’s ability to drive amotor vehicle. It exists in various forms worldwide, and is often a requirement to obtain a driver’s license. A driving test generally consists of one or two parts: the practical test, called a road test, used to assess a person’s driving ability under normal operating conditions, and/or a written or oral test (theory test) to confirm a person’s knowledge of driving and relevant rules and laws.To make the test fair, written driving tests are normally standardized tests, meaning that everyone takes the same test under the same conditions. In many places the test can be done by computer, and typically consists of questions related to road signs and traffic laws of the respective country, but may also include questions related to road safety best practices or technical questions regarding vehicle operation and maintenance. In many countries passing a written driving test is required for admission to the practical test.

Depending on the country and on the driver’s license category, the practical test includes driving on the public, open road as well as different maneuverability test, which are usually carried out in a controlled environment such as:driving back and forth through a set of traffic cones reversing around a corner or into a parking space, with or without a trailer or semi-trailer emergency stops or evasive maneuvers coupling and de-coupling of a trailer to a truck, which includes establishing the electrical and compressed-air connections and checking them maintaining a motorcycle stable at low speed Make sure your children know the road rules when they are using a skateboard or scooter or similar device with wheels. This means they are in the best position to prevent any injury to themselves or to others.

offences resulting in driving licence cancellation

Drink or drug driving offence
If your licence has been cancelled solely because of a drink or drug driving offence, your re-licensing requirements will vary depending on circumstances. The requirements are explained in the brochure Getting your licence back [PDF, 327KB, 12pp] . You may also be subjected to an alcohol interlock order as part of the re-issuing condition of your licence.

Other offences resulting in licence cancellation or driving disqualification
If your licence has been cancelled or you have been disqualified from driving because of one of the offences listed below, you must apply to the Court to have your licence restored to you. This is called a Licence Eligibility Order (LEO).

• Serious motor vehicle offence
• Police pursuit offence
• Stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle offence
• Non-road safety offence

Before you apply for an LEO, please ensure that all driving bans requiring a LEO have been completed before the LEO hearing.

For more information on what you are required to do in order to apply to become re-licensed, check out the Driver’s Licence Eligibility Guide on the Magistrate’s Court of Victoria website.
I’ve received my LEO from the Court – what next?
Once you have received your LEO from the court you will need to attend a VicRoads Customer Service Centre with your LEO to have your licence re-issued or to book your learner permit test.

If you have outstanding driving bans on your record, VicRoads will not be able to re-issue your licence until all outstanding bans have been served. If any of these outstanding bans require an LEO, you must return to Court to obtain an LEO at the end of these bans. It is therefore recommended that you serve all of your bans and obtain one LEO to cover all bans.

If you were found to have committed the offence under the influence of alcohol, on granting the LEO, the Court may order the imposition of an Alcohol Interlock condition on your licence or permit.
If you’re a probationary driver and your licence has been suspended due to a non-road safety offence, your probationary period will be extended by the same period as your suspension period.
Alcohol interlocks
The Court may impose a condition requiring an alcohol interlock device to be fitted to your vehicle for a period of time.

Information relating to the Alcohol Interlock can be found on the Alcohol Interlocks website.

Driver Education Programs and assessments
If you commit a drink driving or drug driving offence you may be required to complete an education course or obtain assessment reports to get your licence back or to avoid having your licence cancelled.

All drink drive assessments and courses are developed, administered and conducted by the Department of Human Services.

Road safety for children on skateboards, scooters and wheeled toys

Any wheeled device on the road is regarded the same as pedestrians under the road rules. This includes skateboards, rollerblades, children’s scooters, pedal cars or tricycles – any wheeled toys.

As well as general pedestrian rules, there are also additional rules that parents should know and ensure that their child not only knows, but understands. Most of the suggestions we outline for walking and road safety as well as bicycle road safety also apply to wheeled toys.

Road safety for children on skateboards, scooters and wheeled toys

Below are some tips for children using a range of wheeled toys and devices near roads.

  • Wheeled devices or toys cannotbe used:
    • on a road with a speed limit of more than 60 km/h
    • on a road with a dividing line or median strip or
    • on a one-way road with more than one marked lane
  • They must keep to the left on footpaths and shared paths and give way to pedestrians.
  • Unless a sign prohibits it, a person on roller blades, roller skates or a similar wheeled device can ride on a bicycle path or separated footpath designed for the use of bicycles, but must give way to any bicyclist.
  • It is an offence (and extremely dangerous) to hold on to a moving vehicle
  • Correct fitting helmets must be worn

Make sure your children know the road rules when they are using a skateboard or scooter or similar device with wheels. This means they are in the best position to prevent any injury to themselves or to others.

What the Safer Drivers Course involves

The Course will help you understand more about speed management, gap selection, hazard awareness and safe following distances and prepare you for when you drive unsupervised on your Ps.

You will also receive 20 hours of log book credit once you complete the Course.

To be able to attend a Course you must be on your Ls, completed 50 log book driving hours and be under 25.

This is 50 actual hours of on-road driving and does not include the hours that can be accrued through (3 for 1) structured professional instruction.

The Safer Drivers Course involves two modules:

  1. A three-hour group discussion with other L platers for you to learn how to manage risks on the road.
  2. A two-hour in-vehicle coaching session with a coach and another learner so you can learn a range of practical safe driving behaviours.

You don’t have to do both of these sessions in one day, however it is recommended you complete both sessions within one month.

Gaining credits on log book hours explained

With all the different ways you can make up log book hour credits, it is not hard to get information overload.

Before you can take a Driving Test, you need to record 120 log book hours. Here’s a break down on the different ways you can earn credits towards your 120 log book hours:

  • You can get extra credit for driving lessons with a professional instructor.  For every hour of professional driving lessons you do, you’ll receive a bonus two hours credit. So a one-hour lesson counts for a total of three hours credit in your log book.  This is capped at a total of 10 private lesson hours (30 log book hour credits).
  • Doing the Safer Drivers Course can get you extra credit too. Once you’ve completed 50 log book hours, you can choose to complete the Safer Drivers Course – this will give you 20 log book hour credits.

Structured driving lessons

Learner drivers who complete a one hour structured driving lesson with a fully licensed driving instructor can record three hours driving experience in their Learner driver log book.

A maximum of 10 hours of lessons will be accepted and recorded as 30 hours in the Learner driver log book.

In addition, learner drivers who are aged 25 and over will no longer be required to present a Learner driver log book prior to attempting the driving test.

Note: These changes do not mean driving lessons are compulsory or that you should stop having lessons after reaching the 10 hours of training.

Structured lessons

A fully licensed driving instructor must develop each structured lesson in conjunction with the supervising driver and their learner driver using the Driving instructor structured lesson planner.

Driving instructors are required to keep a copy of each lesson plan completed in the Driving instructor structured lesson planner for auditing purposes. This is in order to ensure that learner drivers are receiving high quality structured lessons tailored to the needs of each learner driver.

Each lesson must aim to develop and enhance the learner driver’s practical application of low risk driving principles, as outlined in the Learner driver log book.

The Structured lesson record keeper is a summary of the structured lessons conducted on road by a fully licensed driving instructor.

Structured lesson record keeper inserts are available from Roads and Maritime Services Motor Registries, Roads and Maritime Services Contact Centers or you can download a copy by accessing the link at the bottom of this page.

This insert must be attached to the Declaration of Completion, on page 111 of the Learner driver log book.

Structured driving lessons are to be recorded on the Structured lesson record keeper in order to be recognized under this new scheme. In addition any lessons recorded in the Learner driver log book prior to 19 December 2009 can be transferred from the log book to the insert.

A Supplementary Declaration is included on the insert and must be signed by a supervising driver for the insert to be recognised under this new scheme.

Lessons conducted at night (between sunset and sunrise) count for only one hour of night driving towards the required 20 hours, with two hours to be added to day driving hours in the log book.

Learning to drive

Step 1 – before you get behind the wheel

Make sure you:

Who should I drive with?

You must only drive or ride while supervised by a person who holds and has held a current open licence for the class of vehicle you are learning to drive for at least 1 year.

If you are under 25 and learning to drive a car, make sure you record your driving experience in your learner logbook.

Step 2 – hitting the road

When learning to drive or ride, you must:

  • clearly display L-plates at the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motorbikes)
  • carry your learner licence with you and show it to a police officer when asked to do so
  • obey any conditions stated on your learner licence
  • not drive under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs
  • not use a mobile phone. Passengers and supervisors are also restricted from using a mobile phone in loudspeaker mode while the car is being driven
  • obey the zero alcohol limit (0.00).

Safe driving tips

  • Familiarise yourself with the basic controls. Make sure you have passed the checklist for car controls.
  • Take the time to adjust to different vehicles – some may have power steering, different brakes or mirrors.
  • Avoid getting behind the wheel when your mind is not on the driving task.
  • If you become tired while driving or riding, stop for a break.
  • Try not to turn the radio on as it may distract you and your supervisor.
  • Always allow extra time for travelling so you don’t have to rush.
  • Keep left unless overtaking.
  • Remember to be considerate of other road users and how your driving or riding affects them.

The RACQ has developed maps for learner drivers* to ensure they gain a range of experience while learning to drive. By following the routes on these maps you will practice different skills and experience a variety of driving situations.

Step 3 – practice

More driving experience will improve your chance of passing your practical driving test on your first attempt.

Safe driving tips

  • Weekly practice in a variety of situations is important in developing good driving skills.
  • Make every effort to drive in different conditions – in the dry, in the wet, during peak hour, at dusk and at night.
  • Always plan regular two-hourly breaks on a long journey.
  • Drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions.
  • Don’t drive if you are tired or have been drinking.

Australian road rules

There are many laws governing road users. However, the most important point is that you must drive with care and consideration of other road users. Driving rules you must comply with are provided in the Driver’s Handbook.

Most driving offences are covered by the Road Traffic Act 1961 and in regulations made under this Act – such as the Australian Road Rules 1999.

Discover more about the rules and how they apply to different kinds of roads, vehicles and road users in the reader’s guide.

Visitors to South Australia

Welcome. We want you to enjoy your stay, but more importantly we want you to stay safe.

If you intend to drive in South Australia – make sure you’re driving legally and safely by following these tips:

  1. Check driver’s licence requirements for temporary visitors and new residents.
  2. Remember that we drive on the left-hand side of the road in Australia. If you’re from a country where vehicles are driven on the right-hand side, it can feel strange when driving in Australia.
  3. Take extra care when driving, cycling and walking in Australia.
  4. Practise driving left by using the online hazard perception test provided on the My Licence website.
  5. The default speed limit in urban areas is 50 kph unless otherwise sign posted. The speed limit on most Australian highways is 100 kph; only a few roads allow you to travel at a maximum speed of 110 kph. Police regularly conduct speed checks using speed cameras, radar and lasers along all types of roads.
  6. Wearing a seatbelt is a life or death matter both for you and your passengers. Drivers must ensure that they and any passengers in the vehicle are wearing a seatbelt or child restraint.

Driving Licence Holders Health and medicals

Do I need a medical test?

Certain licensees must submit a satisfactory medical report before their licence can be renewed or maintained.  Holders of a Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) card may be required to provide a medical report when they apply for the issue, reissue, renewal or replacement of their licence if Roads and Maritime Services has not been advised of any medical condition on the licence. See Fitness to drive and MPS permits for more details.

Licence class C, LR, MR, HR, HC and Rider.

  • Medical required at age 75 then annually.

Licence class MC.

  • Medical required at age 21 then every 10 years.
  • Medical required at age 40 then every 5 years.
  • Medical required at age 60 then every 2 years.
  • Medical required at age 70 then annually.

All Licence Holders

The law requires the holder of a driver licence to notify, as soon as practicable, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) of any long term injury or illness that may impair his or her ability to drive safely. RMS must be satisfied that all licence holders are medically fit to drive.  The medical standards for drivers are set by the National Transport Commission and AUSTROADS, and are set out in ‘Assessing Fitness to Drive’ (available from the AUSTROADS website). ‘Assessing Fitness to Drive’ was recently revised in 2012.  Frequently Asked Questions about the revision in 2012 can be found here.

A licence holder can be directed to have regular medical examinations because of a medical condition or because of advanced age. Some drivers must also have an annual driving test.

The rules apply to all licence holders, including people who have three or five year licences.
Medical Examinations

If you are required to have a medical examination, RMS will send you a letter approximately eight weeks before you are due for a medical examination. On the back of the letter is a medical report form to be completed by your doctor, indicating whether you are medically fit to drive.

You ask your doctor whether an appointment is required to have the form completed. If your doctor considers you medically fit to drive and hands the completed report to you, return it to a motor registry.

If you would prefer to restrict your driving, for instance, to certain times of the day or to within an area where you live, you should discuss it with your doctor at the time of your compulsory medical test.

If your doctor considers you medically unfit to drive or wants to refer your case to a second doctor, he or she will send the medical report directly to RMS. You will be notified of the decision about your licence by RMS soon after.

Note: Section G.13.1 of the Medicare Benefits Schedule states ‘Medicare benefits be paid for the following categories of health screening: – age or health related medical examinations to obtain or renew a licence to drive a private motor vehicle’.
Disclosure of a medical condition for the first time

A customer who discloses to RMS for the first time that he or she suffers from diabetes, epilepsy, giddiness, blackouts, fainting or other sudden periods of unconsciousness, must provide a satisfactory medical report before he or she can receive or renew a licence.

A customer who discloses to RMS for the first time that he or she has monocular vision must provide a satisfactory eyesight report before he or she can receive or renew a licence.

Customers who have already declared these medical conditions to RMS can renew their licences provided that RMS medical review requirements have been met.

Customers with diabetes that is controlled by diet are no longer required to provide an initial medical report.

Customers who already hold a NSW driver licence can obtain a medical report form from any motor registry or by calling 13 22 13.
Driving Tests

If you need to pass a driving test as well as a medical examination it will be printed at the top of the letter. You can only take a driving test after a doctor has declared you medically fit to drive.

To avoid delays call 13 22 13 or go to your nearest motor registry to make an appointment as soon as possible.

RMS’s A guide to the Driving Test is available for download or free from any motor registry. It tells you what is involved in a driving test and what you will be tested on.
Occupational Therapist Reviews

Drivers with certain health conditions may require a driving assessment by a suitably qualified occupational therapist before a licence will be issued or reissued.