Australians drive on the left side of the road, you will have the oncoming traffic travelling towards you passing on the driver’s side – right side of the vehicle. If you are visiting from America or Europe you will find it very different the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car. This will mean that the controls in the vehicle are in an unusual position for you.
The gear changers and indicators will have to be operated with your left hand. The police in Australia are very diligent in enforcing the seat belt wearing regulation. It is compulsory to wear a seat belt in a moving vehicle and heavy fines apply for those caught not wearing one. All children travelling in the car must be restrained in an approved child seat. The car rental companies are all aware of the regulations and will be able to assist you with the correct children safety advice for your precious cargo.
Each country have different road signs and you must be familiar with these:- STOP signs are red octagonal signs with white writing, ONE WAY signs are rectangular black or white background and the wording will be in black or white the opposite to the background colour. They will have an arrow pointing in the direction of the traffic flow.
Hazards on the roads will be signed warning the motorist these signs are usually yellow and will have wording outlining the hazard and or a picture alerting the driver. You are required to slow your speed prior to approaching any hazards on the roadways. In most Australian cities and towns you will see tourist information signs these are normally brown in colour and they will indicate the attraction you are nearing.
In the unfortunate event of the accident, you should follow a few very simple steps. You should stop your vehicle in a safe area; most Australia highways have safety area for such purposes. These areas often have emergency phones for you to contact towing services. If you or anyone travelling with you is injured call for assistance the Emergency number in Australia is “000”. The Emergency vehicles have right of way so if you see or hearing one approaching slow down and move to the left side of the road to clear the way. It may be a matter of life or death so move over.
Driving schools in Australia have reduced speed limit areas around them, the speed limit will be clearly displayed and heavy fines are handed out to those breaking these speed limits. Children are not able to measure the speed and distance of moving vehicles and may step out into traffic without realizing the danger.
Do Not Drink and Drive – you fit a bump and spill some. No seriously the legal blood alcohol level in Australia is .05: anything above this will reduce your reaction time. Heavy fines and or jail terms are handed out to those drivers that ignore this rule, if you plan to party also plan a way to get home without your car. Designate a driver keep safe, don’t be a bloody idiot.