Tele: Road Rules Awareness Week: Weird NSW road rules you might not know

Leaving the car unlocked while ducking into the shops could cost you $116, while the Australian tradition of cruising down the highway with your arm out the window could lead to a $349 fine and a loss of three demerit points.

Drivers are being urged to check up on some of the lesser-known 350 road rules that could cost them, as part of the state government’s Road Rules Awareness Week.

A friendly honk of the horn to say hello to a friend could incur a $349 fine and cost three demerit points, as would accelerating while someone is trying to overtake.

Do you know the NSW road rules?

You might think you’re a good driver but in NSW there are more than 350 road rules. How many are you getting wrong?1. We love our double pluggers and flip flops, but can you legally drive in thongs or barefoot?

2. It might not happen often, but do you know what to do when passing a horse on the road?

3. When you pull up at the drive-thru, can you use your phone to pay while still in the car?

4. Are you allowed to honk the horn to say hi to your friend as you drive past them?

5. When you pass an emergency vehicle on the side of the road and lights are flashing, what speed must you slow down to?

6. Are you allowed to have your arm, feet or any limb outside the vehicle while driving?

7. Allowing overtaking – if a driver on a highway is overtaking you by crossing the dividing line are you allowed to accelerate?

8. You pull up at the petrol station and go to pay, can you leave your keys in the car so the passenger can listen to the radio?

9. You’re in a rush to get to shops, can you park your car and leave it unlocked?

10. If there are no speed signs in urban areas the default general speed limit is? a) 40km b) 50km c) 60km

11. True or False? If you’re turning at an intersection and a pedestrian is crossing the street you’re turning into, do you have to wait for them to cross?

12. Are motorcyclists allowed to filter through lanes in traffic?

13. “Look, no hands, Mum” might be a catch cry, but is it legal to ride a bike with no hands?

14. “Can you walk along a road if there is no footpath or nature strip?

15. “You want to cross the road but the red pedestrian light has just started flashing. Can you cross?

16. Under what circumstances are you permitted to cross double unbroken lines?

  • A. To avoid an obstruction
  • B. To enter or leave a driveway
  • C. To overtake a bicycle rider and provide the minimum passing distance
  • D. All of the above

17. Are you permitted to make a U-turn at an intersection without traffic lights?

Using your phone to pay for fast food in the drive-through is allowed, but has only been legal since 2019.

The awareness campaign also aims to remind road users who has the right of way at intersections, and what speeds apply in unmarked suburban areas.

“We want to put a stop to fatalities and trauma suffered when people disregard or aren’t aware of the road rules,” Transport Minister Mr Constance said.

“You might consider yourself a good driver, but keeping your knowledge up to date on even common rules, such as who has right of way at an intersection, is an important part of your responsibility in sharing the road safely.”

There are no rules against driving barefoot or in thongs, but drivers always need to have “proper control”.

Drivers also need to slow down to 40km/h when passing an emergency vehicle stopped with flashing lights on the side of the road.

As part of the road rules awareness push, drivers are also being told to brush up on who has the right of way at a roundabout – vehicles must give way to someone already in a roundabout.

Mr Constance said the campaign will also help motorists understand why certain rules are in place – like lower speed limits in pedestrian zones.

“For pedestrians, there’s a 90 per cent chance of survival at impact speeds of 30km/h, but only 10 per cent chance of survival at 50km/h. By educating road users about why rules are in place, we hope it’ll save lives,” he said.


  • Leaving a parked car unlocked and walking more than three metres away. Penalty: $116
  • Driving with your arm or body part out of the car. Penalty: $349 and three demerit points.
  • Honking your horn unnecessarily. Penalty – $349 and three demerit points
  • Riding a push bike with no hands. Penalty – $116


  • Use your phone to pay at the drive-through
  • Drive with thongs or barefoot
  • Leave your keys in the car at the petrol station (if a passenger 16 years or over is in the car)
  • Full licence motorcyclists can filter through lanes at speeds under 30km/h and not in a school zone

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