A number of incidents on our roads has prompted driving instructor Glen Gaudron to clarify some of the most misunderstood rules.
From roundabouts to cyclists and changing lanes, a refresher on the rules could help everyone get about more safely, he said.
“I think people should have to brush up on the rules when they renew their license,” Mr Gaudron said. “Especially if you’re about to teach someone how to drive.”
1. Yellow traffic lights
Contrary to popular belief, a yellow light doesn’t mean “speed up and beat the lights”. A yellow light means you must stop if it is safe to do so. Don’t drop the anchor, but don’t floor it either.
It might be tempting to make quickly turn around at a set of traffic lights, but that’s a strict no no in NSW, unless there’s a sign to the contrary (they’re few and far between). It’s also illegal to perform a U-turn across any unbroken dividing line.
3. Merging lanes
Who has the right of way when it’s time to merge lanes? According to Mr Gaudron, if you need to cross a broken painted line, you need to give way. But don’t forget common sense.
One of the most confusing parts of driving is negotiating a roundabout. Mr Gaudron said the key to safety was staying in your lane, remembering to indicate left when leaving the roundabout and giving everyone else some space.
“Remember, cyclists can legally turn right from the left-hand lane, so keep an eye out for these vulnerable road users,” he said.
5. Light bars
Light bars have become quite common in the Riverina, but there’s still some confusion about what’s allowed.
According to Transport for NSW, light bars and other driving lights fall under the same rules as high-beam headlights, so they can’t be used within 200 metres of a vehicle in front, or if they could “dazzle” another driver.
“A driver’s view must not to be obscured and if mounted on a bumper or bull bar, they must be fitted rearward of the front face of the bumper or bull bar and not pose a danger to pedestrians,” a spokesman said.
BONUS: Angle parking
Rear-to-kerb parking is a source of a very common mistake. When leaving the kerb, you need to indicate right, despite it seeming counter-intuitive when you’re actually heading left. The reason, Mr Gaudron said, was so oncoming traffic could see your indicator.
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