Australia boasts about not only exotic destinations, adventure, and natural beauty but also road trip that are just as mesmerising. As local and tourist attraction, the country offers thousands of routes that are each captivating in their own right. For travellers who hold an international driving license and are keen on experiencing a drive in Australia, the options are many. You could even rent a car and drive to the furthest tip of the country for an unmatched and unforgettable experience. However, it is important to note that the country has stringent road rules and regulations, which, if ignored can result in dire consequences. Here’s what you should know before you head out on that dream drive.
Australians drive on the left-side of a two-way road. While this is a little challenging for drivers from other regions of the world, it is imperative to keep this rule in mind at all times in order to avoid a fatal accident. For those new to the country, ensure that oncoming traffic passes on the driver’s side as against the passenger’s side.
Australia is insistent that children up to the age of 7 years are carefully restrained with safety harnesses. It is also mandatory for the driver and the passengers to wear seat belts while on a drive. While the onus of ensuring the same is on the driver, passengers too can be reprimanded with fines, penalties or equivalent demerit points when held for offence in this regard.
Roads in Australia have centre line markings. While broken lines indicate that overtaking is allowed, unbroken lines prohibit vehicles from making dangerous headways. While driving, be careful to take note of the line closest to your car. If broken, you can overtake when it is safe to do so. Also, be sure to adhere to the direction of arrows imprinted on roads while in Australia.
Australia is very strict with regard to drunken driving. There are severe penalties when a driver is found to have alcohol levels exceeding 0.05%. Those holding a probationary or provisional license must have alcohol levels at 0%.
Travellers or international visitors are allowed to drive on their foreign licenses for a period of 3 months in Australia. However, there is a small rider to this rule. The license must be in English and shall bear a photograph of the holder. If not in English, you will be required to apply for an International Driver’s Permit in your home country. If your license does not bear a photograph, then carrying a government-approved photo id becomes mandatory.