by Bill North
SHOULD slow cars keep left? Do you need to indicate at roundabouts? Are you allowed to drive through a yellow light?
Are you sure you really know your road rules?
A free licensing workshop for older road users will be held in Grafton on May 19. The "Older Road User" workshop will be delivered by Roads and Maritime Services and will be held at Grafton Community Function Centre, 59 Duke St on Friday, May 19 from 1.30 to 3.30pm. It will provide information and tips to improve safety for older road users.
Clarence Nationals MP, Chris Gulaptis said a workshop recently held at Yamba was well attended.
"I encourage older road users in the Clarence Valley to take advantage of this free workshop to learn about changes to licencing rules and other matters that will help them stay safe when out and about," Mr Gulaptis said.
"It can be hard to keep up with changes to licensing rules, so this free two hour workshop.
"Information and checklists will be provided for all road users, whether they drive, ride, walk, catch public transport or use a mobility scooter, or a combination of these.
"The workshop will look at issues such as driver licensing after the age of 75, safe driving habits, mobility scooters, and the top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW," he said.
Bookings are essential and can be made by phoning 6622 1903 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top 10 most misunderstood road rules in NSW
According to a 2016 NRMA report, these are the top 10 most misunderstood road rules in the state:
Drivers approaching a roundabout must use their indicators when turning left, right or making a U-turn, but not when going straight ahead (as this would mislead other drivers into thinking you are going left or right). When exiting a roundabout, whether you are turning left, right or even going straight ahead, you must always indicate a left turn just before you exit, unless it is not practical to do so (when travelling straight ahead on a small single lane roundabout, it may be impractical to indicate left when exiting).
2. GIVING WAY TO PEDESTRIANS
If a driver is turning left or right at an intersection, the driver must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering. This applies to intersections with and without traffic lights.
3. MOBILE PHONES
A mobile phone can only be used while driving if it's secured in a commercially designed and manufactured mounting fixed to the vehicle or operated by Bluetooth technology or voice activation. This includes the navigational or GPS function and audio functions of the device. From 1 December 2016, P2 holders are no longer be permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding.
When a driver is travelling on a road without lane markings and the number of lanes is reduced, they must merge by giving way to any vehicle that is ahead of them. However a driver who is moving from one lane, marked by broken lines (whether or not the lane is ending) to another must give way to any vehicle already travelling in the same direction.
5. KEEPING LEFT
On roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must not drive in the right-hand lane unless overtaking, turning right or making a U-turn, avoiding an obstacle or driving in congested traffic. If a 'Keep Left Unless Overtaking' sign is displayed, then you must keep left regardless of the speed limit.
6. HEADLIGHT AND FOG LIGHT USE
High beam is not permitted if travelling less than 200 metres behind a car going in the same direction or less than 200 metres from an oncoming vehicle. It is an offence to flash the vehicle's headlights unless the vehicle is being used to respond to an emergency. A driver is only permitted to use fog lights if driving in fog, mist or other atmospheric condition that restricts visibility.
When making a U-turn a driver must have a clear view of any approaching traffic and give way to all vehicles and pedestrians. Drivers are not allowed to make a U-turn across:
- a) a single continuous dividing line;
- b) a single continuous dividing line to the left of a broken line;
- c) two parallel continuous dividing lines.
You must not make a U-turn at traffic lights unless there is a 'U-turn permitted' sign displayed.
8. SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE
Drivers should stay three seconds behind vehicles in front of them and been mindful not to tailgate. In poor conditions such as rain, gravel roads or dim light, it may be necessary to increase the travelling distance to four seconds to increase the crash avoidance space.
9. SCHOOL ZONES
A school zone is the area around a school with a speed limit of 40km/h normally from 8am to 9.30am and between 2.30pm and 4pm on school days. There are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW. These zones are identified by red/orange school zone signs which indicate non-standard times. Signs at these schools display the times which apply.
10. YELLOW TRAFFIC LIGHTS
A driver approaching traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light must stop if they can do so safely. Penalties apply for drivers who fail to stop at a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so. How did you go?