Weird Victorian Road Rules that you might not know – Part 1
There are a lot of road rules to understand and obey when driving on public roads. A large amount of them apply to every day driving and are practiced regularly by everyone, but there are also many which are not used often which means they can be easily forgotten.
It is important to remember some of the more obscure road laws to avoid landing yourself in hot water with the police and risk being fined and/or having your driving licence suspended if the incident leads to a significant problem. Even as a learner driver you can have your learner permit suspended if you drive carelessly.
No animals on the lap while driving
Though we see this in movies sometimes, it is highly dangerous and illegal to do this. Having any object on your lap while driving can interfere with the operation of the steering wheel, block your vision of what’s happening in front and around you, and an animal can move around and react to things outside the car.
Also think of what could happen if you needed to suddenly perform hard braking.
Don’t park in front of post boxes and fire hydrants
It is well known that you should never block access to a fire hydrant in the street. Imagine if a fire truck comes along responding to an emergency and needs to connect their hose. The vehicle in front of it would be a major problem.
But what many people may not know is that the same rule applies to post boxes. You can’t park and leave your vehicle in front of it or you may block the post man from collecting what’s inside.
Don’t touch your phone while driving, even if mounted
This rule is often misinterpreted or confused but the simple fact is that the device must be mounted in a commercial holder affixed to the dash of the vehicle (not just thrown in a drink holder) and the driver can only touch it while the driver is not driving.
What constitutes driving? A vehicle with the engine running, regardless of whether it is selected in the park or drive gear. To be able to touch the device the vehicle engine must be switched off and the vehicle secured in a parked mode.
This road rule has recently come up in the news in regards to paying for drive through take away food using your phone. The official advice from the authorities is that the vehicle must be switched off and secured in a parked situation before the driver can handle the phone to pay for their order.
Don’t block your view from inside
You are required by law to ensure you have proper visibility through your front windscreen, rear window and also to the sides of the vehicle. Overloading the rear seat or luggage area, hanging excessively large objects from your rear-view mirror and putting on window stickers which block your view can all lead to a fine.
It is essential when driving that you can see behind you and also be able to perform the all-important head checks over your shoulders.
Do not block pedestrian footpath at your home
This is more of a council-enforced rule but one which often comes up in the news. If your property has a driveway where a pedestrian footpath crosses over it, you must ensure your vehicle is not parked in a way which blocks part of the footpath, even by only a small amount.
As cars become larger and many people prefer driving SUVs and 4×4 utilities, it is important to ensure that your driveway can properly accommodate your vehicle when parked at home in such a way that it does not obstruct a footpath in any way.