samotor Magazine

10 road rules you might not know

Have you been breaking the law without even realising? Here are some of South Australia’s lesser-known road rules.


L and P1 drivers can’t use a hands-free mobile.

No driver is allowed to talk on a mobile phone unless it is secured to a commercially designed and manufactured cradle. However, those on L and P1 plates can’t use a mobile at all, even with hands-free technology.

twoWant to wind down the window and wave goodbye? Then you’d be breaking road rule 268.horn

The rule says ‘a person must not travel in or on a motor vehicle with any part of the person’s body outside a window or door’. This also means you can’t have your elbow hanging out the window on a warm day. Exceptions exist if you’re giving a turn-right or stopping hand signal, despite the fact that indicators have been compulsory since 1968.


Involved in a crash with another driver? Then you’ve got 24 hours – or maybe less – to report it to police.

If the estimated damage is more than $3000 or if either driver didn’t exchange their details, then you’ve got 24 hours to report a crash to police. However, if someone’s injured or killed, you must present yourself to police within 90 minutes, either at the crash scene or at a police station.



Opening your car door could get you in trouble.  

It’s actually an offence to open a car door if doing so causes a hazard to another person or vehicle, such as a cyclist or pedestrian passing by.


Ever angrily tooted your car horn at another driver or perhaps you’ve honked your horn to say goodbye? This is actually against the law.

Road Rule 224 says a driver can only use a horn or other warning device if it’s necessary to warn other road users of the ‘approach or position of their vehicle’.


You can’t start or drive a vehicle that’s giving off excessive smoke or noise.

In fact, it’s an offence for your car to emit visible emissions for more than 10 seconds, unless the emissions are caused by heat or the condensation of water.


We know you can’t drive an unregistered car, but did you know you’re also not allowed to park it on the street?

What’s more, you can be fined for driving an unregistered car even if you’re not the owner; exceptions apply if you were required to do so as part of your job. You can check the rego of any car on the EzyReg website or by downloading their app.

eightIt’s illegal to take your five year old for a ride around the block on your motorcycle.helmet

The law says a child can’t ride as a passenger on a motorcycle unless they’re at least eight years old and can keep both feet on the footrests provided.


On roads where the speed limit is more than 80km/h, you can only drive in the right lane if you’re overtaking, turning right, avoiding an obstruction or if all other lanes are congested.

You would have seen ‘keep left unless overtaking’ signs on some roads, but did you know that on roads where the speed is more than 80km/h, this rule exists even if there’s no sign?

tenYou’re not allowed to lead an animal while riding a bike or travelling in a car.jack russell

There’s actually a law – road rule 301 to be precise – that says you can’t lead or walk an animal while in a car or on a bike or have an animal tethered to a vehicle or bicycle. 

For more, visit the e-magazine