Splashing mud, bidding farewell and not informing the NSW Government about change in details can attract fines

RULE BOOK: Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane has highlighted some of the road rules motorists might have missed. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
RULE BOOK: Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane has highlighted some of the road rules motorists might have missed. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

IF you eat while driving, this might make you lose your appetite.

NSW Police’s Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane says technically a motorist can be fined $448 and lose three points for eating while behind the wheel.

“There are offences for negligent driving or not having proper control of a vehicle,” Inspector Macfarlane said.

He said police don’t often charge people, however, for such offences.

Inspector Macfarlane said the same goes for driving in thongs, which is not an offence under any road rule. 

But motorists can be prosecuted if it leads to negligent driving or not having proper control of a vehicle.

And there are more lesser-known rules which motorists should keep in mind.

For instance, parking an unregistered car on the road is punishable with a $673 fine.

Inspector Macfarlane said a motorist can be fined for an unlocked car as well. 

“The fine is $112 and three demerits if a motorist stands more than three metres away from his/her unattended vehicle and it has not been secured and keys removed,” Inspector Macfarlane said.

Failing to notify the NSW Government about a driver’s change of name or address can also invite a fine of $112 without the loss of any points.

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Showing affection while bidding farewell can prove costly: $337 and the loss of three points. 

Motorists are advised not to wave out the window or give a short, cheerful toot on the horn.

Inspector Macfarlane said horns can only be used to sound a warning, and vehicle occupants cannot extend limbs outside the vehicle.

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Passengers in the front seat of a car are also advised to wear their seatbelt properly. 

The driver of the car will have to pay $337 in traffic fines and lose three points if the person in the passenger seat has not fastened their seatbelt properly.

The person in the passenger seat is not supposed to recline their seat when the car is in motion.

Inspector Macfarlane said a driver can be fined $337 and lose three points or $448 and lose four points in a school zone if they can watch images or videos on a TV/VDU device installed in the car.

Inspector Macfarlane also tried to clear the confusion surrounding giving way to an emergency vehicle.

For instance, a driver will not be prosecuted if they cross the stop line or go through traffic lights in order to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle.

“Rule 78 and 79 Road Rules 2014 require drivers to give way to emergency vehicles. This could mean driving forward with care across a stop line or red light and allowing the emergency vehicle through,” Inspector Macfarlane said.  

“It would not exempt a driver from continuing through the intersection and not giving way to other vehicles.” 

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Another rule which motorists should keep in mind is driving in the correct lane.

The rule is that drivers should drive in the left lane unless overtaking. 

If a person drives in the right lane and is under the given road speed limit, they can lose two points and be asked to pay a $337 fine.  

“The driver must keep left if signs are erected (keep left unless overtaking), or the speed limit is above 80km/h (i.e. 90, 100, 110),” Inspector Macfarlane said.

Last but not least, motorists should be careful when driving in bad road conditions.

A driver can be prosecuted for splashing someone with mud while the latter is waiting for a bus.

The fine in this case is $187.

This story Fined for eating while driving? Here are 10 lesser-known rules that attract heavy fines first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.

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