Obscure road rules in Australia you might not realise you're breaking

Mel Buttigieg

Aussie drivers could unknowingly be breaking the law with an obscure list of road offences attracting hefty fines.

Most motorists are aware of the hefty fines associated with using a mobile phone while behind the wheel, but there are some lesser-known laws that could land many ignorant road users in hot water.


Pets in cars

Taking your dog along for a ride could become a costly outing for some owners of energetic puppers. Laws don’t specifically require animals to be restrained while travelling inside the cabin of vehicles, but drivers face heavy fines if their pet makes its way onto their lap while the vehicle is in motion.

Drivers face hefty fines if their pet makes its way onto their lap while the vehicle is in motion. Picture: Getty/File

In NSW this offence carries a fine of $397, and in Queensland it’s $260.

Dogs tied to cars

In Victoria it is also illegal for a driver or passenger to lead an animal or to tie an animal to the vehicle.

Hefty fines also apply in Victoria and South Australia if dogs travelling on the back of utes are not restrained. In New South Wales, drivers could even face a jail sentence if a dog is injured as a result of being unrestrained.

What has become a bit of a national tradition, honking your horn to say goodbye when driving away from friends and family is considered improper use.

Beeping your horn

Using a “warning device unnecessarily” could land motorists with a fine of up to $325 in NSW, or $300 in Queensland.

Being disrespectful to other road users is not just bad karma - it could also become a costly move.


Causing a splash

A New South Wales driver caught driving through a muddy puddle and splashing a pedestrian faces a $165 fine, while it is an offence in Queensland to drive within one metre of cyclists.

Motorists face a $353 fine for throwing banana peels out of a car window. Picture: YouTube/Jace Pierce


Distracting the driver

Those playing in-vehicle digital TV or DVD entertainment should ensure their viewing doesn’t distract other drivers. In New South Wales, this could fetch a $298 ticket.

Similarly, blasting music while cruising could sting drivers with hefty fines for “offensive noise”.


Throwing fruit

Motorists who think they are playing Mario Kart could be fined for littering if they are caught throwing banana peels out of the car window. Despite being biodegradable, the crime can cost up to $353.


Disturbing a funeral

Perhaps the most bizarre road law is the risk of losing 20 demerit points for speeding through or interrupting a funeral procession in New South Wales. Aside from being insensitive and rude, interfering with the free passage of a funeral cortege or authorised procession is a fineable offence in the state.

This maximum loss of penalty units equates to a suspension of up to five months for unrestricted drivers.