When it comes to road rules, learner drivers need to be particularly careful about what they try when venturing out onto the roads.
This extends to transporting other types of vehicles as some states in Australia have implemented a road rule that means learner drivers aren’t allowed to tow anything while on the road.
As this rule is not enforced in all states, it leads some drivers on their L-Plates not quite knowing what they can or can’t do when on the road. So what do cyclists need to know about this road rule?
A road rule headache
When it comes to learner drivers towing other vehicles, the rules vary significantly from state to state.
For those on their L-Plates in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, you aren’t allowed to tow anything when out on the road no matter if it is a trailer or a caravan.
However, it is a completely different story in Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory where learners are free to tow anything when out on the road.
If things weren’t complicated enough, anyone learning to drive in the ACT will find that they are allowed to tow a trailer weighing less than 750kg.
With such a wide variety of road rules around towing across Australia, learner drivers will need to be aware of local laws particularly if they live in a border region between conflicting states.
First-ever demerit points
If you live in a state where the road rule bans learners from towing while driving, then you can expect a combination of penalties looming should you be caught by the police.
Most states will not only issue a fine for the offence but also dish out demerit points to the novice driver acting as an extra deterrent to prevent them from breaking more road rules. Some of the penalties that can be handed out include:
NSW: NSW Police hand out perhaps the heaviest penalty for learners towing on the roads as they will issue L-platers with a $272 fine and two demerit points for their actions.
VIC: Whilst Victoria Police won’t hand out any demerit points to offenders caught towing on their L-Plates, new drivers can still expect a significant fine of $363 for their actions.
TAS: Even though Tasmanian authorities will only issue a fine of $87 to novice drivers for towing a vehicle, they will also be given two demerit points regardless if they are on an L1 or L2 licence.
ACT: If any learner driver exceeds the 750kg limit when towing a trailer, the local authorities will issue them with a penalty of $205.
For any learner driver, the threat of earning demerit points before even passing your test is enough to make them think twice about breaking any road rules.
It’s why it is worth paying attention to every local road rule when on your L-plates and ensuring you know whether something as innocuous as towing a trailer will land you in trouble with local authorities.
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