Driving on freeways quickly becomes second nature for most motorists once they hit the road, but are you sure you remember all the official rules or are you operating on autopilot.
Would you be able to answer this Service NSW Driver Knowledge test question on joining a freeway correctly?
The question asks: “When merging onto the freeway from the entrance, you should?”
It then gives you three answers to choose from:
Look for a large enough break in the traffic and adjust your speed to fit into the traffic flow.
Sound your horn, turn on your indicator lights and move onto the freeway.
Stop and check the traffic behind you on the entrance.
So, do you think you would ace this question?
Correct road rules revealed
With stopping or moving over instantly having serious potential for causing an accident, the correct answer to this question is indeed option number 1.
This answer falls directly in line with the Australian Road Rules and particularly with Rule 148 which states that drivers have to give way to faster traffic if merging into another lane.
In particular, this rule states that drivers in a marked lane have to give way to a car they are level with if they are merging into the adjacent marked lane.
The prime example given for this by the authorities is any slip road merging onto a freeway where drivers joining the road need to give way to motorists already travelling on there.
With this a common feature on roads across Australia, it is a rule that has been unilaterally adopted by all states in the country.
Police ready to stop dangerous drivers
Merging dangerously into high-speed areas is a move that could put other drivers at serious risk therefore it’s no real surprise that police come down hard on anyone who is caught trying this.
Police across the country are prepared to issue both fines and demerit points to offending individuals which add up to some serious consequences. Some of these penalties include:
NSW: NSW Police won’t hesitate to issue three demerit points and a $349 fine to anyone who doesn’t give way when merging lanes on roads in New South Wales.
VIC: In Victoria, drivers face getting a $273 fine and earning two demerit points on their licence should the authorities catch them not giving way when merging lanes.
QLD: Queensland Police punish offending drivers severely for not giving way when merging lanes as they can dish out a $413 fine as well as adding three demerit points to their licence.
SA: South Australian drivers could be in for a nasty shock if they don’t give way when merging lanes into faster traffic as they could be handed a fine of $455 and three demerit points by SA Police.
WA: Drivers in Western Australia could be handed two demerit points and a $100 fine from the local authorities if they don’t give way when merging lanes.
ACT: If anyone in Canberra is caught merging lanes illegally, they could get slapped with a fine of $301 and three points from ACT Police.
NT: Drivers in the Northern Territory who are caught merging between marked lanes illegally may face a fine worth one penalty unit or $157 from the local authorities.
Knowing that merging incorrectly could cause a serious accident on the roads, it’s easy to see why the police are ready to punish anyone found breaking these road rules particularly on freeways.
It’s why driver knowledge tests drill these road rules into the minds of new drivers so they are prepared to hit the road in a high-speed setting.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.