Hefty $323 fine for common indicator mistake while driving

It’s sometimes easy to forget to flick off the indicator once you've turned the corner, yet some motorists might be shocked to learn people its an oversight that breaches the laws of the road.

There are road rules in place that could punish drivers for failing to switch off the indicator after turning from one road to another.

With both big fines and demerit points potentially lurking for anyone caught doing this, it is something that drivers ought to keep an eye on when they are behind the wheel. So why is this move frowned upon by authorities?

A driver's hand touching the indicator signal inside their car.
It is actually illegal to not cancel your indicator signal after turning. Source: Getty Images

A forgotten road rule

Whilst driving around with your indicator needlessly on might seem like a harmless act, it is still something that could be a potential distraction to other motorists.

It’s why there are two rules in the Australian Road Rules framework that are designed to prevent such acts, which are:

Even though the rules themselves don’t give a specific distance or timeframe for the lights to stop, drivers are expected to cancel their indicating signal as soon as they have finished making their turn.

As it can be seen as a potential distraction, both of the rulings have been integrated into local road legislation across all Australian states.

The left turn signal arrow glows green on a car's dashboard.
Rule 46 of the Australian Road Rules framework requires drivers to cancel their left signal after turning. Source: Getty Images

Unexpected fines for indicating error

Even though the error may seem like a small one to make, it doesn’t stop police officers from handing down some big penalties if someone is caught in the act.

Some states will offer a combination of fines and demerit points to offenders who have left their indicator running after making a turn. Some of these penalties include:

VIC: Drivers in Victoria can expect a fine of $182 and two demerit points from police should they leave either indicator running after making a turn

QLD: Queenslanders could cop an $82 fine and two points on their licence if they are caught leaving their indicators on after turning by local police.

SA: South Australia has harsh penalties for failing to cancel an indicator signal with drivers facing a $323 fine and two demerit points.

ACT: In Canberra, any driver found not cancelling their indicators could face a $205 fine from ACT Police as well earning two points on their licence.

A woman turns on the indicator signal in her car.
Some states give drivers two demerit points for not cancelling their indicator after turning. Source: Getty Images

In some states and territories, authorities will not dish out demerit points to motorists who leave their indicators running, only issuing a fine. Those are:

No matter what the outcome might be, the risk of both fines and demerit points may be a surprise to drivers caught making such an error.

It’s why it is always a good idea to ensure that you always cancel your indicator signal after turning to avoid getting caught in such a pitfall.

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