The harmless road gesture that could cop you a $698 fine

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Drivers could be exposing themselves to a pricey fine by executing a common and seemingly innocent road gesture popularly regarded as a harmless act of good manners.

Farewelling family or friends with a friendly toot and wave can cost the person behind the wheel a whopping $698 and three points if they're caught out by police in NSW.

The charge is applicable if the driver sounds the horn at the same time hands or arms are waved outside the vehicle's windows.

If any part of the driver's body is outside the window or door while the car is being operated, they're eligible for a $349 fine and three demerit points.

Cars on a road in NSW.
Drivers could get themselves in trouble with a simple toot and wave. Source: Getty Images

Passengers can also cop the same fine but won't lose any points.

Using or allowing the use of a horn unnecessarily will also set the driver back $349, and passengers could also attract the same fine if they're found to have used a "device to make a sound like a siren".

The driver nor passenger will be stripped of points for the unnecessary use of a horn or siren sound.

Accumulatively, a simple honk and wave could theoretically cost a driver almost $700.

Unnecessary horn use in Queensland can cost a maximum of 20 penalty units, which are currently $133.45, meaning a driver could be stung $2,669 for the offence.

The maximum penalty in Victoria is one penalty unit, which is $165.22.

Inappropriate horn use in Tasmania could cost $122.25, while in South Australia the maximum fine is $298.

In Western Australia, the fine is equal to one penalty unit, which is currently $50.

The most expensive place to use your horn unnecessarily is in the ACT, where drivers can be hit with 20 penalty units which are currently $222 each, meaning they could be fined $4,440.

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