The Obscure and the Misunderstood Queensland Road Rules

If you’ve been driving in Queensland for a while, you probably think you’re across every road rule. You may even be driving with an unblemished record, which obviously makes you an expert. But we’ve unearthed a few obscure or misunderstood road rules that might have you thinking twice about your expertise!

Driving with an animal on your lap

Technically, your beloved pet can’t be anywhere in the driver’s space – so, as much as you love little Rex, and as much as little Rex loves cruising on your lap with his head out the window barking at passing cars – you’ll be barking mad when the police issue a fine. And while you should always restrain your pet to ensure the wellbeing of your pet and passengers, there is no current rule requiring it for pets travelling inside your vehicle.

Failing to give way to a “restive horse” 

Restive means restless, uneasy or likely to balk. When a horse rider signals their horse is jumpy, you’ll need to pull over to the far left side of the road and turn off your engine. You must not then move until you’re sure your vehicle’s engine or its movement will not aggravate the horse. You might not think this applies to you in your city commutes, but don’t forget, Queensland has a Mounted Police unit operating in city and suburban areas. 

Failing to give way to buses

You’ve probably seen it or experienced it yourself, when a bus driver has pulled out from a bus stop and forcibly entered the flow of traffic. It may have even made you a little bit mad. But legally, when driving in a built-up area with a speed limit of 70km/h or less, you must give way to any bus displaying a ‘give way to buses’ sign and indicating to enter traffic from a bus zone, bus stop, or bus stop bay, road shoulder, or the left side of the road. Please, no more swearing at the bus drivers.

Leaving your car unlocked

Just popping into the servo to grab a bottle of milk? Make sure you lock your car. In Queensland, it’s an offence to leave your car unlocked if you’re more than three metres away from it. Windows must also be wound up. It might not be a huge fine, but the law is in place to help prevent break-ins and theft.

Thinking a yellow light means, ‘go’

You must stop on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so, which usually means you are too close to the stop line that if you were to stop, you’d likely cause an accident. Contrary to popular belief, the yellow light does not grant permission to speed up or race through before it turns red!

A bonus one…

Please note that it’s illegal to drink-drive with any vehicle on our roads, whether that’s a car, bus, bicycle, motorcycle, horse, Segway or hoverboard…

If you’re feeling out of touch with some of Queensland’s more common road rules, you can always have a go at the refresher quiz on the Queensland Transport and Main Roads website.