You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox

If you are looking for information on ANZ CCI class action click here

Car Headlights 628X290

You know the old Aussie tradition: see a cop car or unmarked speed camera and flash your headlights to warn other drivers. But is it legal? And when can you use your headlights legally? We give you the basics.

The legal purpose of headlights

According to Section 215 of the Australian Road Rules (2006), low-beam headlights must be used for driving at night or in hazardous conditions that cause reduced visibility – playing a clear role in avoiding and preventing accidents.

In fact, since the introduction of daytime running lamps (DRL) on vehicles in Australia, there has been a reduction of multiple vehicle injury accidents by up to 20 per cent and a reduction of fatal pedestrian accidents by up to 28 per cent.

However, when it comes to high-beam headlights, the road rules are stricter. This is because high-beam headlights have a stronger propensity to dazzle other road users, sometimes to the point of momentary blindness.

To flash or not to flash

While there is no specific road rule against flashing your lights with the purpose to warn other drivers, there are rules that can be (and often are) flexibly applied to the situation.

Therefore, it’s worth noting these rules and the fines that apply.

Flashing close to oncoming traffic

According to section 218 of the Australian Road Rules (2006), if you’re using high-beam headlights, you need to have at least a 200-metre buffer in front of your vehicle or any oncoming vehicle. However, if the driver is overtaking a vehicle, the driver may briefly switch the headlights from low-beam to high-beam immediately before the driver begins to overtake the vehicle.

Flashing to ‘dazzle’

Section 219 of the Australian Road Rules (2006) also prohibits you from flashing your lights to dazzle other road users.

If you get caught doing so in Victoria, you could face an on-the-spot fine of three penalty points ($455.01 as at 2015-16).

Laws state-by-state

The Australian Road Rules are not necessarily followed to the letter by each state – they are part of a national scheme to provide uniform road laws throughout Australia. Each state and territory is governed by its own set of road rules and it's worth checking to see how the law is specifically applied in your state.

Recent developments

The Victorian government’s installation of concealed speed cameras in 2013 caused the media to raise the question of whether ‘flashing warnings’ to other road users would see more fines.

Victorian Police Traffic Superintendent Dean McWhirter responded by encouraging road users to continue the practice in the hopes that it would build awareness about those newly installed concealed cameras.

"If that occurs I am comfortable with that because it means actually people are getting the message [about the concealed speed cameras]," Supt McWhirter told the Herald Sun.

While that may have been the position in 2013 in Victoria, the situation now Australia-wide is uncertain and the practice is indeed a risky one.

One hopes that everyone is paying enough attention to the road that light flashing is wholly unnecessary.

For more information, speak to one of our team today.

Submit an online enquiry

If you are looking for information on ANZ CCI class action click here

Sorry, but we can't help you with that.

Unfortunately, we don't offer legal services in this area for non-union members.

To help solve your legal matter, we have a network of firms and associations we can recommend.

If you are a member of a union, please visit our Union Services page to find out how we can help.

Our commercial litigation team has now joined Aptum Legal, specialist dispute resolution and commercial litigation lawyers.

To help solve your legal matter, click here to be redirected to Aptum Legal.

If you are a member of a union, please visit our Union Services page to find out how we can help.

Our estate lawyers now operate a specialist practice at Zion Legal.

To help solve your legal matter, click here to be redirected to Zion Legal who are specialists in Will and inheritance disputes.

If you are a member of a union, please visit our Union Services page to find out how we can help.

If you are enquiring about a new class action, click here

Or

If you are enquiring about an existing class action, click here

If you are looking for information on ANZ CCI class action click here

If you’re enquiring about Compulsory Acquisition of Land

Click here and complete and complete online enquiry form.

If you’re enquiring about Planning or Environmental Contamination

Click here and complete and complete online enquiry form.

If you’re enquiring on behalf of a not for profit/indigenous organisation

Click here and complete and complete online enquiry form.

How can we help? Back
Or

Did you know you can start your free claim check online by simply answering a few questions here here here here ?
Or
if you prefer, you can fill in the form below and we will give you a call back as soon as possible.

Thank you for your enquiry

Our Client Services team will be in touch with you shortly.

The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Compensation Law
How to reduce your out of pocket medical costs if you’ve been injured at work

When you’re injured at work, one of the main priorities is getting medical treatment so you can get onto the road to recovery. However, medical treatments can be expensive and you don’t want to be out of pocket for these costs. That’s where WorkCover insurance comes in. WorkCover is a compulsory insurance that covers Australian employees, to provide them with benefits and financial support if they get injured or sick at work, regardless of who is at fault. Most workplaces must provide this insurance to their full-time, part-time and casual employees. If you’ve been injured at work the first thing to do is make a WorkCover claim. You should do this as soon as possible and once your...

Woman receiving physiotherapy treatment
Compensation Law
Can you still claim workers compensation if you’ve been injured whilst working from home?

COVID-19 has created what has been described as the largest working-from-home experiment the world has ever seen. The current pandemic has caused a fundamental change in the way many of us work and the location we are now working from. One of the interesting issues which arises from this shift is the question of what compensation entitlements a person might have if they suffer an injury whilst working at home. Every state and territory’s rules differ, but workers’ compensation generally applies to workers who suffer physical or psychological injuries whilst doing their job. The location of work is not usually important, so as a starting point, injuries which occur whilst you’re...

Working from home
Compensation Law
Revisiting unfair decisions for abuse survivors

It’s been one year since the doors were opened for child abuse survivors to have a second chance at receiving the financial support and justice they deserve. The Children Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was announced on 14 June, allowing courts to set aside unjust judgements or settlements. The Catholic Church’s Melbourne Response and Towards Healing schemes imposed caps on compensation in years gone by, often giving abuse survivors no choice but to accept totally inadequate settlements considering the horrors experienced in their childhoods. Settlements often required the survivor to sign a deed of release and confidentiality clause preventing them from speaking out or taking further...

Child in hallway

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.