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As many families plan to embark on a road trips over the festive season, Slater and Gordon Lawyers are encouraging motorists to brush up on their road rules before getting behind the wheel.

We've put together a list of road rules that you might not be aware of.

  1. A toot ‘goodbye’ can lead to an infringement notice in all Australian jurisdictions. You can be fined if you use your horn for anything other than warning animals or other road users, or if it’s fitted to the car’s security system or alcohol interlock device.
  2. It is well known that talking or texting on your mobile while driving is a big no-no, but did you know that holding or touching your phone is classified as ‘using a handheld device’ and incurs the same penalty? It is also worth noting that this includes a GPS.
  3. In most states, drivers can be fined for giving less than one metre of space when passing a cyclist when travelling less than 60km/h and less than 1.5 metres when travelling over 60km/h. In New South Wales, you could cop a $319 fine and two demerit points.
  4. While it seems to be an unwritten Australian custom to alert drivers to cops up ahead, flashing your headlights is an offence unless being done to respond to an emergency. In New South Wales, this carries a fine of $108 and 1 demerit point.
  5. It is illegal to drive with your fog lights on in Australia unless there is fog, mist or other atmospheric conditions that restrict visibility. You can be fined $100 and lose one demerit point in Western Australia.
  6. In most Australian states, it is illegal to make a U-turn at an intersection unless there is a U-turn permitted sign or a green U-turn traffic light. Only in Victoria can you make a U-turn in the absence of the sign - it is only illegal when a U-turn prohibited sign is displayed.
  7. In Queensland, you may be given up to 48 hours to present your licence after being pulled over at a police station. However, if you are in New South Wales or Tasmania, you are likely to face an immediate fine if you forget it ($50 in Tasmania or $106 in New South Wales).
  8. In Victoria, you can be fined for having a bike rack fitted to your vehicle if it is not carrying bicycles.
  9. In Queensland and Victoria, your windows must be up and your car secure if you are more than three metres away. Otherwise, in Queensland, you could receive a $44 fine.
  10. In all Australian jurisdictions, it is not illegal to drive in thongs. It is, however, advised by safety experts to drive barefoot so your feet can grip the pedals.