Changes to road rules

The State Government has implemented amendments to the Australian Road Rules that will remove ambiguity while improving road safety.

The Australian Road Rules are part of a national scheme to provide uniform road laws throughout Australia and specify behaviour for all road users that supports the safe and efficient use of roads.

Changes to the Road Rules include:

  • Allowing a child of any age with a disability or medical condition to sit in the front seat of a vehicle if the driver is carrying a medical certificate.
  • Exemption from wearing a helmet when pushing a motorbike with the engine not on (for example when at a service station).
  • Allowing motorbike riders to remove one foot from a footrest when the motorbike is moving (for example to stretch legs on longer journeys).
  • No longer allowing a video call to be made or received whilst driving.

There is also one rule specific to South Australia, which allows the rider of a bicycle to cross at an intersection that is showing a green bicycle crossing light.

This amendment addresses an inconsistency in the rules that do not currently provide an exemption for cyclists to disobey a red or yellow traffic light when faced with a green bicycle light. It mirrors the provisions allowing bus and tram drivers to drive against a red traffic light when faced with a white ‘B’ or ‘T’ light.

Background

The National Transport Commission manage all amendments to the Rules through a group that comprises representatives from road agencies and police from each of the States and Territories across Australia, as well as the Commonwealth.

Quotes attributable to Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas

Consistent national Road Rules are important to maintain order and safety on our roads. 

Rules are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they remain current and effective.

New rules such as disallowing video calls from being made while driving are common sense, but wouldn’t have been a consideration when the road rules were originally developed.”

There are a number of changes that better serve our motorcycle community, which I’m sure will be well received by riders.

It’s important that all drivers are familiar with the Road Rules for the safety of themselves and others on the road.