Are you breaking the rules of the road without realising?

Date:Jan 31, 2019

Many NSW drivers could face fines, demerit points and even licence suspensions because they are unintentionally breaking the law while behind the wheel.

Fleet software firm Teletrac Navman has published a list of basic driving rules that some motorists may not even realise exist, a number of which come with hefty punishments for those who fail to adhere.

Are you guilty of any of these indiscretions?

1. Playing your music too loud

You could be fined up to $200 in NSW for playing overly loud music in your vehicle. The amount is slightly lower in Queensland ($175), although most people should be able to avoid the fine completely, as police officers can only issue a penalty once a warning or request to lower the volume has been ignored.

2. Beeping your horn for the wrong reason

Motorists should only beep their horn to warn other road users or animals of their presence and avoid accidents. While you may be tempted to give a goodbye honk to a friend or lean on your horn to show your disdain for someone else's driving, you could be fined up to $298 in NSW for unnecessary beeps.

3. Driving too slowly

Everyone knows you have to stay below the speed limit, but were you aware that driving too slowly is also a punishable offence? In fact, you could end up with four demerit points and a $253 fine if you're judged to be illegally obstructing another vehicle's path, which can include dawdling behind the wheel.

4. Letting passengers hold a baby

As a driver, you are responsible for the safety of everyone in your vehicle, and baby seats are a legal requirement for all children under four years old. You could therefore be fined up to $500 and receive three demerit points if you allow a passenger to hold a baby while a car is in motion.

5. Having a dirty number plate

Cleaning your car isn't the most glamorous of jobs, but at least make the effort to ensure your licence plate isn't obscured or difficult to read. If a police officer deems your number plate to be illegible, you may have to pay $415 and add three demerit points to your record.

How do these rules affect my compensation claim?

People who are involved in motor accidents in NSW may be entitled to substantial compensation for their injuries if the other party was driving negligently. Many of the above actions are likely to be viewed unfavourably by a judge and could sway a decision in your favour.

However, if you were injured while breaking the rules of the road, any potential payout can be reduced due to contributory negligence. To find out whether or not you are entitled to compensation, please call Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers on 1800 004 878 today.

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