The army of Grey Nomads increases daily as retirees take to Australian roads to complete their post-retirement pilgrimage. Add to the mix a constant stream of backpackers, business travellers, other tourists and professional transport drivers and it is easy to see why our roads, both highways and byways, are beginning to choke. To further confuse motorists, a universal set of driving rules, the Australian Road Rules, are still awaiting full implementation by all the states and territories.
Road Rules can Differ from State to State
This is especially frustrating for transport companies that operate across the country as this makes their compliance with road rules in every state more expensive in terms of their management systems and the training they must provide their drivers. If professional drivers find this all confusing, spare a thought for the other road users. They know the road rules in the state where they gained their driver licence, but would not necessarily know the finer details of other state’s requirements. It is even more difficult for companies that hire their vehicles to clients who drive them interstate.
As a reliable car hire company, Alpha Car Hire does everything possible to ensure the safety of their hire car clients. Their vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained, and they are late model vehicles containing the latest safety features. Insurance and licence checks are conducted and drivers must be a minimum of 21 years old. The only proof any car hire company has that the drivers know the road rules are their driver licences.
Transport and Main Roads Website Advisory
In Queensland, the government body charged with the responsibility for the management of the state’s roads and licensing systems is the Department of Transport and Main Roads. Their website advises that occasional changes are made to the Queensland road rules to align them with the Australian road rules. However, no changes have been made recently.
Regardless of this, Transport and Main Roads do make an effort to keep people up to date with Queensland road rules. Their website has a number of resources available to conscientious drivers to refresh their knowledge. These resources are very useful for people who have held their licence continuously for many years and who may not have had the intensive training young people now go through to get a driver licence.
Try a Road Trip Quiz and Test Your Knowledge
The Road Trip quiz is a simple 5 question test that takes only a few minutes. The questions seem simple enough but only those drivers who are confident in their knowledge of the Queensland road rules will score 5 out of 5. For an update on the most commonly misunderstood rules, Transport and Main Roads have provided brief notes and accompanying videos for eleven different safe driving topics. The videos are much easier to follow than a set of written rules and far more useful for most adult learning styles.
Ten Most Misunderstood Road Rules in Queensland
A Road Rules Refresher Guide is available for download from the website but comes with a warning that it is only suitable for use by Queensland residents, as the road rules may vary from state to state. That being said, it is still an excellent resource, as it features the 10 most misunderstood road rules. Merging, keeping left and roundabouts are the first three topics, followed by changing lanes and yellow traffic lights.
Number 6 features safe following distances, 7 is crossing continuous centre lines and islands, 8 is all about giving way and finally 9 and 10 discuss U-turns and overtaking. Most are accompanied by diagrams and those that aren’t have clear instructions. None of these topics is particularly difficult, but a general lack of understanding of the road rules that apply see them regularly featured in traffic accidents.
“Your Keys to Driving in Queensland” a Complete Guide
The final major resource available is the definitive book of rules entitled “Your Keys to Driving in Queensland.” The Department has made it readily accessible, either by purchase online or from one of their customer service centres. It is also available as a free download, either in its entirety or by chapter. This is very useful for those who just want to brush up on a couple of key areas.
Having all these resources readily available really gives Queensland drivers no excuses when it comes to not knowing the road rules. What becomes difficult is the variation in road rules between the states and the very real possibility that a driver can commit a traffic offence in another state without even being aware of it.
Universal Road Rules Would Help Everyone
It is unrealistic to expect travellers touring the whole country to know every road rule in every state and territory. More work is needed to complete the process of having the Australian road rules become the force of law throughout the country. This would also give companies like Alpha Car Hire some certainty about how they prepare their vehicles for interstate travel. With a universal set of rules in place, it would be quite feasible for hire car companies to have a laminated set of road rules in each vehicle.
Alpha Car Hire supports the efforts of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads in keeping drivers up to date with the state’s road rules. Everyone wants their trip to be both enjoyable and safe, and hiring from Alpha is a great way to start. Their website at www.alphacarhire.com.au has everything a traveller would need to know.