Driving in a new country for the first time is never easy. It usually takes a while before you can feel confident when you are on the road. It is especially difficult when you have to learn new rules and regulations that are different from what you are used to. If you have just moved to Australia, there are some tips that will help to ensure that you have a smooth driving experience.
- Driving on the left
If you are from a country where driving on the left is the rule, this should not be too daunting. If, however, you are used to driving on the right, you may find it difficult to drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Just remember to follow other drivers on your lane and you will soon get used to it.
- Know the speed limits
Understanding the traffic rules in Australia will keep you out of trouble. Most states have a maximum speed limit of 100km/h on major highways and freeways. The city and suburb road limits generally range between 50 to 80 km/h. Make sure that you look out for road signs that are clearly visible and remember that speed detection cameras are in operation throughout the country. While you are at it, watch out for trams when you are in the city, they always have right of way.
- Wearing safety belts
You have to make sure that you always wear your safety belt when driving. Ensure that your passengers are belted up as well and use child restraints any time you have little kids in the car. You can be fined for failing to wear your seatbelt wherever you may be in the country. Learning traffic and safety rules will make your driving experience more pleasurable.
- Valid driving licence
When you decide to move to Australia, you will need to convert your driving licence from your native country. If you have a valid driving licence from your country, it may be valid in Australia for a period of three months but after that, you need to obtain an Australian driving licence. When you apply for a new driving licence, you will usually need to complete a verbal test. Carry the licence with you at all times.
It is also important to know that Australia has strict drink driving laws. Avoid getting behind the wheel if you have been drinking and remember that Australian police officers have the authority to pull over drivers for random breath tests.