Welcome to Queensland your visit may be more enjoyable if you are aware of some basic road rules and road conditions. It will mean a safer and happier visit.
This page provides an introduction to those rules. A more comprehensive guide appears in the English language only booklet, “Your keys to driving in Queensland “, available from Queensland Transport offices and newsagencies. Alternatively, visit Queensland Government Transport and Main Roads website here.
Your Drivers Licence
When staying temporarily in Queensland, you may drive only if you hold a current valid driver’s licence issued under any law of the State or Territory of Australia, or the country in which you usually reside, and the licence covers the class of vehicle being driven.
If your licence is not in English, you must obtain and carry your International Permit or an official translation of that licence. You must carry your licence at all times when driving.
Anybody who allows another person to drive knowing the person does not hold a driver’s licence is committing an offence.
All vehicle occupants must wear a seatbelt and ensure they are securely fastened and properly adjusted.
If you are a driver, you must ensure all children are properly restrained in an approved child restraint or seat belt.
Important Road Rules
- You must drive on the left except on a one-way road
- You must give way to traffic on your right at crossroad intersections and round abouts not controlled by signs or traffic lights. This rule also applies if the traffic lights at an intersection are continuously flashing yellow or are not working
- You must give way if you are turning from a terminating road onto the ongoing road at an intersection.
- Even if you have a green traffic light, you are only permitted to proceed if the intersection is clear from traffic.
- You must always give way to pedestrians, not just at marked pedestrian crossings
- You must position your vehicle in the left lane unless indicated otherwise at a roundabout, direction travels clockwise on a roundabout.
- You must use your indicators at least 30 metres prior to turning right or left or prior to stopping
- You may only make a U-turn at intersections controlled by traffic lights when a sign specifically allows this.
- You must keep a 3 second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to avoid a collision, this may require to be longer dependant on the road conditions.
Unless otherwise indicated by official traffic signs, all local streets in built up areas are 50kms per hour and 100kms per hour outside of the built up areas.
If you don’t see a speed limit sign in a built up area, don’t drive faster than 50km/hr.
Road Markings & Overtaking
- You may cross a single broken centre line to complete a safe overtaking except when approaching the crest of a hill or within 30 metres of an intersection or a level crossing
- Where the road marking is a double centre line comprising two continuous lines or a continuous line, you cannot cross the lines from the continuous side at any time. This means no right hand turns, U-turns, overtaking or turning into private property
Parallel parking applies unless another method of parking is shown by an official sign. You are not permitted to reverse out of a parking area established across the centre of a road. Remember, where angle parking is permitted, your vehicle should be at a 45 degree angle to the kerb.
Parking is prohibited on footpaths, bus stops and close to post boxes, intersections and railway level crossings.
It is illegal to park against the flow of traffic and on any hill or curve where your parked vehicle could obstruct the view of approaching drivers.
When looking for a parking space in a busy area, be sure to read the official traffic signs. The area may be a prohibited parking area. Clearways are reserved for through traffic. It is illegal to park or stop in clearways during the times indicated on the signs.
Drinking & Driving
Queensland has a .05 percent blood alcohol limit for drivers with an open licence. A zero blood alcohol content applies for provisional licence holders and all heavy vehicle and licensed-vehicle drivers. If you decline a breath specimen to a Police Officer, you may be charged with failure to supply and may be arrested.
Important Traffic Signs
|StopYour vehicle must come to a complete stop as close as possible to the stop line on the road and give way to all vehicles including oncoming traffic. If there is no stop line painted on the road, stop where you have a clear view of all approaching traffic and count to 3 before proceeding.|
|Give WayYou must give way to all vehicles including oncoming traffic. You are required to slow down when nearing this sign as you may have to stop to avoid an accident.|
Plan your route before you enter a freeway and know your exit. Please observe these basic rules:
- Do not stop except in the event of an emergency or breakdown. If you must stop, use the emergency lane or bay provided;
- Do not travel in the emergency lane except when stopping;
- Do not make U-turns and do not reverse;
- Signal early before changing lanes to allow a greater warning time to compensate for higher speeds than usual;
- Be prepared and ensure you are in the correct lane when approaching your exit ramp. If you miss your exit you cannot turn back and you must continue ahead to the next exit.
Road & Weather Conditions
Because of Queensland’s vast size, road and weather conditions can vary substantially. Roads, particularly in rural areas, can taper quickly and can have dangerous or loose edges. Vehicles travelling in opposite directions must share the available bitumen. Allow room by slowing down and staying as close to the left hand shoulder as safely possible.
Enjoy your sightseeing but stop occasionally to allow vehicles behind you to pass. Remember gravel or loose road surfaces are deceptive and should be approached with extreme caution.
Queensland’s weather can vary from extreme dryness to heavy rain and cause many hazards from clouds of dust which reduce visibility or flash floods which can cover even major roads with deep water. Drive according to road conditions. Wherever possible, avoid driving into the rising or setting sun.
Queensland’s animal population ranges from native species to farmyard animals and family pets. Animals including horses, cattle, sheep, koalas and kangaroos find their way onto roads. They can be a road safety risk for an unwary driver.
Drive with caution – especially at night – and approach animals slowly!
Queensland is vast, and long distance travel may be a vital part of your visit. Remember the effects of driver fatigue caused by long hours behind the wheel. Should you feel fatigued at any point ensure you pull over in a safe place to rest and revive.
If you choose to drive, make sure you begin your trip fresh, rest at least every two hours and share the driving if possible.
The information provided here is a basic introduction only to Queensland road rules and is not a comprehensive or definitive explanation. If you require a comprehensive list of rulings please click here