5 commonly misunderstood road rules.
October 13, 2014 at 11:48 PM
1. Indication when going straight ahead (taking the second exit) on a roundabout.
If you are going 'straight' through a roundabout:
- don't signal as you come up to the roundabout
- signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take. At some small roundabouts it may not be possible to give three seconds warning, but it is courteous to give as much indication as you can.
Single-laned roundabout Multi-laned roundabout
2. Give way rules when approaching a cross intersection controlled by a Give Way or Stop sign.
When both vehicles are facing the same control, such as Stop signs, Give Way signs and green traffic signals, apply the rule "straight before turning".
3. Following distance rules.
Keeping a safe following distance
A good way to make sure you always keep a safe following distance is to use the two-second rule or the four-second rule, which are explained below.
The two-second rule
Under normal conditions, the two-second rule is an easy way to make sure you have allowed enough following distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front, no matter what speed you're travelling at.
To check if you are travelling two seconds behind the vehicle in front:
- watch the vehicle in front of you pass a landmark – such as a sign, tree or power pole – at the side of the road
- as it passes the landmark, start counting 'one thousand and one, one thousand and two'
- if you pass the landmark before you finish saying those eight words, you are following too closely - slow down, pick another landmark and repeat the words to make sure you have increased your following distance.
The four-second rule
In bad weather, when the road is wet or slippery, or when you're towing a trailer, you need to increase your following distance to four seconds, because you'll take longer to stop if you need to.
To check that you are travelling four seconds behind the vehicle in front, follow the instructions above for the two second rule, but count 'one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, one thousand and four' instead.
4. Using Flush Medians.
Turning on or off a road with a flush median
A flush median is a strip in the centre of the road that is marked with white diagonal lines within parallel lines. It provides a place for vehicles that are turning right, or vehicles that have turned right onto the road from a side road or driveway.
You can only drive onto the flush median to:
- wait to move into a gap in the traffic flow after you have turned right (car A in the diagram below)
- slow down and wait before turning right (car B in the diagram below).
Using a flush median
5. Stopping at intersections.
You must not go into or attempt to cross the intersection, railway level crossing, pedestrian crossing or an area controlled by pedestrian traffic signals, unless there is space for your vehicle on the other side of the intersection or crossing.
Not blocking the intersection