Road rules

This page contains answers to the most common questions young people ask us about road rules.  It is not a full list of road rules! If you’re under 18 and have a specific question about something not listed here, you can get help here.

Navigate this page

Do I have to wear a seatbelt?

Yes.  

It’s against the law to ride in a car without a seatbelt if you’re over 16. If you’re over 16 and you’re caught riding in a car without a seatbelt, you could be fined $435.

Even if you’re under 16, it’s still a good idea to wear a seat belt.  The driver can be fined if any passenger is not wearing a seatbelt. With your seatbelt on, you’re 10 times more likely to survive a crash.  

It’s also against the law to drive a car without a seatbelt.  If you’re caught, you can be fined $435 and you’ll also lose up to 3 demerit points.   Also if any of the passengers you’re driving aren’t wearing a seatbelt, you could be fined as much as $435 and lose 3 demerit points.

Feel free to watch the following video on seatbelt safety here: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3948861.htm

Bicycles

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet on a bicycle.  It doesn’t matter if you are riding the bike yourself, carrying someone with you who isn’t riding or riding on a tandem bike with someone else.  If you’re caught, both the rider and the passenger could be fined $132.  

Can I ride on the footpath?

Yes.  Remember, if you’re riding on the footpath, you have to keep to the left and give way to any pedestrians.  If you break these rules, you could be fined $132!

For more information on other rules for bike riders in the ACT and tips on how to stay safe, check out these factsheets from the ACT Government:

Motorbikes

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet.  This rule is the same for both drivers and riders on a motorbike.  If you’re caught you could be fined $435. If you’re the driver and you or your passenger are not riding with a helmet, you could lose up to 3 demerit points.

Other rules for motorcyclists on L and P plates

There are also special rules about riding a motorcycle if you’re an L or P plater.  Please check out our Licences page for more information about these rules.  

Mobile phones

In the ACT, you can only use your phone while you’re not parked if:

  • the phone is mounted in a special holder (like on your windscreen); or
  • the phone is somewhere else and you don’t need to touch it to use it (for example you’re using a Bluetooth headset);

If you’re caught using your phone without following these rules, you could be fined $416 and lose 3 demerit points!

If you’re caught using your phone for messaging, social networking, mobile application or accessing internet while driving, you could be fined $511 and lose 4 demerit points!

Even though it’s legal to use your phone in the ACT, it’s still much safer for you to pull over, park and then look at your phone.  

Skateboards, rollerblades and roller-skates

Do I have to wear a helmet?

No, you don’t have to wear a helmet while on a skateboard, rollerblade or roller-skate, but it’s still a good idea.

There are also some other laws about riding skateboards, rollerblades and roller-skates:

  • You must keep to the left of a footpath or shared path unless it is impractical to do so.
  • You must give way to pedestrians.
  • If the local council has put up a sign prohibiting skating in certain areas you must abide by these signs.

Number plates

When you’re driving a car or motorbike, your number plates must always be visible. If they’re not, you could be fined $176.

Speeding

Speeding is always against the law. If you’re caught speeding, you could lose your licence on the spot, depending on how fast you were going.

If you’re on your L or P licence, there are special speeding laws that apply to you.  Please check out our Licences page for more information.

More information about road rules

For more information about the road rules in the ACT, check out the ACT Road Rules Handbook: http://www.rego.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/565029/ACT_Road_Rules_Handbook.pdf

If you’re under 25 and you have a question about road rules that we haven’t answered here, please ask us a question here and we can give you some free information and advice.

Got a question you
 can’t get answered?

If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.

Get help now

Select Your State or Territory

The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.