drivers handbook

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the drivers handbookIn this book: yourroadsafetyresponsibilities theroadrules driversandlicensing vehiclesandregistration fitnesstodriveselfassessment.

The information contained within this handbook has been prepared to help you become better informed about road safety, road rules, drivers and licensing and vehicle registration. It should not be taken as a precise interpretation of the law. It does not set out to be complete or a substitute for the legislation made by Parliament. Recent changes in laws may not be reflected in this publication. The Drivers Handbook can be downloaded from If you require further information, please call 13 10 84 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. Information on the relevant South Australian legislation may be obtained from the following web site:

references TheDrivingCompanion(forLearnerDrivers) AustralianRoadRules RoadTrafficAct(1961)andRegulations MotorVehiclesAct(1959)andRegulations Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. This work is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Department. First published in Australia 2000.MR200 September 2010.








Welcome to the Drivers Handbook which is designed to support all road users and contains essential information and useful tips.

Before you drive Think about safety. Know the risks and be prepared. Your Road Safety Responsibilities reminds you about the major risks on the road and how to avoid them. Know the road rules. Road rules are explained in the Road Rules section. Be licensed. Ensure that your drivers licence or permit is current, appropriate for the vehicle you are driving and with you. Refer to the Drivers and Licensing section for details. The Drivers and Licensing section also incorporates Fitness to Drive. Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, registered and insured. All drivers of registered vehicles in South Australia are covered by Compulsory Third Party Insurance. Refer to the Vehicles and Registration section for details. Whilst I recommend that you read this handbook from cover to cover, if you are applying for a learners permit, you will need to study the Road Safety and Road Rules section carefully. Stay alert and travel safely.Registrar of Motor Vehicles

New in this edition: newchildrestraintlaws-page42 newgraduatedlicensingschemerules-page106 high-poweredvehiclerestrictionsforprovisionaldrivers- page120.

The Drivers Handbook


ContentsYour Road Safety ResponsibilitiesRoad Safety Minimising the Risks 6 Young Drivers 8 Understand Different Types of Crashes and How to Avoid Them 10 Speeding and Inappropriate Travel Speeds 13 Alcohol, Drugs, Medicines and Driving 16 Seatbelts 22 Driver Distraction and Inattention 24 Driver Fatigue 26 Share the Road 28 Hazardous Driving Situations 31 In Case of a Crash 35

Road RulesHow to Read the Diagrams 40 Care, Courtesy, Common Sense 41 Seatbelts and Restraints 42 Speed Limits 44 Driving on the Road 47 Signs 54 Driving Signals 56 Traffic Lights 61 Crossings 64 Giving Way 68 Approaching and Entering a Roundabout 75 Freeways and Expressways 77 Obstruction 79 Towing and Loads 80 Driving at Night or in Poor Visibility 82 Motorcycles 84 Cyclists 86 Sharing the Road with Heavy Vehicles 88 Parking 91 Miscellaneous Rules 97

Drivers and LicensingObtaining a Licence 102 Graduated Licensing Scheme 106 Fitness to Drive 126

Vehicles and RegistrationWhat to do as a Seller 146 What to do When Buying a Car 147

Glossary and IndexGlossary 148 Index 152

The Drivers Handbook














SMinimum Driving Experience 17years: ifyouareundertheageof25youmusthave heldyourlearnerspermitforatleast12months. ifyouareaged25oroveryoumusthave heldyourlearnerspermitforatleast6months. Must have held a class C for at least one year. Must have held a class C for at least one year.

Licence Class

Motor Vehicles Authorised To Be Driven Anymotorvehiclewithagrossvehiclemass(GVM)notgreaterthan4.5tonnesbutdoes not include a bus, motorcycle or motor trike. The motor vehicle may tow a single trailer, subject to the combination mass limits fixed under the Road Traffic Act 1961. AnymotorvehiclefromclassC. AnyothermotorvehiclewithaGVMnotgreaterthan8tonnesexceptamotorcycleor motor trike. The motor vehicle may tow a single trailer, subject to the combination mass limits fixed under the Road Traffic Act 1961. AnymotorvehiclefromclassLR. Anyothermotorvehiclewith2axlesexceptamotorcycleormotortrike.Themotorvehicle maytowasingletrailer(otherthanasemi-trailer)withaGVMnotgreaterthan9tonnes, subject to the combination mass limits fixed under the Road Traffic Act 1961. AnyspecialpurposevehiclewithaGVMnotgreaterthan15tonnes. AnymotorvehiclefromclassMR. Anyothermotorvehicle(includinganarticulatedbus,butnotincludinganyotherarticulated motor vehicle) with 3 or more axles, except a motorcycle or motor trike. The motor vehicle maytowasingletrailer(otherthanasemi-trailer)withaGVMnotgreaterthan9tonnes, subject to the combination mass limits fixed under the Road Traffic Act 1961. AnymotorvehiclefromclassHR. Anyprimemovertowhichisattachedasinglesemi-trailer(whetherornotanyunladen converter dolly or low loader dolly is also attached). AnyrigidmotorvehicletowhichisattachedasingletrailerwithaGVMgreaterthan 9tonnes(whetherornotanyunladenconverterdollyorlowloaderdollyisalsoattached). Anymotorvehicleorcombinationofmotorvehiclesexceptamotorcycleormotortrike. Anyapprovedmotorcycleormotortriketheenginecapacityofupto660mlwitha power-to-weightrationotexceeding150kw/t.



Theapplicantmusthaveheld(a) a class C for at least two years; or (b) a class LR or MR for at least one year. Must have held a class MR or HR for at least one year.



Must have held a class HC or HR for at least one year. 17years;andifnootherlicenceisheld: ifyouareundertheageof25youmusthave heldyourlearnerspermitforatleast12months. ifyouareaged25oroveryoumusthave heldyourlearnerspermitforatleast6months. MusthaveheldaclassR-DATE*foratleast one year.


TheholderofadriverslicenceendorsedR-Dateremainsrestrictedtoamotorcycleormotortrikewithanenginecapacityupto660millilitreswithapowertoweightratio upto150kw/tuntilheorsheisgrantedalicenceendorsedR,notwithstandingthefactthatthedateincludedontheclassificationmayhavepassed.


The Drivers Handbook

Your Road Safety ResponsibilitiesYou are encouraged to carefully read the following road safety pages. They can help South Australian drivers of all ages to drive in the safest ways possible and set the scene for life-long safe driving behaviours and experiences.

The Drivers Handbook











Road Safety Minimising the RisksDriving a car is one of the riskiest activities that people perform on a daily basis. Each year, there are thousands of crashes in South Australia, often involving death and injury. Driving is complicated and presents many challenges every time you drive. It requires a lot of time and practice to develop the skills to become a safe driver.

Driving involves risk, and safe drivers aim to reduce and manage their risk by making good decisions and taking responsibility for their behaviour when driving.


The Drivers Handbook

Certain behaviours are major contributors to high risk driving and crashes.Theseinclude: speeding and inappropriate travel speeds for the road or weather conditions driving after drinking alcohol or when impaired by drugs not wearing seatbelts driver distraction and inattention, including use of mobile phones driver fatigue.

In this Road Safety section, you will find useful information about sharing the road, as well as hazardous driving situations, including country driving risks and how to keep your vehicle safe. You are encouraged to read the road safety pages carefully. They can help South Australian drivers and riders of all ages to drive in the safest ways possible and set the scene for lifelong safe driving behaviours and experience. In particular, young drivers have been shown to have a higher risk of crashing than older drivers. Those learning to drive for the first time (as well as more experienced drivers) should study the road safety and rules information in The Drivers Handbook carefully as the learners permit theory test is based directly on this information.

These behaviours are discussed in more detail on the following pages and further information can be found on the Department for Transport,EnergyandInfrastructureroadsafetywebsite: Severe penalties apply to drivers and riders who commit road traffic offences, including those involving the above behaviours. In most cases, penalties increase in line with the seriousness of the offence and whether the offence is a first, second, third or subsequent one. The penalties include fines, demerit points, licence disqualification or even imprisonment in some cases, and are designed to send a clear message to drivers and riders about the dangers such risky behaviours pose for the safety of themselves and other road users. Motorcyclists have a much greater risk of crashing than drivers of other types of vehicles. The information contained in The Drivers Handbook should be read by motorcyclists.

The Drivers Handbook