Road rules you didn't know you were breaking


Play your music too loud? Driving with an animal on your lap? It could cost you.

We've been warned about the penalties for speeding, using your phone behind the wheel and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol but you can also be fined for playing music too loud or driving too slowly.

Here are some Queensland road rules you might not know you've been breaking.

Sleeping in a vehicle while drunk (even with the car turned off)

If you are in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol you have committed an offence. This can include situations where you are sleeping in the vehicle.

Playing loud music

While pushing your car’s stereo to its limits may seem like a fun idea, it could mean losing your car. Playing your music too loud can be a Type 1 hooning offence in Queensland, and a first offence of this type can result in a 90-day impoundment. 

Flashing lights to warn other drivers of speed cameras or police

While warning other drivers isn't specifically prohibited, using your high-beam lights within 200-metres of another vehicle is an offence.

Driving too slowly

Drivers everywhere know they can be fined for speeding, but motorists can also be fined for driving too slowly. Driving too far below the speed limit is an offence as it can be considered obstructing the path of other road users.

Being a careless driver

If you're trying to eat, drink, fix your makeup or are just distracted from the road, you can be fined for careless driving.  All drivers must drive with due care and attention to ensure the safety of other road users.

Passenger holding a baby while you drive

The driver is responsible for ensuring everyone in the car is safely secured. All children must be appropriately restrained in a separate seating position.

Driving with an animal in your lap

It is an offence to drive with an animal in your lap, as it interferes with your ability to properly control the vehicle. The road rules do not specifically require an animal to be restrained while travelling inside a vehicle, as it is classed as part of the vehicle’s load. However, it is recommended that drivers restrain animals inside their vehicle for the safety of the animal, the driver and passengers. If an animal is carried in the tray of a ute, or in a trailer, it is classed as a load and must be safely restrained.

Failing to use lights and using fog lights when not required

You must have your headlights, tail-lights and number plate lights on when you drive at night or in weather that causes reduced visibility (such as heavy rain or fog). If you are driving during the day in fog or in other bad weather with reduced visibility, you may drive with your front fog lights on, with or without your headlights on.  You must not use fog lights in clear weather conditions, whether it is day or night.

Dirty or worn-out number plates

Cars get dirty, it's a fact of life. But drivers must ensure their number plates are always legible or you could face a hefty fine.  The characters on a number plate must be visible from 20-metres away at any point within an arc of 45 degrees from the surface of the plate, above or to either side of the vehicle.

Parking on a footpath

While it's tempting to get your car off the road in narrow streets, it's an offence to park on a nature strip or footpath as it can cause a hazard for pedestrians.

To find out more about Queensland's road rules, you can visit TMR's website. 

Related topics

Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.