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The drive thru mistakes that could cost you a $500 fine

Motorists could be fined $500 if they use their phone to pay for a meal at a drive-thru window as part of a series of little-known laws governing motorists at fast food restaurants.

Across Australia, motorists must turn their car engine off and lock their handbrake in place to avoid being punished for using their phone.

Police can issue up to five demerit points for anyone who makes the costly mistake, depending on which state or territory. 

Daily Mail Australia has revealed some of the most bizarre rules to avoid breaking this summer, according to advice by Shine Lawyers.  

Motorists could be fined $500 if they use their phone to pay for a meal at drive-thru window (stock image)

Motorists could be fined $500 if they use their phone to pay for a meal at drive-thru window (stock image)

Motorists can be fined for littering if they are seen throwing anything out their car window regardless of whether the material is biodegradable (stock image)

Motorists can be fined for littering if they are seen throwing anything out their car window regardless of whether the material is biodegradable (stock image)

1. Throwing apple cores and banana peels out of the car window  

Motorists can be fined for littering if they are seen throwing anything out their car window – regardless of whether the material is biodegradable. 

In Queensland, the crime of ‘dropping injurious matter on a road’ can cost you $533 and two demerit points.

2. Improper use of a horn 

It is an offence to use the car horn for any reason other than warning other road users or animals of your approach.

Honking goodbye or beeping at cars who cut you off is technically illegal.   

In the past five years, more than 800 people have been fined for improper use of a horn in New South Wales.

3. Not winding up your windows 

In Queensland, if you’re more than three metres away from your car, your windows need to be up with a gap no greater than 5cm. 

4. Leaving your key in your ignition 

Leaving the keys in the car while you duck out to get a coffee or pick up takeaway is an offence in New South Wales (stock image)

Leaving the keys in the car while you duck out to get a coffee or pick up takeaway is an offence in New South Wales (stock image)

Leaving the keys in the car while you duck out to get a coffee or pick up takeaway is an offence in New South Wales.

Drivers can be fined $114 for breaking the law, with as many as 1,000 people a year being fined for the offence in New South Wales. 

 5. Using your phone to pay at a drive-through  

Is it illegal in most states and territories to use their phone behind the wheel if the engine is still running – even if the car is stationary. 

Depending on which state you’re in, you could be fined up to $534 and be at risk of losing up to five demerit points – that’s one costly meal! 

Is it illegal in most states and territories to use their phone behind the wheel if the engine is still running - even if the car is stationary (stock image)

Is it illegal in most states and territories to use their phone behind the wheel if the engine is still running – even if the car is stationary (stock image)

6. Having people or animals on your lap 

Children and animals must be seated and restrained in an appropriate area of the vehicle at all times.  

The RSPCA can also issue fines under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. 

If an animal is injured because it was unrestrained, owners could face up to six months’ jail and fines of up to $5,500.

7. Obscuring your registration plate

Australian law states that registration plates need to be visible 24/7, so check your light before setting off at night.

Your license plate needs to be clearly visible from both the front and the rear of your motor vehicle.

Children and animals must be seated and restrained in an appropriate area of the vehicle at all times (stock image)

Children and animals must be seated and restrained in an appropriate area of the vehicle at all times (stock image)

This means you cannot obscure your number plate with a bike rack or any other accessories. 

8. Not giving way to horses 

It’s actually illegal not to give way to a hard-to-control horse, or a horse that refuses to move. 

If a rider raises a hand and points to his or her horse, you must steer the car as far to the left as possible, turn off the engine and wait until the horse is far enough away that you’re in no danger of startling it. 

9. Leaving your fog lights on

Fog lights, both front and rear, should only be used in rain or fog, or when your vision is impaired by smoke or dust. 

Once you can see clearly, they need to be turned off or you could cop a fine.

10. Driving with an unregistered trailer 

This one can cost you up to $686, so don’t forget to register your trailer!

11. Attempting to speed up while you’re being overtaken 

It's actually illegal not to give way to a hard-to-control horse, or a horse that refuses to move (stock image)

It’s actually illegal not to give way to a hard-to-control horse, or a horse that refuses to move (stock image) 

Accelerating to prevent another driver from overtaking is a criminal offence. 

Drivers engaging in this behaviour in New South Wales can incur a $344 fine and two demerit points, while in Victoria the fine is $330 and two demerit points.

12. Don’t splash the pedestrians! 

Intentionally spraying pedestrians in the rain is a traffic offence which could result in a $187 fine. 

However, in New South Wales it’s only an offence to splash those who are waiting for a bus at a bus stop. 

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