Newbie drivers take note - here are the road rules you should remember
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You've gotten some experience and no longer need to display the P-plate. But forget these road rules and you could land yourself back in the driving centre.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice

You've gained a year of driving experience and can now bin the P-plate, that symbol on your car that marks you out as a 'noob'. Finally, you can truly feel like just another driver.

However, as we learn and become more skilled, we also have a tendency to become laxer. Perhaps the cautiousness instilled by your driving instructors faded as you became more confident.

But as drivers, we must not forget that each time we get behind the wheel, we are responsible for our lives and the lives of our passengers and other road users.

With that in mind, here are several road rules that newbie drivers should always remember to follow.

Driving without due care or reasonable consideration

Reckless driving not only angers other drivers - it can also lead to mishaps if other drivers can't react quickly enough to your snap manoeuvres
We've all been in a rush because we're running late or having a seriously bad tummy ache.

You reassure yourself that since you've never been in an accident (this is another mistake), weaving in and out of traffic and cutting off other vehicles is okay. Just for today.

Well, you'll be in for a shock if the Traffic Police spot you or another road user reports you. Although nobody got hurt, your aggressive manoeuvres can be considered as 'Driving without due care or reasonable consideration' and result in six demerit points.

Crossing double white lines

Just because the white lines are faded, it doesn't mean they're no longer there
We've seen countless motorists doing this. Maybe they didn't want to wait to filter to the next lane. Perhaps they didn't want to miss a turn.

It might seem like a minor infarction, but whatever your reason, getting caught crossing double white lines will result in a fine and four demerit points added to your tab.

It's a chore to drive further just to make that legal turn or lane change. But it's less troublesome than receiving a summons, paying a fine and worrying about how many points you have left.

Failing to yield to emergency vehicles

The bright lights and loud siren are telling you to get out of the way so you can help save a life
Not giving way or getting out of the way of an ambulance, police car or fire engine equals four demerit points.

You might think you made an honest mistake because you 'didn't notice'. But if the emergency vehicle has its lights flashing and siren blaring and you still claim that as an excuse, you have poor situational awareness.

You're also a danger to yourself and other road users. Frankly, four points for this is paltry.

Failing to conform to traffic signals

Like it or not, we must accept that life is unfair - motorists who beat the red light will land in a heap of trouble, but not pedestrians who jaywalk
More commonly known as beating the red light, this is one of the offences that will land you in hot water, as you'll be slapped with 12 demerit points.

Even if it's your first offence, the Traffic Police won't let you off with a warning. If you are eligible, you'll be asked to attend the Safe Driving Course, which upon completion, reduces the penalty by four demerits.

The fee you need to pay to attend the course, however, won't count against whatever fine you still need to pay (it varies among the driving schools). Ouch. So, stay safe and don't try to beat the red light.

Using your phone while driving

That text message can wait, especially if doing so saves your life and that of your loved ones
We all know that becoming distracted is one of the main causes of accidents. And of the most dangerous things you can do is use your mobile phone while you're driving.

Think you can safely type your WhatsApp reply or quickly view that TikTok clip while crawling through traffic? Think again. A moment's distraction can result in a costly mishap.

Just remember: If you're caught using your smartphone while your vehicle is in motion, that's enough for the Traffic Police to slap you with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail or both. Your device will also be forfeited.

Being fast and furious

Plan your drive and manage your time, so that each trip doesn't just become a mad dash from one point to another
Becoming more confident behind the wheel is a good thing. Growing overconfident and speeding all the time? That's bad.

You may have heard your friends saying you can 'go 10km/h over the limit... won't kena'. But that doesn't mean you'll never get a summons. Under the law, if you're caught exceeding the speed limit from one km/h to 20km/h, it's a four-demerit offence.

Go even faster and you could be looking at six demerits (exceeding the limit from 21km/h to 30km/h). Exceeding it between 41km/h and 50km/h is 12 demerits and most likely a date in Traffic Court.

Seeking to further improve your driving skills? Here are some stories that may interest you
Five driving habits that new drivers shouldn't pick up
Five habits that good drivers possess
Helpful hacks: Driving tips for newbies to improve safety
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