A-Z of Road Rules
This section contains an A-Z summary of road rules in Victoria.
Instructions on how to locate a full copy of the Road Safety Road Rules 2017 can be found at Road Management Act, regulations & codes
Alcohol & other drugs
A summary of the key road rules about driving when affected by alcohol and other drugs.
From 30 April 2018, tougher penalties apply to anyone caught drink and/or drug driving.
Anybody caught drink-driving will lose their licence, have to complete a Behaviour Change Program (BCP) and need to use an alcohol interlock for at least 6 months.
Anybody caught drug-driving will have their licence or learner permit suspended or cancelled for at least 6 months, and will also need to complete a BCP.
You can also download the Getting your licence back [PDF 361kb] brochure for more information.
Significant penalties apply if drivers on Victorian roads are caught with both illegal blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) levels and illicit drugs in their system. Visit Combined drink and drug-driving offences and penalties for more information.
Blood and Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a measure of how much alcohol is in your body.
At a BAC of .05, your risk of being involved in a road crash is about double compared with a BAC of zero.
You need to drive with zero BAC if you:
- have a learner permit
- have a P1 or P2 licence
- are a restricted motorcycle rider (shown as an ‘E’ condition)
- are a professional driver (e.g. a truck, bus or taxi driver).
Other drivers and those supervising learner drivers, must drive with a BAC under .05.
These rules apply if you are on a public road or on private property.
It is an offence to not:
- provide a breath or blood sample
- stop at a booze bus or random breath testing station, or
- cooperate with police who are trying to carry out a breath or blood test
- drive while affected by any drug regardless of whether it is a legal or illegal drug
- drive while affected by both illicit drugs and alcohol over the legal limit
- supervise a learner driver if you are affected by illegal drugs.
These rules apply if you are on a public road or on private property.
Testing for illegal drugs at the roadside is done by taking a saliva sample.
It is an offence to not:
- provide a saliva or blood sample
- stop at a random drug testing station, or
- cooperate with Police who are trying to carry out a saliva, blood or urine test.
There are heavy penalties if caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, or refusing to be tested.
A summary of the key road rules regarding animals.
The key road rules and reference numbers regarding animals are:
- 223 – Using lights when riding an animal-drawn vehicle at night or in hazardous weather conditions
- 289 – Driving on a nature strip
- 297 – Driver to have proper control of a vehicle etc
- 300 – Use of mobile phones
- 301 – Leading an animal while driving a vehicle
- 302 – Rider of an animal on a footpath or nature strip to give way to pedestrians
- 303A – Horse riding helmets to be worn by riders under 18
- 303 – Riding an animal alongside more than 1 other rider
- 402 – Giving way to stock
- 403 – Requirement to travel at a safe speed near stock
- 404 – Requirement to stop at a stock crossing
Every year many crashes involving animals occur on roads.
- If you see an animal on the road (alive or dead), do not swerve violently to avoid the animal as this can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or to hit oncoming traffic.
You should stop if you can do so safely or slow down and steer around the animal in a controlled manner.
- If you can’t avoid the animal safely you may have to hit it to avoid injury or death to yourself and others.
- If the animal has been killed, remove it from the road if it is safe to do so. Be careful with native animals as they may have babies in their pouches.
- If a native animal has been hurt you should contact the Wildlife Victoria .
- If the animal is a domestic pet, you should contact the owner, Police or the RSPCA.
- If the animal is injured you should take it immediately to the nearest animal shelter or vet.
If you are riding an animal on the road (e.g. a horse), the animal is considered to be a vehicle.
A rider of an animal must obey the same road rules as other drivers. But, there are also some road rules that apply to riders of animals.
- If you are under the age of 18, you must wear a helmet when riding on a horse on a road, footpath or any road-related area.
- You can ride an animal on footpaths and nature strips, unless it is specifically prohibited. But, you must give way to pedestrians.
- If you are riding beside another rider, you can’t ride more than 1.5 metres apart.
- If you are using a vehicle that is being pulled by an animal (e.g. a horse carriage) at night, you must have:
- two white lights visible for 200m on the front (one on each side)
- two red lights visible for 200m on the back (one on each side)
- red reflectors on each side of the vehicle towards the back.
When a stop sign is displayed at a stock crossing, you must stop before reaching the crossing and not start driving again until all animals have crossed the road.
When a ‘Give Way To Stock’ sign is displayed, you must slow down to a speed where you can give way or stop if necessary to avoid hitting an animal.
‘Give Way To Stock’ signs are displayed around 300m before a stock crossing. They can also apply to a length of road.
You cannot drive a vehicle:
- with an animal on your lap
- while you or a passenger is leading an animal
- while an animal is tied to the vehicle.
For rules about riding a motorcycle with an animal,
There are no road rules about securing animals in a vehicle while driving. But, there may be laws in Victoria, such as those preventing cruelty to animals, which may need to be considered when driving with animals in your car.
Cyclists are required to obey the same road rules as drivers, plus some additional bicycle-specific rules. Like all road users, cyclists can be fined for failing to follow these rules.
A bicycle (or bike) is defined as a vehicle that:
- has two or more wheels
- is moved by human power through a belt, chain or gears.
This definition includes:
- penny farthings
- power-assisted bicycles.
The following are not classified as bicycles:
- wheeled toys
A power-assisted bicycle uses pedals as its main source of power, just like a bicycle, but it has a motor as well.
Standard bicycle road rules apply to power-assisted bicycles.
See our Power assisted bicycles page for more information.
Using a mobile phone is prohibited, except to make or receive a phone call or to use its audio/music functions provided the phone:
- is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the bicycle, or
- can be operated by the rider without touching any part of the phone, and the phone is not resting on any part of the riders’ body but can be in a pocket.
Using a phone as a navigational device/GPS while riding is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the bicycle. All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.
The penalty is a fine of $476. Demerit points do not apply to bike riders, but do apply to drivers of motorised vehicles.
See the sections below to find out the rules around bicycles in Victoria.
If you’re caught breaking these rules, you could be fined. See fines, penalties and fees and charges for more information.
Read the newly released Bike Law
The key road rules and reference numbers regarding bicycles are:
- 97 – Road access signs
- Part 15 – Additional rules for bicycle riders
Cyclists and bicycle passengers need to wear a securely fitted and fastened helmet showing:
- a mark of compliance with the Australian Standard, AS/NZS2063
- the symbol of a JAS-ANZ accredited company (for helmets manufactured or imported after 1 July 2012)
You need to wear a helmet when you’re riding on:
- road-related areas
- bike paths
- bike lanes
- shared and separated footpaths.
In special circumstances, you might be eligible for an exemption from wearing a bicycle helmet.
See ourWearing a bicycle helmet page for more information about helmets.
This section of the website covers the legal requirements for using child restraints and booster seats. It also gives advice on what child restraints and booster seats are appropriate for children from birth up until 7 years of age.
Choose the right child restraint
Children need different restraints as they grow. The restraint must be the right size for the child, properly adjusted and fastened, and correctly fitted to the vehicle.
It is the law for all children up to the age of 7 to be in a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a vehicle.
Choosing the right child restraint for your child will depend on their age and size. See Child restraints, booster seats and seat belt readiness [PDF 3.9 Mb]
To keep your child safe, the restraint must also be properly adjusted, fastened, and fitted to the vehicle.
See the videos on how to use child restraints and booster seats.
To help keep your child safe, you need to answer the following questions.
There are road rules about the type of restraint a child must use. Depending on their age they may need to travel in a child restraint, a booster seat or an adult seat belt.
The type of restraint may also depend on the child’s size.
There may be times when a child is too heavy or tall for the restraint recommended for their age. In these cases, a child is allowed to use the restraint for children in the next age group.
Child restraints must meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard for child restraints (AS/NZS 1754). This standard is one of the most strict child restraint standards in the world.
When buying a child restraint, look for the standards approved sticker and make sure it meets the standard.
Any restraint that is for sale in an Australian retailer has been tested to meet theAustralian Standard AS/NZS 1754 and it is therefore safe for use. The restraint will have the Australian Standards ‘5 tick’ sticker on it. If you purchase a restraint online or overseas, it will not have been tested to comply with the Australian Standard and may not be safe for use in Australian conditions. It is not legal to use a restraint in Australia that does not meet the Australian Standards.
A number of child restraints for sale in Australia have been further tested by the child restraint evaluation program (CREP) which helps you to know which child restraints are the safest and easiest to use compared to the others. The testing completed by CREP is to a higher standard than the current Australian standard, so stars are awarded for ease of use and safety. It is important to remember that even a restraint that achieves a 1 star rating for safety under the CREP, is exceeding the Australian Standard for safety, and is a very safe product.
View ChildCar seats website to find and compare the safest child car seats.
If you are thinking of buying or borrowing a secondhand child restraint make sure it is no more than 10 years old and has never been in a serious crash. It must be in good condition with the buckles working properly, and have no signs of wear on the straps, or cracks or stress marks on the plastic shell.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are fitting a child restraint to your vehicle.
If you are unsure or need help, visit a child restraint fitting station.
Some restraints may be difficult to fit in smaller vehicles, or vehicles with contouring seats. If possible, try the restraint in your vehicle before you buy it.
If a restraint is not fitted or adjusted correctly, a child is at a higher risk of serious injury or death in a crash.