Thursday, 17 May 2012

DRIVING IN MELBOURNE

Australians drive on the left hand side of the road with drivers seated on the right hand side of the car. Driving laws are strictly enforced in Australia and personal and public safety is a high priority. The speed limit in residential streets ranges from 40 to 70 kilometres per hour (km/h). School areas have a 40km/h speed limit from Monday to Friday during the school term: Between 8am and 9.30am and between 2.30pm and 4pm. Speeds on major roads range from 60 to 80km/h, and up to 110km/h on country roads and highways, unless signs indicate otherwise.

Seat belts must be worn by all drivers and passengers in a car. There are also specific rules about children and child-restraints (or car seats) in Victoria. Most car seats brought from overseas don't comply with this standard, and are not approved for use in Victoria.  All cyclists and motorcyclists must wear a helmet on the road. Driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs is not tolerated. By law, fully licensed drivers must not drive if their blood alcohol level is 0.05 percent or higher. Probationary licence holders must have a 0.0 reading. Random breath testing is common on Victorian roads.

It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile (cell) phone when driving. You must use a hands-free earpiece or pull over to the side of the road to use your mobile phone. An overview of all Victoria's road rules is available on the VicRoads website.

In Melbourne, one must be extremely cautious when stepping on and off trams. Don't step off without looking both ways. Pedestrians in Bourke St Mall should watch for passing trams too, though you are more likely to be embarrassed by the driver's persistent 'tinging' than be run over. Car drivers should treat Melbourne trams with extreme caution. Cyclists should be careful not to get their wheels caught in tram tracks, and motorcyclists should take special care when tram tracks are wet. Hook turns (making a right turn from the left-hand lane at some city-centre intersections so as not to obstruct tram tracks) are a Melbourne speciality and take a bit of getting used to. The "Rhino on a Skateboard" campaign has been successul in alerting the public to the hazards of living in a city full of trams!

This post is part of Lesley's Signs, Signs meme.










20 comments:

  1. I don't really get the rhino on a skateboard, but already I am scared of driving in Melbourne!

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  2. Ha! yeah are there rhinos on board? anyways, it makes for a fun photo. I love those bike photo also, it reminds me of my Europe bike which exactly looked like this only it was yellow.

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  3. Sounds like Seattle! I haven't driven in a couple of years, got rid of my car when the gas prices shot up over the moon! Terrific captures as always, Nick! Melbourne does look like a colorful, busy city! I would love to visit there! Hope your week is going well!

    Sylvia

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  4. That rhino sign is funny! Driving on the left side of the road in Ireland was a little challenging for my husband although he did pretty well. Only made two mistakes in two weeks - and we survived! Whew! The bikes photo above will go well for Thursday's Things in a Row!

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  5. Looks like a fun city to explore.

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  6. well, if people will really take more care, no rhino signs would be needed ;))

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  7. Great idea for a post. I also like the height/width ratio. The one with the old fashioned green trams is my favorite.

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  8. Interesting tidbits of information about the driving rules! I didn't even attempt to drive in Ireland where they also drive on the left...I have a hard enough time in the US where I learned to drive! Nice street shots...

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  9. «Louis» finds it interesting that your driving laws are so strict. He has never visited Australia, so didn't know what the driving rules are. He had assumed, obviously mistakenly, that driving there was more pell-mell, something like in many parts of Europe. Your alcohol limit is even lower than here where it is .08.

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  10. we are left-hand drive here...i got a bit nervous riding in a right-hand car in UK. the rhino on a skateboard sign is funny---i don't get it, either.:p

    marvelous photos--the streets are clean and orderly. so different from here.:p

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  11. Sounds a bit like Toronto - you have to always be watching for people stepping off the streetcars & vice versa.

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  12. ouch, the Rhino is skating. :)

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  13. The rhino sign is unique and funny!

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  14. Must be a joy to walk, drive and be in Melbourne.

    Please have a good Friday.

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  15. This is one more feather in Melboune's hat. Lovely roads and strict laws ,make driving a pleasure.

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  16. a wonderful place! looks like a must see!

    i love your photos, they are all gorgeous!

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  17. These pics give us a good look at everyday life in Melbourne.

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  18. This is the first post of yours that makes me feel like I'm in a huge big city. Usually, you focus on nature and beautiful neighborhoods.....to me today's is the downside, but there are plenty of people for whom it would be a drawing card (all that action). Nice to see all sides of your City.

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  19. I did my letter R for restraint and googled the new Australian rules.

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