10 Most Misunderstood Road Rules – Do you agree Lane Cove?

When you renew your licence in NSW you are not required to show a thorough knowledge of the current road rules.

We now have a new roundabout at the corner of Coxs Lane and Finlayson Street.  Guess what??  One of the most misunderstood road rules is the use of roundabouts!!

What do you think are the other 9 most misunderstood Road Rules are?

 The Top 10 guide is available in every RMS Registry in NSW, as well as online.


Approaching a roundabout

Drivers approaching a roundabout must use their indicator if they intend to turn left or right, or make a U-turn at the roundabout. They must give other road users sufficient notice of their intent to turn.

Entering a roundabout

Drivers must slow or stop to give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout. Drivers must also continue to use their indicator if they intend to turn left, right or make a U-turn.

Turning left

Drivers must indicate left on approach and be traveling in the left-hand lane (unless there are road markings with other instructions), stay in the left lane and exit in the left lane.

Going straight ahead

There is no requirement for drivers to signal when approaching the roundabout, if they are going straight ahead.

Turning right

Drivers must indicate right on approach and be traveling in the right hand lane (unless there are road markings with other instructions).

Making a U-turn

When using a roundabout to make a U-turn, drivers must approach in the right lane and signal right.

Exiting a roundabout

Just like exiting any road, drivers must signal left when leaving a roundabout, if it is practical to do so, and stop indicating as soon as they have exited the roundabout.  However when traveling straight ahead on a small single lane roundabout (like Burns Bay Road and Tambourine Bay Road) it may be impractical to indicate left when exiting.

All drivers are required to drive carefully and slow down or stop when there is a chance of a crash with another vehicle.

Giving way to pedestrians when turning

If a driver is turning left or right at an intersection, the driver must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering. This applies to intersections with and without traffic lights. However this does NOT apply at roundabout. You regularly see people stopped half way through an intersection giving way to pedestrians on Burns Bay Road and Tambourine Bay Road  Roundabout. This is a dangerous intersection for pedestrians. However it is up to the pedestrian to make sure the roundabout is clear of cars before crossing.

The three pedestrian crossings in the Lane Cove Village should be approached with caution. The pedestrian crossing near Coles is quite hard to see in the evening. ITC’s driving instructor always said, when approaching a pedestrian crossing have your foot resting on the brake and not the accelerator.

Mobile phones

You regularly see drivers in Lane Cove using their mobile phones at traffic lights (especially the ones on Longueville Road), drivers cannot use a hand-held mobile phone while stopped at traffic lights.

If you want to take a phone call you must pull over into an authorised parking stop and turn off the engine before you take the phone call (unless you have blue tooth technology).


There are some drivers on River Road West who need to know this merging rule. Last year a merge lane was created on River Road West. When a driver is traveling in a marked lane which is ending and is required to cross a broken painted line to enter the adjacent lane, the driver must give way to the traffic traveling in the lane being entered.

Keeping left

On multi-lane roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must not drive in the right-hand lane unless they are:
• overtaking
• turning right or making a U-turn
• avoiding an obstacle
• driving in congested traffic
• driving in a special purpose lane or if there is a Left Lane Must Turn Left sign or a left traffic arrow and the driver is not turning left.

Using headlights and fog lights

It is an offence to flash the vehicle’s headlights unless the vehicle is being used to respond to an emergency. Sometimes on a cold winter morning there can be a fog hanging around Lane Cove, a driver is only permitted to use fog lights if driving in fog, mist or other atmospheric condition that restricts visibility.


Drivers are not permitted to make a U-turn at traffic lights unless there is a U-Turn Permitted sign displayed or a green U-turn traffic light is displayed.

Safe following distances

As a general rule, when following a vehicle, the driver should travel three seconds behind the vehicle in front to provide sufficient time to avoid a crash.

School zones

Probably the biggest trap for School Zones is a pupil free day. Even though kids are not at school, this is considered a gazetted day and drivers must comply with the 40 km/h speed limit. Remember there are three school on Longueville Road.

Amber traffic lights

An amber traffic light or arrow means stop. A driver approaching traffic lights showing an amber traffic light must stop if the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line or traffic lights. People should bear this in mind when traveling along Centennial Avenue and Epping Road. Penalties apply for drivers who fail to stop at an amber light, unless it is unsafe to do so.

What do you think is the road rule that Lane Cove motorists ignore the most?

Road Rules

Be In The Know With In the Cove

To make sure you don’t miss Lane Cove info sign up to our newsletter. It comes out every Wednesday at 7.30 pm and includes a wrap up of everything posted on our Facebook site in the previous week.

Read this week’s newsletter.

Did you know that In the Cove has an Instagram page? Yes, we do, and we feature pictures from our roving reporters and our ITC team that do not appear on our Facebook page. Follow us on @inthecove