Travel Tips for this Holiday Season

 

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Travel Tips for this Holiday Season
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Date Listed : 20, Jan 2013

Take a moment to consider the travel tips below to ensure a safe and rewarding road trip.

Mobile Phones
• Mobile phones only work in metropolitan and major regional areas
• Using a hand-held mobile phone is illegal while driving, whether receiving or making calls
• Check your phone will work in the areas where you are travelling to
• In emergency, the telephone number to dial in Australia is '000'

Fatigue
• Avoid driving while tired
• Take a 15 minute break every 2 hours
• Don't try to drive too far in one day
• Plan your journey to allow adequate rest stops
• Share the driving with your licensed companions
• Take regular rest breaks at roadside rest stop areas

Unsealed and Outback Roads
• Dust on unsealed roads can obscure your vision and conceal ruts or potholes
• When passing or following another vehicle, take extreme care, and wait for the dust to settle before proceeding
• Turn your lights on to increase your visibility to others
• Road shoulders on outback roads can be soft and may not support your vehicle's weight
• Always reduce speed before nearing the road edge or when passing an oncoming vehicle
• Beware of edge drop-offs and loose stones

Approaching Road Trains
• Huge trucks, known as road trains, can be the length of 10 cars
• Slow down and gently pull onto the shoulder of the road to allow the road train to pass
• If necessary, stop to let the road train pass

Overtaking a Road Train
• Don't expect the road train to move off the sealed road to let you pass
• Flash your headlights to warn the road train driver you are overtaking
• It can take up to 2.5 km to overtake a road train travelling at 100 km/h

Sunrise & Sunset Driving
• Many roads travel east to west
• Driving when the sun is low in the sky makes clear vision impossible
• If driving in a westerly direction, plan to reach your destination one hour before sunset

Wildlife & Stock
• Be on the lookout for wildlife and straying stock
• Drive carefully especially at night, sunrise and sunset
• If animals are in your path, reduce speed safely and do not swerve violently, or you may roll the vehicle

Wet Weather Driving
• Postpone your trip on unsealed roads until the road surface has stabilised
• Some roads can become inaccessible in wet weather; especially during the 'wet season' months from November to March
• Check road conditions with local police or the RACQ. Call 1300 130 595 or visit www.racq.com.au.

Driving in Remote Areas
• Always notify family, friends or a responsible person such as a police officer of your intended trip and estimated time of arrival
• At all times, carry plenty of drinking water and water for your vehicle (minimum 20 litres)
• Plan ahead for fuel stops in remote areas
• Some remote service stations have restricted opening hours and limited credit card facilities
• Be sure to carry adequate reserves of petrol, oil and food

Keep Left
• Always drive on the left hand side of the road
• Ask passengers to remind you each time when taking off or when turning at an intersection
• When walking across the road, look right, left, and then right again to check for traffic before crossing
• Obey all road signs

Speed
• Speed limits are enforced strictly in Australia
• Don't speed - obey the speed limit, and do not drive above this limit
• If the weather is bad (rain, fog) make sure you drive slower
• Some roads and streets do not have speed limit signs but speed limits still apply
• In built-up areas the speed limit is generally 50km/hr unless otherwise sign-posted
• Outside built-up areas the speed limit is generally 100km/hr maximum
• Check the default speed limit for each State or Territory
• Most States and Territories have mobile and/or fixed speed cameras so slow down, drive safely, and avoid heavy fines
• Obey all road signs

Alcohol and Drugs
• Don't drink alcohol and drive
• Driving after consuming alcohol or drugs is dangerous
• Australia has strictly enforced drink driving laws and penalties; police actively enforce laws through random breath testing
• On a full driver's licence you must not drive if your blood alcohol level is 0.05% or higher
• Driving after taking drugs that effect your ability to drive is illegal in all States and Territories; penalties are severe

Seatbelts
• Seatbelts and child restraints must be worn at all times where available in vehicles
• There are heavy fines for not wearing a seatbelt or restraint
• You must wear a crash helmet when riding a motorcycle, moped, scooter, or bicycle (also non-motorised scooter in Victoria and South Australia)

Sun & Beach Travel Tips
• The sun is very strong in Australia
• Drink plenty of water regularly
• Always protect your skin from burning
• Seek shade when outside
• Cover up with clothing and wear a sun protective hat, sunglasses and SPF 30+ sunscreen
• When at the beach, swim between the red and yellow flags
• Lifesavers and lifeguards patrol flagged areas for your safety
• Don't swim outside the flag areas

Original article from www.queenslandholidays.com.au


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