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Road rules

Road Rules in ACT

Do I have to wear a seatbelt?



Mobile Phones

Skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates

Number plates


More information


This page contains answers to the most common questions young people ask us about road rules. It is not a full list of road rules! If you’re under 18 and have a specific question about something not listed here, please send us a Lawmail

Do I have to wear a seatbelt?

Yes. It’s against the law to ride in a car without a seatbelt if you’re over 16. If you’re over 16 and you’re caught riding in a car without a seatbelt, you could be fined $374. 

Even if you’re under 16, it’s still a good idea to wear a seat belt. With your seatbelt on, you're 10 times more likely to survive a crash.

It’s also against the law to drive a car without a seatbelt. If you’re caught, you can be fined $374 and you’ll also lose up to 3 demerit points. Also if any of the passengers you’re driving aren’t wearing a seatbelt, you could be fined as much as $374 and lose 3 demerit points. 

You can watch a video on the benefits of wearing a safety belt in an accident here.


Do I have to wear a helmet? 

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet on a bicycle. It doesn’t matter if you are riding the bike yourself, carrying someone with you who isn’t riding or riding on a tandem bike with someone else. If you’re caught, both the rider and the passenger could be fined $104. 

Can I ride on the footpath?

Yes. Remember, if you’re riding on the footpath, you have to keep to the left and give way to any pedestrians. If you break these rules, you could be fined $104! 
For more information on other rules for bike riders in the ACT and tips on how to stay safe, check out these factsheets from the ACT Government: 

Road Rules

Bicycle Safety


Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet. This rule is the same for both drivers and riders on a motorbike. If you’re caught you could be fined $374. If you’re the driver and you or your passenger are not riding with a helmet, you could lose up to 3 demerit points. 

Other rules for motorcyclists on L and P plates

There are also special rules about riding a motorcycle if you’re an L or P plater. Please check out our Licences page for more information about these rules. 

Mobile phones

In the ACT, you can only use your phone while you’re not parked if: 

  • the phone is mounted in a special holder (like on your windscreen); or
  • the phone is somewhere else and you don’t need to touch it to use it (for example youre using a Bluetooth headset);

If you’re caught using your phone without following these rules, you could be fined $357 and lose 3 demerit points! 

Even though it’s legal to use your phone in the ACT, it’s still much safer for you to pull over, park and then look at your phone.


Skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates

Do I have to wear a helmet?

No, you don’t have to wear a helmet while on a skateboard, rollerblade or roller-skate, but it’s still a good idea.

There are also some other laws about riding skateboards, rollerblades and roller skates:

  • You must keep to the left of a footpath or shared path unless it is impractical to do so. 
  • You must give way to pedestrians. 
  • If the local council has put up a sign prohibiting skating in certain areas you must abide by these signs. 

Number plates

When you’re driving a car or motorbike, your number plates must always be visible. If they’re not, you could be fined $143. 


Speeding is always against the law. If you’re caught speeding, you could lose your licence on the spot, depending on how fast you were going. 

If you’re on your P or L licence, there are special speeding laws that apply to you. Please check out our Licences page for more information.


More information about road rules

For more information about the road rules in the ACT, check out the ACT Road Rules Handbook.


 You may use or copy this factsheet.

This page was last updated on 30 January 2015. 

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