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Road rules

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 in a car?

Yes. All car drivers and passengers in the Northern Territory must wear seat belts. If you are driving and don’t wear a seat belt, you could be fined $500 and lose up to 3 demerit points.

If you are driving someone under 18 and they are not wearing a seat belt, you could be fined $500 and lose up to 3 demerit points. If you are over 16 and don’t wear a seat belt when riding in a car, you can also be fined $500.


Do I have to wear a helmet on a bicycle?

Yes. All cyclists and passengers under 17 in the Northern Territory must wear approved bicycle helmets.  If you’re over 17, you have to wear a helmet unless you’re not riding on the road.  You are allowed to ride your bicycle on a footpath, unless “No Bicycles” signs are displayed.  If you are caught riding a bicycle without a helmet you could be fined $25. You can also be fined $25 if your helmet is not properly fastened or your passenger is not wearing a helmet.

Motorbikes and scooters

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes. In the Northern Territory both riders and passengers on motorbikes and scooters have to wear approved motorbike helmets.  The only exception is if you are under 18 and you have a written exemption from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to ride in a side-car without wearing a helmet.

Skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates

Do I have to wear a helmet on a skateboard, rollerblade or rollerksate?

No, you don’t have to wear a helmet but it’s still a good idea.

There are also lots of other laws about riding skateboards, rollerblades and roller skates.  Here are some of them:

•    You must keep to the left of a footpath or shared path.
•    You must give way to pedestrians.
•    You can only skate on a road during the day on a road without white lines and where the speed limit is less than 50km per hour.
•    If the local council has put up a sign prohibiting skating in certain areas you must obey these signs.

Can I use a mobile phone while driving?

No. If you are on your L or P licence it is illegal to use your mobile at all while you are driving, even if it is hands-free. You could be fined $250 and lose up to 3 demerit points.

If you are on your full licence you can use your mobile phone only if the phone is being used to make or receive a phone call and it is secured to a mounting fixture in the vehicle.  If you use it in any other way, you could be fined $250 and lose up to 3 demerit points.

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 up to $40.

Is speeding illegal?

Yes. 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 road rules in the Northern Territory, visit:


This page was last updated 13 January 2015.

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