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Road rules

Do I have to wear a seatbelt?

Bicycles

Motorbikes

Motorised scooters

Skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates

Can I use a mobile phone while driving

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 not to wear a seatbelt. 

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 $333.

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. You could also get the driver into trouble if you’re under 16 and not wearing a seatbelt. 

It’s also against the law to drive a car without a seatbelt. If you’re caught, you can be fined $333 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 $394 and lose up to 5 demerit points. 

Bicycles

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 wearing a helmet or riding on a tandem bike with someone else. If you’re caught, both the rider and the passenger could be fined $96. 

The only exception is if you belong to the Sikh religion and you wear a turban. 

Can I ride on the footpath?

It depends. You’re not allowed to ride on a footpath if you’re over 12 years old unless you’re:

• over 18 AND

• supervising a child under 12 years old. 

To find out more about other road rules that apply to cyclists, check out this Cycling and the Law Handbook

Motorbikes

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet on a motorbike. This rule is the same for both drivers and all riders on a motorbike. If you’re caught you could be fined $258. Both the passenger and the driver could lose demerit points! 

If you’re the driver and you’re wearing a helmet but your passenger is not, you could be fined $258 and lose 3 demerit points.

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. 

For more information about the rules for motorbikes, check out The Rider’s Handbook here.

Motorised scooters 

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet while you’re on a motorised scooter. If you’re caught you could be fined $96. 

The only exceptions is if you belong to the Sikh religion and you wear a turban. 

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

For more information on staying safe on a scooter, check out this factsheet.  

Skateboards, rollerblades and rollerskates

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it’s against the law if you don’t wear a helmet on a skateboard, rollerblade or rollerksate. If you’re caught, you (or your parents if you’re under 16) could be fined $96. 

The only exception is if you belong to the Sikh religion and you wear a turban. 

Where can I use a skateboard, rollerblade or rollerskate?

 There are also some special laws which put limits on where and when you can use skateboards, rollerblades and roller skates. You must not skateboard, rollerblade or rollerskate: 

• After sunset or before sunrise, or at any other time when visibility might be low; 

• On a road, footpath or other public area if there is a sign saying you can’t skate. 

You could be fined $53 for breaking these laws! 

 Can I use a mobile phone while driving?

 It’s against the law to use your mobile phone if you’re on your L or P1 plates. It doesn’t matter if you have it hands free or mounted, or if you’re using it just to listen to music. It’s still against the law. If you’re caught doing this, you could be fined $308 and lose 3 demerit points. 

If you have your full licence, 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 aren’t following these rules, you could be fined $308 and you could lose 3 demerit points. If you’re caught using your mobile phone in a school zone, the penalties could be even higher!

Even though it’s legal to use your phone in South Australia on your full licence, it’s still much safer for you to pull over, park and then look at your phone. 

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 $636! 

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 on Road Rules, check out the Road Rules site from the South Australian Government. 

You may copy and use this factsheet. 

This page was last updated 30 January 2015. 


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