Drive Smart Driving School. Adelaide, South Australia (SA). Driving School operating in Northern, Eastern, South Western and Southern suburbs of Adelaide. Learn to drive smart and safe with your Drive Smart Driving School Instructor.

Adelaide   -   Northern, Central and Eastern Suburbs  -  8285 4059



Road Law and The Road Rules - South Australia

New Road Laws And Rules

Road laws are changing all the time. The news papers and TV don't always give the whole story. Do you know when to signal before you leave a Round-a-bout? Do you know how to Zip Merge? Look for the answers further down the page.


What the new laws mean for South Australian Learner & P Plate drivers in 2014

It's official: New laws for L and P drivers will start 28th July 2014.


Importantly, the Learner driver age of 16 years, minimum 12 months and 75 hours requirement will all stay the same.

Only change is that a Hazard Perception Test will have to be passed before getting P1 license rather than between P1 and P2.


P Plate Drivers

Passenger restrictions and Curfew will apply to all P1 drivers.

The new restrictions do not apply to P2 licensed drivers. This means there will be a bigger incentive to drive safely on P1 and move to P2 as soon as possible.

Drivers must spend a minimum of 2 years on P2 licence.

Licence regression will go. No more 'stepping back' if you lose your licence. Won't have to do Theory Test or Driving Test to get Learner or P Plates back after disqualification.

See "New laws for L and P drivers...." link above for full details.


Make the most of the time you have

Make the most of the 75 hours and 12 months on your Learners Permit. Start Driving School lessons early. Space them out over the whole 12 months. Get lots of practice in between. Start on the good habits straight away and spend 12 months practicing them. It is the best way to become a safe P Plate driver.


Call or email us

To discuss your situation, find out your best options or to book lessons.

Please understand that we have a 'No Phones' policy during driving lessons and other training sessions.

If we can't answer, please leave a message, send a text or email and we will get back to you.



Join or Add to Our Facebook Discussions

Add a topic, ask a road law question or have your say about road rules, driving, new learner rules, what ever you like. We will reply and others can have their say too. Check it out, is growing all the time.


Mobile Phone Laws for L and P1 drivers

All South Australian Learner and P1 Drivers are banned from using mobile phones in any way while driving!

(Extract from letter to all L and P1 drivers 3rd August 2009)

From 31st August 2009, all Learner's Permit and P1 License holders will be banned from using any type of mobile phone function while driving. The mobile phone ban includes:

  • using hands-free mode including Bluetooth technology

  • loud speaker operation

  • text messaging

You can still use your mobile phone in your car but you must pull over and park safely before doing so.

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving will be $218 and three demerit points!


Martin Small



Once you are on your P2's or full license you will be permitted to use the hands free functions of your mobile phone as long the phone is correctly mounted in your car and the function you use does not require you to touch the phone.

Mobile Phones are more distracting than anything else! Don't dial! Never text while driving. Don't read them either!

It is said that we take our eyes away from the road 4 times longer to use a mobile phone than to do any other in-car function! Text messaging is the worst!  Wait until you are safely and legally parked to use the phone.

Your friends and family would rather wait for your reply that never see you again!

NOTHING is so important that it can't wait a few minutes!


Texting While Driving Advert - WARNING! This video IS graphic!




Common Road Law Myths, Mistakes And Misunderstandings

These are things we have noticed that people get wrong, don't know or that the rule makers have simply not told us or made clear. Hope it makes sense. If not, please email us with your road rule comments or questions.


Please note: The descriptions and explanations of Road Laws and Road Rules are our interpretation only and are not to considered as binding legal advice. For full legal wording and details, look for the links to road law sites: Australian Road Rules and South Australian Road Traffic Regulations.


Pedestrian Give Way Rules

Pedestrian Laws and Rules are very simple.

Slow Down Near Pedestrians!
This is not a law as such, just common sense! As a driver, you have a duty of care not to hit a pedestrian. (Also see Driving To The Conditions below). Your vehicle will do huge damage to any pedestrian.

Even if the pedestrian was doing the wrong thing it would be horrible to hit them. Look for and slow down when you see people around. EXPECT that they WILL suddenly step or run in front of you.

Give Way To Pedestrians Crossing The Road You Are Turning Into!
Whether you are turning left or right into a small side street or onto a main road, look for and give way to any Pedestrian crossing or about to cross that road at or near the intersection.

This means that you have to slow and be ready to stop for Pedestrians every time you turn. This especially applies when turning left from a main road.


The New "Fire Hydrant" or "Fire Plug" Markings
Fire Hydrants or as we usually have here in SA, Fire Plugs in the road, were marked by a white post with a red cap. The Law was, don't park in front of the post.

Things are changing. Many Fire Plugs are now marked with a blue reflector near the middle of the road and yellow paint on the metal "plug" or plate in the road. There is often also a short length of solid yellow line painted beside the fire plug at the edge of the road.

Either way, it's simple once you know. Don't park your vehicle where it will stop the Fire Brigade from easily attaching their hoses to the fire plug or hydrant.


Merging Rules
Merging rules and laws seem to still be confusing for SA drivers. Who gives way? Who signals where and when?

A good guide is to look for lines marked on the road.  If you are crossing a line of any sort (See diagram 1 & 2) you must give way.

If there are no lines to cross (See diagram 3) itís a Zip merge. Then give way to anyone on your left or right if any part of their vehicle is ahead of your vehicle.


Diagram 1 

Lane change. Really simple, we all should know this one. Car B - the vehicle changing lanes - should always give way to traffic in the lane it is changing into.







Diagram 2 

Most people understand Lane End. We've had them in SA for ever and every one knows what to do. Car B is crossing a "lane end" or "give way" line so must give way. Just make sure you don't confuse them with the Zip Merge (Diagram 3) which is totally different.







Diagram 3

This is a Zip Merge. The "new" one, introduced during the year 2000.

If any part of the other vehicle on your left or right is ahead of you, then you must give way. Zip Merges happen at any place two lines of traffic are forced into one line or lane and there are no lines to cross.


The cars in this diagram may have just left two marked lanes or may have been in two lines of traffic on a wide un-laned road, either way, the car in front gets to go first.


Who signals? If you will be moving across into another lane or line of traffic you must signal. It's the law. It also means you have much more chance of being "let" in.


Speed Limits
The general speed limits on South Australian roads arenít what they used to be and a surprising number of people still have no idea they have changed.

The Open Road Limit outside the metro area is 100kph. 110kph only applies on specifically signposted roads! Many of our hills roads now have an 80kph limit. Other 80 roads have now been made 70. Donít get caught out! It's been like this for years but lots of people are still confused.

The Metro and other built up area speed limit is 50kph. It's been that way since 2003. All roads are 50 unless there are signs that say different. It's nothing to do with back streets and main roads. The default speed is now 50! Many main roads are "marked up" to higher speeds but be careful there are several that are 50.

Getting it right is simple. Do 50kph or less until you see a sign that tells you differently.

Also, watch your speed limit changes. If you are in a 60 zone for example, and approaching an 80 zone, you must wait until you pass the 80 Sign before you raise your driving speed. Likewise, if you are in the 80 zone and approaching a 60 zone, you must slow your speed before reaching the sign, so that you are already doing 60 before you pass the Sign.

Remember the speed limit is the maximum speed you are permitted to drive. Driving slower than the limit is fine and safer. Don't feel pushed to "do the limit" if conditions mean that it is not safe.


Driving To The Conditions
Remember, the Speed Limit is often still too fast for the conditions at the time. Legally, even if you are within the speed limit but due to the situation or conditions, your choice of speed contributes to the cause of a crash, you will be charged with driving with undue care or something similar.

We often see drivers making poor speed choices. Driving too fast in congested situations. Too fast and too close in wet conditions. Too fast in fog and other poor visibility situations. Too fast near pedestrians, road workers, children. Slow down for these and other danger places. It makes almost no difference to your over-all travel time and could well save a life. It's your choice!


Road Rules and Road Traffic Regulations

Australian Road Rules

Version: 25.3.2008

[25.9.2008] This version is not published under the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 1

South Australia under the Road Traffic Act 1961

Road Traffic (Road RulesóAncillary and Miscellaneous

Provisions) Regulations 1999

Version: 1.7.2008

[1.7.2008] This version is not published under the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 1

South Australia under the Road Traffic Act 1961

Suburbs We Do
Find your suburb.


Today's Weather
Learner Driver's need to get experience in all possible conditions!


Sunrise & Sunset Times
Any time after Sunset or before Sunrise counts as "Night Driving" in the Log book.


Drive Smart Driving School's Blog
Tell us your thoughts, ask questions, learn new driving tips or add to the discussions.


Drive Smart Driving School On Facebook
Share with friends, keep up with the latest driving news, join the discussions or make an enquiry.


Information Request

Please write your question and then let us know how to contact you.

If you would like information on a particular Road Rule, we will endeavor to post the answer and send to you via return email as soon as possible.

Please contact us via this email link including your question, name and suburb please.

Regards, Mark and Jenny.




Contact Information

Call or email. Drive Smart Driving School Instructors operate in Adelaide Northern, Central and Eastern suburbs plus Gawler area.



Check driving school contacts for more information.


Northern, Central & Eastern Adelaide Suburbs

8285 4059


Postal Address
P.O. Box 879, Modbury SA 5092


Electronic Mail

General Information:




Your Drive Smart Driving School Instructor is a member of the Australian Driver Trainer's Association of South Australia Inc.



          Send mail to Webmaster at with questions or comments about this web site.
          Copyright © 2008 Twisted Trunk Designs
          Last modified: Sunday November 30, 2014



Information contained within this website is intended as a guide only and is not considered to be precise legal interpretations of the road traffic laws.

For more detailed information regarding the law, please refer to the Australian Road Rules or to for a more comprehensive search.

Also, the Police Traffic Information Office is available on (08) 8207 6586 for further information on traffic laws.


It should be noted that references and claims relating to the "best driver you can be" all refer to the best driver we can help you become given the available time and

opportunities for training. Once on their P's, a new driver is totally responsible for their own actions and choices.