Laws and regulations differ from one state to another in Australia. International students arriving in a new country with an unfamiliar set of laws and regulations will surely make them feel like they do not belong. Following the rules will not only keep you safe and sound but also will teach you how to abide by different systems at different places.
1- Students Driving in Australia:
Having a driving license in Australia is actually not a tiresome process since there is an international driver's license in Australia that any student can obtain. The left side of the road is the one used for driving in Australia, so if you come from a country that had the right side as the driving one, you will feel like the world has flipped upside down. It is essential to know which way the traffic is flowing before driving in any foreign country. Habit conquers one's mind, so concentrate that you do not automatically deviate to the right side of the road. Traffic lights in Australia follow international standards; however, studying all road signs in Australia will ease driving for you.
There is a national scheme used in Australia that gives ‘demerit points’ to drivers who commit traffic offences, and when they reach a specific amount, they undergo penalties. Some of the offences that can gain you one of these points are drunk driving, speeding, not wearing the seat belt, talking on a mobile while driving, or violating any of the traffic, road, or safe Australian road rules.
General parking rules in Australia are just as important and if a student broke any of these rules, they might be given a parking infringement notice. The demerit points system applies to illegal parking too. The number of demerit points added to the drivers’ record differ from one state to another, so make sure that you ask about this information when issuing your driving license.
2- Students Cycling in Australia:
Australian cycling laws mandates wearing a helmet for bike riders and the demerit points system also applies. All the states in Australia agree on that law: a cyclist must wear a helmet while in motion. However, every state has its own set of rules when it comes to other cycling laws. As an international student in any of the Australian territories, you have to read the state cycling laws before hitting the road to avoid getting a fine, or worse, having an accident.
Considering that cycling has become the most environment-friendly means of transportation and by far the cheapest, most international students go for riding bikes in Australia and most countries. If you are one of these students, try checking Australia’s largest cycling membership organisation: Bicycle Network. Their offices are in New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
3- Student Pedestrians in Australia:
Jaywalking in Australia is not an offence; however, the numerous existing offences are related to walking while disregarding other road users and jeopardizing them or yourself. For example, it is an offence if a pedestrian diagonally crosses the road unless it is an intersection and they can only cross when the pedestrian lights are green.
One of the most dangerous distractions that university students fall under is texting while walking. Even if it sounds old school, but we still need to look at both sides of the road before crossing. Further, students wearing their headphones, listening to music on their way to or from their university in Australia, will not be able to hear any warning horns or sirens. It is still a safe road rule to pay attention to any warning alarms, sirens, horns, etc.
Like cycling, all the Australian states agree on being against littering as they all have an anti-litter legislation. A littering fine is applied in Australia by the police and other environmental agencies.
The number for emergency services in Australia is 000. They can connect you to police, ambulance, or help you report any problem that you are facing.
4- Noisy Neighbors Law in Australia:
There is no state in Australia, and perhaps all over the world, that does not condemn noises at inappropriate hours. These inappropriate hours differ from one territory to another. For example, in New South Wales, music is restricted from 10 pm to 8 am on any weekday, but on Friday and Saturday, it is prohibited from midnight until 8 am. Any excessive noise can be reported at any time of the day in Queensland.
University life is full of parties and crazy nights. Students must keep in mind that they will probably be living in student accommodation in Australia, which could be a bit limiting. If any of your flatmates is too noisy, always try the friendly approach and if this did not work, try talking to the management team in your student accommodation. Learn how to deal with the 6 Types of Roommates You’ll Meet in College from this blog article.
Find out how the UK Common Rules and Regulations differ from those in Australia.