Driving Rules II Lights and Signals

When to Use Headlights

The main beam must be able to light up pedestrians and vehicles at least 100 metres ahead of the vehicle when it is undipped. You must turn on your vehicle's headlights:

  1. Between sunset and sunrise
  2. At any other time when visibility is not clear for a minimum of 150 metres ahead and you can't clearly see a person or vehicle in that distance.

When to Use Headlights

You must have your headlights on at all times, day or night, when you ride your motorcycle on a public road. 

The main beam must be able to light up pedestrians and vehicles at least 100 metres ahead of the vehicle when it is undipped.

Dipping Your Headlights

You must dip your vehicle's headlights when:

  1. Other vehicles are coming towards you, so that you don't blind the oncoming driver
  2. You are following other vehicles closely
  3. A police officer is directing traffic
  4. You park
  5. You drive in urban areas

A dipped beam should not strike the road surface more than 45 metres in front of your vehicle. If there is plenty of street light, you should be able to drive with your headlights dipped the whole time.

Parking Lights

Parking lights should be used when the vehicle is parked on the roadway outside a demarcated parking bay or more than 12 metres from an illuminated street light. Never drive with just the park lights on.

Flashing Emergency Lights

When you turn on your flashing emerging lights, indicator lights flash at the same time as a warning to other road users

You should only turn on your flashing emerging lights when your vehicle becomes a temporary hazard to other road users, such as when you are you're changing a tyre on the side of the road or your vehicle has broken down and is being towed, or when you see an emergency ahead and need to stop quickly.

Official vehicles or private medical, veterinarian or breakdown contractors may additionally be fitted with adjustable spotlights to aid rescue and recovery efforts.

Introduction to Giving Signals

Signals enable you to tell other road users that you are changing your direction, reducing your speed or stopping, or changing your position on the road. Because of this, knowing when and how to give signals is a very important part of being a safe driver. Drivers usually signal using their indicators. However, you may sometimes need to use hand signals if your indicators can't be seen.

When to Give Signals

You must signal in a way that can be clearly seen by other road users for a reasonable length of time. A guideline of at least three seconds of indicating applies before you:

  1. Turn left or right
  2. Move towards the left or right (for example, when you pull back into the left lane after overtaking another vehicle)
  3. Stop or slow down
  4. Move out: from a parking space; to overtake another vehicle; or to change lanes.

Assume other drivers have not seen your signals and make sure you proceed with caution. In a similar manner, don't just rely on the other driver's signal: Is the vehicle slowing down? Is the vehicle in the right place on the road in relation to the signal?

Using your Light Indicators

Your indicators are usually flashing lights on both sides of the front and rear of your vehicle. They signal your intentions to other road users. 

Use your left indicator when:

  • You are turning left
  • Moving towards the left (for instance when you pull back into a lane after overtaking another vehicle)
User your right indicator when:
  • You are turning right
  • Moving towards the right (for example, when moving out of a parking space)
When your manoeuvre is completed and the need for signalling is over, always make sure you cancel the indicator.

Using Your Stop Lights

Your stop lights (the red lights at the back of your vehicle) let people behind you know that you're slowing down or stopping. Stop lights come on automatically when you use the brake pedal. Keep your foot on the brake pedal to keep the brake light on to warn other drivers. Tapping the brake pedal will flash the stop lights to warn other drivers.

Using Hand Signals

Hand signals can be used when you have reason to believe other road users cannot see your light signals or the light signals are not working. Hand signals may not be used on freeways except for in emergencies.

What it looks like

What it means

Right hand movement required

I am stopping

Hold upper arm straight to the right with hand 90 degrees up

I am slowing down

Hold hand straight out, bobbing it up and down

It is safe to overtake me – please overtake me

Hold right hand straight out and signal a half circle anti-clockwise

I am turning right

Hold right hand straight out

I am turning left

Hold right hand out and circle it fully anti-clockwise

Using Hand Signals

Hand signals can be used when you have reason to believe other road users cannot see your light signals or the light signals are not working. Hand signals may not be used on freeways except for in emergencies.

What it looks like

What it means

Hand movement required

[Picture: TBC]

I am stopping

[Picture: TBC]

I am slowing down

[Picture: TBC]

It is safe to overtake me – please overtake me

[Picture: TBC]

I am turning right

[Picture: TBC]

I am turning left

Using the Horn

You may only use the hooter for safety reasons and should not hoot unnecessarily. The hooter must be audible for at least 90 metres and the tone of the pitch may not vary.

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