Welcome to Queensland!

If you are driving while in Queensland, here are some tips to help keep you and your travel companions safe.

Drive on the left

Every time you drive, every time you come to an intersection and every time you enter a road.

Take a break every 2 hours

As you explore our beautiful state, keep in mind that it’s big! Never underestimate the time it takes to travel vast distances. Rest for 15 minutes or more for every 2 hours of driving.

Remember the rules

Familiarise yourself with our road rules as they may be different from the ones back home. Road signs may vary and be less frequent, depending on where you’re driving.

Queensland road rules

Keeping left
  • Australians drive on the left side of single-lane roads – ask passengers to remind you of this every time you set off.
  • On multi-lane roads where the speed limit is 90km/h or more or if there’s a ‘keep left unless overtaking’ sign, you must not drive in the right hand lane unless you’re overtaking, turning right, making a U-turn, avoiding an obstructing or driving in heavy traffic.
  • If you break these rules, there are penalties.
  • You can only overtake if you have a clear view of approaching traffic and it’s safe to do so. Make sure the road markings and signs allow you to overtake.
  • You can’t overtake where there are double centre lines, an unbroken line and where the centre lines include an unbroken line on the left and a broken line on the right.
  • You can only overtake to the left of a vehicle when it’s safe to do so and:
    • you’re driving on a multi-lane road and the vehicle can be overtaken in a marked lane to the left of the vehicle.
    • the vehicle is turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road and is indicating right
    • the vehicle is stationary
    • you’re lane filtering on a motorcycle.
  • You cannot overtake or pass a vehicle that’s travelling in the same direction and has stopped or is stopping at an approaching pedestrian or children’s crossing.
  • You must stay wider of a bicycle rider or e-scooter to a minimum of 1 metre in 60km/h or less speed zones and 1.5 metres in higher speed zones.
  • It’s never legal to exceed the speed limit to overtake another vehicle.
  • If you break these rules, there are penalties.
Roundabouts and U-turns
  • At roundabouts, position your vehicle in the correct lane – look for signs, lane markings, and arrows approaching the roundabout. Give way to all vehicles already on the roundabout.
  • Unless signed, indicate left and turn left using the left lane, indicating right and turn right in the right lane, go straight ahead using either lane and indicate left when exiting the roundabout. Stop indicating when you’re off the roundabout.
  • You can only make U-turns at traffic lights, children’s crossings, level crossings, marked foot crossings, and pedestrian crossings, where there’s a ‘U-turn permitted’ sign. Make sure you’ve got a clear view of traffic, give way to vehicles and pedestrians and complete the U-turn without blocking traffic.
  • You cannot do a U-turn across a single or double continuous centre line, across a continuous centre line to the left of a broken line, or over a painted island.
  • If you break these rules, there are penalties.
Red lights
  • You must stop at a red light – there are no free turns on a red light. You must also stop at an amber light unless it’s unsafe.
  • In Australia, the sequence of lights goes:
    • green (go)
    • amber (stop unless it’s unsafe)
    • red (stop) which differs from other countries.
  • If you break these rules, there are penalties.
  • Speed limits are in kilometres per hour, not miles per hour and are maximum limits. Two default limits apply – 50km/h for local, built-up residential areas and 100km/h on rural roads and highways unless otherwise signed.
  • Speed limits may not be signposted but when the default limits don’t apply, signs are installed to inform you of the speed limit. However, you may need to slow down if the conditions are poor.
  • Speed cameras operate 24 hours, 7 days a week and will catch you if you speed.
  • If you break these rules, there are tough penalties.
Mobile phone use
  • It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile phone when driving, including making or receiving calls, texting, playing games or browsing the web.
  • When driving, your phone cannot be resting on any part of your body.
  • Mobile phone detection cameras operate 24 hours, 7 days a week and will catch you.
  • If you break these rules, there are tough penalties.
Drink and drug driving
  • Drinking or taking drugs? Never drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in Queensland. The blood/breath alcohol concentration level is 0.05 per cent for equivalent open licence holders and zero for equivalent learner/provisional/probationary licence holders across Australia.
  • If you are caught drink driving, you must face a judge at court who will determine disqualification from driving, fines, or term of imprisonment depending on your blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC).
Seatbelts and child restraints
  • Drivers and passengers must wear a seatbelt or child restraint that is suitable for the child’s size and weight if they are 7 years old or under.
  • Seatbelts must be worn with the belt over your shoulder, across the chest and buckled low on the hips.
  • Only Australian Standards approved child restraints (child seats) can be used when travelling on Australian roads. Never use a seat that has been used in a crash. Read more.
  • Failure to wear a properly fitted seatbelt or child restraint can be detected by a seatbelt camera operating 24 hours, 7 days or by police and may result in a penalty to the driver and passenger (aged 16 years or more).
  • You must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, moped/scooter, quad bike, bicycle, electronic bike, e-scooter or similar device at all times. This includes passengers. The helmet must comply with Australian Standards with a label on the inside or a sticker on the outside. Bicycles, electric bike, and e-scooters and similar devices must comply with the road rules but also have other rules that apply to them.
  • If you break these rules, there are tough penalties.

Road safety

Driving tired
  • Rest well and avoid driving while tired. Fatigue can creep up on you on long or short trips and doesn’t only relate to falling asleep at the wheel, even a brief lapse of concentration can have a serious consequence.
  • Take a break every 2 hours and share the driving if possible.
  • Avoid driving late at night when you should be sleeping.
  • Recognise the warning signs of fatigue and stop driving if you’re feeling tired, drowsy, or if you’re yawning.
  • If you notice yourself making careless mistakes while driving, pull over in a safe place and take a break or nap.
  • Caffeine, loud music and fresh air are only temporary fixes – sleep is the only way to relieve tiredness.
Road conditions
  • Road conditions will vary from multilane highways and major arterial roads, local roads, narrow roads, beach roads, through to unsealed or dirty roads, so please adjust your speed accordingly.
  • Driving in rural and remote areas requires special driving skills and awareness of different road conditions. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Carry a spare tyre, spare fuel, food, water, and blankets. Let people know that you are travelling remotely and consider hiring emergency equipment like a satellite phone or an Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) device.
  • If you’re going to drive on beaches and in national parks, you’ll need a suitable four-wheel-drive (4WD), a vehicle access permit and knowledge of how to drive on sand.
Driving near wildlife

Watch out for animals (kangaroos, emus, koalas, wombats, sheep, and cattle) grazing along roadsides and unfenced areas during dawn and dusk. Slow down to a safe speed when you see warning signs and avoid swerving to prevent the risk of rolling off the road.

Floods and fires
  • Don’t drive through floodwaters – if it’s flooded, forget it. If you become trapped in floodwaters, stay calm and phone triple zero (000) or ask someone with a signal to call for your rescue.
  • Bushfires are also a tragic part of Queensland’s summers. Turn your headlights (or hazard lights) on if smoke makes it hard to see. Report all fires by calling triple zero. Wind windows up, keep water close by, and turn vents and air-conditioning off. Obey police and firefighters. Read more about road safety near floods and fires.
  • For non-life-threatening emergency assistance during severe weather events, contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 anywhere in Queensland.
Breakdowns and emergency services
  • Dial 000 for emergency services (police, ambulance, and fire) across Australia. Only dial 000 if it’s an emergency.
  • If you break down, stop your vehicle in an emergency stopping lane, breakdown bay, or on the side of the road. Switch on your hazard lights and if it’s safe, exit the vehicle and wait behind a safety barrier until help arrives. If there is no barrier and it is safe to do so, remain in your vehicle until help arrives. Dial 13 11 11 for roadside assistance, (24 hours, 7 days a week) across Australia.
  • You must move over and slow down when passing an emergency response vehicle that has its flashing light on to give them space and keep them safe.

Getting around

Trip planning
  • You can plan an itinerary or calculate the distance to your destination with RACQ’s Trip Planner.
  • Plan to be well rested – having a good night sleep after your flight and before you set out on the road will ensure you’re not driving tired.
  • Pack plenty of food and water.
Buying versus renting a vehicle
  • Renting a vehicle is easy and there are a lot of options. Many major international rental companies operate in Australia. You will need a valid licence, credit card as a form of security and a passport for identification. Check out these tips to get the best deal for you.
  • If you buy a vehicle, you must be registered and have compulsory third party (CTP) insurance (this is covered in your registration). CTP insurance is compulsory and covers at-fault drivers for injuries caused to others in a crash. Other insurance options like fire, theft, or comprehensive coverage are offered by insurance companies.

Toll roads are roads that drivers must pay to use. All toll roads in Australia are electronically tolled – there are no cash booths. A tolling account is the easiest way to pay for tolls. Hire car companies can explain how they process tolls. If you’re driving a private vehicle, you can buy an electronic tag or pass account (for frequent toll use) or a pass for one-off trips. All toll roads in Queensland (Brisbane and Toowoomba) are operated by Transurban through their Linkt website.

Downloadable resources in your language


See helpful resources available in Hindi, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, Korean and Japanese.

Learn more

Easy Read Guide

See our guide for safety tips when driving on Queensland roads.

Learn more