Legal and Illegal NSW Road Rules for Headlight Flashing

Legal and Illegal NSW Road Rules for Headlight Flashing

The purpose of headlight flashing is to let road users and other drivers know you are approaching. Headlight flashing is not just associated with night driving, but even during daytime, it can enhance the possibility of being visible to the road users. 

New learners In Australia taking driving lessons need to get familiar with the NSW road rules. In this post let’s get familiar with illegal and legal rules associated with headlight flashing. 

Legal – Headlight flashing is crucial to allow road users about your presence. It lets the pedestrians know they can cross safely or the driver’s waiting at a junction know they can safely pull out.

Illegal – Never use headlights to deliver an alert message to other drivers about police checks or speed camera actions ahead. Besides, ignoring the rules of using high beams as stipulated in NSW Road rules can incur demerit points or issue fines. Some drivers intimidate other drivers, which is a serious offense. It can land them in court or get their driving license disapproved/suspended or get significantly penalized. 

NSW Road Rules for headlights

  • The headlight has to be switched ON when you drive between sunrise and sunset.
  • When there is insufficient light during the day and you are unable to see people wearing dark clothes from 100 meters distance flash your headlights.

Legal use of headlights from low to high beam

Headlights beam rules

  • Dip headlight beam low, when a car coming in your direction is at a distance within 200 meters.
  • Low beam is legal when you are driving less than or 200 meters behind another car.
  • Switch on the high beam instantly or at a 200-meter distance, before you start overtaking the car in front.

Ignoring road rules and flashing headlights can be dangerous

Despite official guidelines, headlights get flashed for many other reasons besides letting drivers know you are there. It can be dangerous. For example, you noticed a car waiting at the junction so you slowed down and flashed your headlights to give a safe pull out signal. The waiting driver can get confused with this friendly-gesture. The flashing headlight may come across as a command, which pressurizes the waiting driver. He can miss the traffic or a hard-to-spot cyclist coming from another direction.

Rather than using headlights to let the waiting driver know it is safe to pull out, slow down and give him the space to join if he wants or let him wait for another gap. It is better to do this, to avoid a possible accident!

Flashing headlights make drivers act impulsively without thinking. Therefore, the road rules recommend using them to alert road users about your presence. You gain attention but using headlights to signal other drivers can be dangerous at times. 

Never take risks

Always follow the NSW Road Rules. Flash headlights to make your presence known and use the beams according to the laws. Demit points can make you lose your license, which can impact car insurance coverage. There are some unspoken road etiquettes that every Australian driver need to know about and adhere to.