Lauren and Gareth's Wedding

Owen and Julie in the UK

France 2013.


A visitors guide to driving in Western Australia.

For those outside Australia, we drive right hand drive cars and drive on the left hand side of the road.

In WA, we have an unwritten road code, therefore, it is suggested that you discard your official copy so diligently obtained and studied prior to your visit. The following rules apply to the WA roads, not in any particular order of importance. 

   1.The correct overtaking lane is the left hand lane. The right hand lane is reserved for sightseeing, making mobile phone calls, and looking for street signs. If someone behind you puts on their high beam when you are in the right hand lane,  they do not want to overtake, but, in fact, are trying to give you more light in which to read your street directory. We in the west are so considerate like that.

    2.Tunnels are a big novelty here, despite probably being commonplace where you come from. As a result, you are expected to reduce speed considerably on entering our very own tunnel so you have more time to appreciate the engineering and architecture of this magnificent structure, which is far better than anything in your hometown.  

   3.In WA, it is illegal to use a hand held mobile phone while you are driving. Please do not let that stop you, your call is important to us. However, we all recognise  the inherent danger in using these devices while driving, so it is recommended that whilst using a mobile, please move to the right lane (you should be there already) and reduce speed to ensure you can still respond in a timely manner to any change in road conditions.

    4.Roundabouts are something we have never really got used to. To avoid any confusion, please do not indicate at all, as any indication is confusing. Should you not be to sure who has right of way, feel free to stop in the middle of the roundabout to give way to your left. This is also a great gesture of courtesy, and should anyone toot their horn, it is in appreciation of your courtesy. Likewise, a vertical finger is a wave of “welcome to Perth”.

    5.On many of our country roads there are overtaking lanes to allow drivers to overtake slower vehicles on sections where it would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do so. You should be mindful of the fact that speed is our biggest killer and you therefore have a moral obligation to drive at least 20kph below the speed limit on the single lane sections, and accelerate to whatever speed is necessary to prohibit those reckless drivers in our midst from overtaking. They are a danger to the community at large and who knows how many lives you will save by such a small contribution as this.

    6.Traffic lights are a modern method of regulating the flow of traffic but have the effect of causing vehicles to travel in  packs. Therefore, the appropriate method to reduce this effect is to wait until the vehicle in front of you is a reasonable distance from you before you move away from the lights. Ten car lengths or more is considered appropriate. Do not accelerate quickly away from the lights, as this will make you stand out as a tourist.

    7.Merging of two lanes into one has its dangers. The obvious way to reduce these dangers is to reduce your speed prior to attempting a merging manoeuvre. While you may be used to merging one for one, this simply does not work here and you should try to stay as close to the car in front to ensure you don’t lose your place in the queue.

    8.If all the above rules are too confusing, remember that when all else fails, drive in the right hand lane and be totally oblivious to anything that may be happening around you. It is not as easy as it sounds but with some practice you’ll find yourself driving like a local in no time.

   Follow these simple rules and you are ensured of a pleasant stay in our beautiful state without standing out from the crowd as just another tourist. Enjoy your stay.