Marin Tomas

They can fine you for just about everything

SCHOOL holiday season is a time when police crack down on traffic infringements, and Southern Downs motorists could be breaking the law without even know about it.

There are more than 300 road rules in the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management, Road Rules) Regulation 2009, under which you can accumulate points, pay fines or be summoned to court.

If you are drinking a coffee on your way to work, putting on lipstick at the traffic lights or wolfing down a sandwich while heading off to the next meeting, you could be booked for driving without due care and attention, and given a notice to appear in court to be dealt with a magistrate.

More than a third of Australian drivers admit they don't try to obey the road rules when it comes to distractions, while a quarter admit they frequently talk or text while driving, according to figures from road safety program CARMA.

Maybe you gave the driver in front of you an angry toot on the horn because they didn't go after the light turned green. That is a traffic offence.

Did you forget to turn off your fog lights, or was your handbrake off for that quick trip to the bank?

If you didn't lock up your car, that's another fine.

Before leaving a vehicle, the driver must apply the handbrake and the engine must be turned off and keys removed if you are more than 3m away.

Turning up your favourite song on the radio or trying out those new subwoofers? You can be fined for excessive noise.

If you forgot something at home just as you just pulled out of the driveway, you had better turn the whole car around because it is illegal for a driver to reverse further than is reasonable in the circumstances.

Dashing to the post office, make sure you are not parked in front of a post box, and parallel parkers must leave a metre between themselves and cars in front and behind

These offences can incur fines of up to $2200, plus penalty points.

If you don't take action to stop oil leaks then you can also be slapped with a ticket.

Mobile phone use is also a big no-no. You can't check the time, turn it on or off, or use the GPS function by holding it.

This can land you a $330 fine plus three demerit points.

There are also rules for pedestrians. "Jaywalking", taking a little bit longer to cross the road or walking before the little man turns green are ticketable offences that carry a $44 fine.