Tailgating Article 19 DEC 2023

The Tailgating Tango: The Rules of the Road in NSW and Beyond

Have you ever been cruising down the scenic roads of New South Wales (NSW), the wind in your hair, tunes blasting through the speakers, and suddenly, a car appears on your tail like it’s auditioning for a dance-off? Welcome to the world of tailgating, a driving behaviour that’s as annoying as it is potentially dangerous. But is it illegal? Let’s unravel the tailgating tango and see if you might need the expertise of our team at Jackson John, the best lawyers for driving offences.

In NSW, like in many parts of the world, tailgating isn’t just frowned upon – it’s a traffic offence. The law mandates that drivers maintain a safe following distance to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. So, what’s a safe following distance? Well, it’s not about how well you can read the bumper stickers on the car in front of you, it’s about giving yourself enough time and space to react if things go south.

If you find yourself facing the legal music due to a tailgating traffic infringement, you might want to consider tapping into the expertise of our skilful team of traffic offence lawyers and driving offence lawyers. Our legal maestros can help you waltz through the complexities of the legal system and mitigate the consequences.

Let’s compare the rules around the globe. While tailgating is generally frowned upon everywhere, the severity of penalties varies. In some countries, you might get away with a stern warning, but in others, you could end up facing hefty fines or even jail time. It’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the local rules when hitting the roads in a foreign land.

Take the United States, for instance. Tailgating, or “following too closely,” is a traffic violation in most states. Penalties range from fines to points on your driving record, and in extreme cases, it might even lead to a reckless driving charge.

Across the pond in the United Kingdom, tailgating is also a no-no. The Highway Code explicitly states that drivers should maintain a safe distance, and those who fail to comply risk fines and penalty points. The UK takes road safety seriously, and the consequences for tailgating can be severe.

In Australia, each state has its own road rules, but the basics remain consistent. In addition to potential fines, tailgating in NSW can also earn you demerit points on your driving record. Accumulate enough of these, and you might find yourself in need of seeking advice from experienced criminal defence lawyers, such as the team at Jackson John.

Now, let’s talk about the grey areas. Tailgating is often a subjective call, and what one driver considers a safe distance might differ from another’s perspective. In such cases, it’s not just about the law but also about common courtesy. Defensive driving isn’t just a term; it’s a mindset that can save lives.

So, what should you do if you find yourself on the receiving end of a tailgater’s impromptu dance routine? Instead of engaging in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, be the bigger person – or in this case, the bigger driver. Safely change lanes and let the overzealous tailgater pass. It’s not just a matter of road etiquette, it’s a strategic move to avoid potential accidents and legal trouble.

In the unfortunate event that you do end up with a ticket for tailgating, consider seeking the advice of our expert criminal defence lawyers driving offence lawyers at Jackson John. We can provide invaluable guidance on how to navigate the legal aftermath and, if necessary, build a solid defence.

The tailgating tango might seem like a harmless dance on the surface, but it comes with potential legal consequences. Whether you’re driving through the picturesque landscapes of NSW or exploring the highways of distant lands, understanding the rules of the road, and practicing defensive driving is key. And if you find yourself in need of legal guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced criminal defence lawyers at Jackson John who are the best lawyers for driving offences. After all, it’s better to be safe and legally sound than sorry.