The Right Turn Rule of Melbourne

Generally, road rules here make sense. There is no goofy ‘Give Way’ rule in Australia that New Zealand had (recently abolished there as well!). As Melbourne is a large city, traffic is primarily controlled via stoplights rather than roundabouts. All in all, nothing too special.

Except when you factor in these things:

Melbourne’s got a dedicated and sizable tram system. Because the trams run through the center of the streets, that can cause some difficulties turning. Where as normally one would use the center lane for a turn across traffic, in Melbourne that isn’t possible as you’d block tram traffic. So, one must utilize something called a ‘Hook Turn’.

Rather than using the middle lane, a turning car would start in the leftmost lane. When the light changes to green, the car would then move into the intersection and pull somewhat off to the left (there is usually a marked spot). This is to allow free movement of the lanes of forward moving traffic. The turning car then has to sit in the intersection until the lights turn red – then they can proceed and finish the turn.

It’s a very bizarre thing to see for the first time. I’m glad I’m not driving!

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