Who gives way at on-ramps to major roads?

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Merging illustration

In a recent conversation, there were conflicting views on giving way at on-ramps to major roads. Some said cars on the major road must give way, others said cars entering must give way. Can you provide a definitive answer?

On Victoria’s road network there are two types of merging.

The first type is where vehicles must cross a dashed line (image on left).  This commonly occurs when joining freeway traffic and on rural highways at the end of overtaking lanes. In this case, the vehicle crossing the line must give way to any vehicle already travelling in the lane the driver wishes to enter, because it is considered changing lanes to enter the major road.

On freeways, merging vehicles should not stop to give way, but have a responsibility to find a suitable, safe gap to merge into. Other drivers can assist by adjusting speeds or changing lanes if possible to create a suitable gap.

The second type of merging is when two lanes join together and there is no dashed line (image on right). In this situation the driver who is further back must give way to the vehicle in front. This is known as a ‘zip merge’ and is common when the number of lanes reduces.

In both situations, drivers wanting to merge should try to match the speed of the traffic they are joining.

Published in RoyalAuto Mar 2016

For more details on the Victorian Road Rules, go to racv.com.au/roadrules
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 Road Rules questions to RoyalAuto, 550 Princes Hwy, Noble Park North, VIC 3174 or care@racv.com.au.