Drivers must stay out of the right lane on all multi-lane roads with a speed limit of more than 80kmh or on roads where a ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ sign applies. A multi-lane road is a road with two or more marked traffic lanes in the same direction.
This rule only applies to the far right lane. Drivers may drive in the left and centre lanes on a road with three or more lanes in each direction, unless signs or markings on the road indicate otherwise.
Exceptions to keeping out of the right hand lane are drivers indicating and turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, overtaking another vehicle, avoiding an obstruction, travelling where signs or arrows indicate it is allowed (i.e. where a ‘Left Lane Must Turn Left’ sign applies and the driver is not turning left) or where traffic in other lanes is congested.
Other exceptions include where the right lane is a special purpose lane (such as a Transit lane), and the driver meets the requirements to travel in the lane; where the driver of a particular vehicle is required to travel in the right hand lane or there are only two lanes, and the left-hand lane is a slow vehicle turn out lane.
A ‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ sign applies from the first sign until an ‘End Keep Left Unless Overtaking’ sign, road markings on the surface of the road or signs indicate that the road is no longer a multi-lane road or the road ends (for example at a T-intersection).
‘Keep Left Unless Overtaking' signs on multi-lane roads with a speed limit above 80kmh are a reminder only, they are not necessary for the law to be enforced.
Even where it is not legally necessary to keep left, it is courteous to other drivers to do so if practical.
Published in RoyalAuto May 2016
For more details on the Victorian Road Rules, go to racv.com.au/roadrules
Submit Road Rules questions to RoyalAuto, 550 Princes Hwy, Noble Park North, VIC 3174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.