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A hook turn is a right turn from the left-hand lane. A hook turn is required to be made at most intersections in central Melbourne where trams operate.
These intersections are clearly marked, with a sign hanging overhead or on the side of the road (as shown on the right). Some intersections (such as those in Clarendon Street) have flashing signs and line marking to help guide you, but most intersections will only have static signs.
To make a hook turn, you must:
1. Approach and enter the intersection from the far left side of the road you are leaving.
2. If there is line marking, then follow the lines, otherwise move forward, keeping as far to the left of the intersection as possible and clear of any marked foot crossing, until you are at the far side of the intersection.
3. Wait until the lights on the road you are entering turn green.
4. Turn right into that road.
Cyclists are also allowed to make hook turns at any intersection, unless signs specifically prohibit this.
Images sourced from Road Safety Road Rules 2009.
Vicroads has produced a short video to help motorists understand the hook turn road rule.
The simple rule to remember is drivers performing u-turns are required to give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians.
In Victoria, drivers are allowed to perform u-turns at intersections with or without traffic signals and at breaks in the median unless there is a no U-turn sign(as shown on the right) displayed at that location or applying to that length of road. A no right turn sign also prohibits a u-turn.
In some other states in Australia, the opposite applies and you can only do a u-turn at these locations if signs permit it.
A driver must not begin a u-turn unless they have a clear view of any approaching traffic and can safely make the u-turn without unreasonably obstructing the free movement of traffic. The driver making the u-turn must give way to all vehicles and pedestrians, without exception. This includes giving way to vehicles turning left from a slip lane or a side street even if the other vehicle is facing a Give Way or Stop sign.
At an intersection with a median strip or dividing line, you must start the u-turn from the marked lane nearest, or as near as practical , the dividing line or median strip. In any other case, the u-turn must be started from the left of the centre of the road.
A driver must not overtake, or do a U-turn across a single continuous centre line, or a single continuous line to the left of a broken line. A driver may only cross the above line markings to enter or leave the road (for example turning into a side street or driveway), or to avoid an obstruction, provided the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic, it is necessary, reasonable and safe to do so. An obstruction includes a traffic hazard, but does not include a vehicle that is stopped in traffic or moving more slowly than other vehicles.
We have produced a short video to help drivers understand when they can safely perform a U-turn.