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. 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. For more information see rules for bicycle riders.
For more information see Road Rules 33 to 36.
Vicroads has produced this short video to help motorists understand the hook turn road rule.
Indicating In a Dedicated Turn Lane
The rules require a driver to indicate when ‘changing direction’ to the left or right which includes turning left or right. A driver must continue indicating until they complete the change of direction.
Within the road rules, many diagrams clearly show drivers in a dedicated turn lane using their indicators.
Therefore a driver who is turning right, even in a dedicated turning lane, must indicate. The driver must continue to indicate while making the turn. They are then required to turn their indicator off as soon as the driver completes the turn.
For more information see Road Rules 28, 29 and 32.
Turning into a multi-lane road
When turning into a multi-lane road, vehicles turning either left or right can move into any of the available lanes, unless there are road markings indicating exactly how the turn is to be made.
The diagrams to the right are from the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017 and show the types of line markings and arrows that may be used to indicate which lane a driver must drive in. Where these road markings are present, a driver may only travel in the lane and direction indicated.
For more information see Road Rules 29 and 33.
Drivers making a u-turn 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.
When making a u-turn not at an intersection or a median break, some types of line markings prohibit a driver from turning across the dividing line. For more information see the section line markings.
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. This includes giving way to vehicles turning left from slip lane or a side street even if they have a Give Way or Stop sign.
A ‘U turn must give way’ sign is a reminder of the rules, and is not required at an intersection.
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.
The simple rule to remember is drivers performing u-turns are required to give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians. This includes giving way to vehicles turning left from a slip lane or a side street, even if they are facing a ‘Give Way’ or ‘Stop’ sign.
For more information see Road Rules 37 to 42.
We have prepared a short video to explain when you can safely make a u-turn.