Many signalised intersections in Victoria, particularly older installations, have traffic lights that do not have right turn arrows. When turning right at these locations this is known as a ‘filtered right turn’ as turning traffic filters through the oncoming traffic.
If the lights are green, you may turn right while giving way to any oncoming vehicle that is going straight. If the oncoming vehicle is turning left, you must also give way to it unless it is turning left at a slip lane. In particular, look out for oncoming motorcycles and bicycles as they can be harder to see and may come from between vehicles within their lanes. If the oncoming vehicle is turning right, you should not need to give way to each other as your paths should not cross, however take extra care if the oncoming vehicle is large or long.
In addition to giving way to oncoming vehicles, you must also give way to pedestrians that are crossing the road you are entering. This includes wheelchair users, children on bicycles and wheeled toys.
The road rules do not explicitly address how far into the intersection you should position your vehicle while giving way to oncoming traffic, but you should do so in a manner that does not obstruct or risk colliding with oncoming vehicles that are going straight or turning right. Also, if there are turn lines painted on the road, you must make the turn as indicated by the line.
If oncoming traffic is heavy and there are no safe gaps in which to make your turn, you may find that the light changes from green to yellow or red after you have entered the intersection but not yet completed your turn. In this case, the road rules require you to leave the intersection as soon as you can safely do so. In most cases, this means you will need to be sure that oncoming traffic will stop, and then complete your turn. However, if the lights have changed to yellow or red and you have not yet entered the intersection (even if you have passed the stop line), you must stop and not enter the intersection.
Finally, a number of newer signalised intersections have right turn arrows but do not always activate a green right turn arrow. In this case, keep watching the red arrow, which should drop out a few seconds after the straight through movement gets a green light. Once the red arrow is no longer showing and green light is showing, you can then make your right turn, giving way to oncoming traffic as described above.