Parking and stopping

Clearways

A driver must not stop on a road where a clearway sign applies.

Taxis and public buses may stop on a road where a clearway applies provided they are picking up or dropping off passengers.

Many clearway zones allow for vehicles left in the clearway to be towed away.

Find out about RACV’s position on clearways.  

Emergency stopping lanes

Driving in an emergency lane

A driver is not allowed to drive in an emergency stopping lane unless:

  • they are avoiding a collision
  • intending to stop in the lane (because of one of the reasons below)
  • the driver’s vehicle is disabled or
  • signage for a length of road indicates that a particular class of vehicle may drive in the lane.

Some vehicles may be allowed to drive in the emergency stopping lane with written consent of the road authority. 

Stopping in an emergency lane

Stopping on a motorway is not allowed unless you stop in the emergency stopping lane. 

Stopping in an emergency stopping lane is only allowed when the condition of the driver, a passenger or the vehicle makes it necessary in the interests of safety and the driver stops for no longer than is necessary. 

Don’t use the emergency stopping lane to change drivers or take a break – stop well off the road, ideally at a rest area. Do not stop in an emergency stopping lane to answer your mobile phone – this is generally not considered an emergency.

Motorcycle parking on footpaths

Parking on a footpath, dividing strip or nature strip adjacent to the road in a built-up area is generally not allowed, unless specifically permitted by a parking control sign. However motorcycle riders can legally park in these areas, as long as they don’t inconvenience, obstruct, hinder or prevent the free passage of any pedestrian or other vehicle.

To help motorcyclists comply with this road rule, the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council (the State Government’s peak advisory body on motorcycle matters and policy) has prepared some simple guidelines. These apply throughout Victoria, and are particularly useful when parking in busy metropolitan areas and townships where there are a large number of pedestrians and motorcyclists.

The main tips include the following: 

  • dismount and walk the motorcycle when on the footpath
  • ensure the motorcycle is at least one length out from the building to allow free passage, especially for impaired pedestrians who may use the building line to navigate
  • park at least one wheel diameter back from the road kerb to allow free access to the road and parked vehicles.

The guidelines recommend that motorcyclists should not park:

  • on private property (including building forecourts) without permission
  • in space reserved for street cafes and other activities
  • near taxi ranks, bus/tram stops and disabled parking bays and other areas that may hinder access
  • on or near service access points such as manhole covers, post boxes or rubbish bins.

Oil leaks can be very dangerous to pedestrians, so motorcycles leaking oil should be parked on the road and must be repaired as soon as possible.

No parking

A ‘No Parking’ sign means that drivers must not stop in the area indicated by the sign unless they are dropping off or picking up passengers or goods. While stopped in a ‘No Parking’ zone drivers are not permitted to leave the vehicle unattended, which means they must remain within 3 metres of the vehicle. The driver must complete their task and drive on as soon as possible, within the time limit.

Unless the signs say otherwise, the time limit for stopping is two minutes.

If the time indicated on the sign is less than five minutes, or no time is indicated, drivers with a disabled parking permit may stop for twice the allowed time.

No stopping

A ‘No Stopping’ sign mean that drivers must not stop in the area shown by the arrows on the sign, even if they are picking up or dropping off passengers. Similarly, drivers must not stop along sections of road marked with a continuous yellow edge line. Where older ‘No Standing’ signs are being phased out, but they have the same meaning as ‘No Stopping’.

Parking across a driveway

A driver must not stop on or across a driveway or access way for vehicles travelling to or from land next to the road unless the driver is dropping off, or picking up, passengers or the driver stops in a parking bay as permitted under the Road Rules. If picking up or dropping off passengers, the driver must not leave the vehicle unattended, and must complete dropping off, or picking up, the passengers and drive on as soon as possible, but within 2 minutes of stopping.

Parking zones

There are many different zones that allow, or prevent, parking for particular types of vehicles. Most zones are quite clear on which type of vehicles can legally stop within the zone:

  • Truck, Taxi and Bus Zones are for the exclusive use of each particular type of vehicle as indicated on the sign.
  • Works zones can only be used by drivers of vehicles engaged in construction work in or near the zone. 
  • Permit zones can only be used by drivers whose vehicle displays a current permit issued by the body responsible for the management of the permit zone (e.g. Local Council). 
  • Mail zones are for the exclusive use by drivers of postal vehicles.

Drivers must not stop in a loading zone unless they are:

  • a public passenger vehicle or taxi that is dropping off, or picking up, passengers; or
  • a truck (which has a gross vehicle mass over 4.5 tonnes) that is dropping off, or picking up, goods; or
  • a courier vehicle displaying a “courier vehicle” sign permanently affixed (i.e. not magnetically) onto the body of the vehicle; or
  • a delivery vehicle displaying a “delivery vehicle” sign permanently affixed (i.e. not magnetically) onto the body of the vehicle; or
  • a vehicle that is dropping off, or picking up, goods.  The vehicle must be constructed mainly for carrying loads (i.e. not a sedan, station wagon or motor bike) and must display an identifying label approved by VicRoads.

A time limit of 30 minutes applies to loading zones unless signs indicate otherwise.

Other parking rules

A driver must not park in a slip lane or on a painted island.

Unless parking signs show otherwise, and provided there is at least three metres of clear road between the car and the centre dividing line for other cars to pass, a driver can park opposite:

  • double continuous dividing lines
  • a single continuous dividing line 
  • a single continuous line to the left or right of a broken dividing line
  • a dividing strip.

However a driver is permitted to park opposite a broken line without leaving three metres clear between the parked car and the broken dividing line.

Heavy or long vehicles must not park on a road in a built-up area for longer than one hour, unless parking signs indicate otherwise or the driver is picking up or setting down goods.

Unless signed otherwise, a driver must park at least 20 metres before a tram stop.

The rules for moving parked vehicles have also been clarified. When moving a parked vehicle to another parking spot, a driver must move the vehicle off the length of road or out of the area that the parking sign applies to.