Traffic signs and line markings

Dividing lines

Drivers must keep to the left of dividing lines painted in the centre of the road, whether they are dashed or solid lines.  

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)
  • park in an angle parking area on the opposite side of the road  provided that the driver does not need to perform a U-turn to reach the parking area
  • avoid an obstruction provided the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic, and it is necessary, reasonable and safe to do so.

Overtaking is not permitted across a double dividing line or when signs prohibit it.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rules 132 and 134.

Double lines

Crossing double lines, including double lines along the side of a painted island, is not permitted. The only exception to this rule is that drivers may drive on or over double lines to avoid an obstruction, but only if the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic, it is necessary and reasonable to do so, and the driver can do so safely. It should be noted that a vehicle stopped in traffic travelling slower than other traffic, or a bicyclist, are not considered to be an obstructions.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 132.

Lane lines

A driver must not change lanes over a single continuous lane line, including those approaching traffic signals.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rules 147 and 148.

Arrows

Traffic lane arrows must be obeyed whether they are at signalised intersections, roundabouts or elsewhere. Drivers at an intersection (with or without signals) in a lane marked with turning arrows must turn according to the arrows at that intersection. An exception is that drivers may make U-turns from lanes marked with right turn arrows unless prohibited by signs.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 92.

Keep clear

Keep Clear markings are legally enforceable and drivers must not stop on an area of road with these markings.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 96.

Stop and give way lines

Stop lines (solid lines painted across the traffic lane and not part of Keep Clear markings or pedestrian cross walks) and Give Way lines (broken lines painted across the traffic lane and not part of Keep Clear markings or pedestrian cross walks) have the same meaning as the signs themselves when not located at a signalised intersection where there are twin red flashing lights, a level crossing or a children's crossing. For example, drivers approaching a Stop line must stop and give way, including those at the exit from a car park to a road. Drivers approaching a Give Way line must give way.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rules 67, 68 and 69.

Painted islands

Drivers must not drive over a painted island surrounded by a single continuous line unless entering or leaving the road, entering a turning lane that begins immediately after the painted island, to enter a part of the road of one kind from a part of the road of another kind; or to access angle parking on the opposite side of the road. A driver must not drive over a painted island at a freeway on-ramp or slip lane.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 138.

Parking opposite a centre dividing line

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 parallel 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.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 208.

Special purpose lanes

The rules for special purpose lanes including bike lanes, bus lanes, transit lanes and tram lanes are explained in the section on special purpose lanes.