Driving with trams: the Victorian road rules people still don’t know
Trams are a historic and integral part of our transport network, but many people still don’t know the rules for how cars are allowed to navigate around them.
Victoria is home to the largest tram network in the world, spanning some 250 kilometres with more than 500 trams in operation. This vast network has become an iconic part of Melbourne, but it has also exposed us to unique problems.
In 2021, the Department of Transport reports that 2,632 roadside incidents or near-misses occurred with trams, and is calling for drivers to look out for community with its Tram Stops You Stop campaign.
It’s just one of many rules that all Melbourne drivers should know when it comes to trams. Here are five of the most-commonly misunderstood road rules for drivers about navigating trams.
The 5 rules everyone should know about trams
Can I overtake a tram?
When it comes to driving with trams, there’s one golden rule: when a tram stops, you stop.
Melbourne’s double track tram network features roadside stops where passengers alight directly onto the road. For this reason, it’s important to stop at the rear of the tram whenever it stops to let passengers safely disembark.
It could be your child, neighbour or grandparent exiting the vehicle, so make sure you show passengers the same care and courtesy you’d show them. Once all passengers have alighted and the tram doors have closed, you can continue past the tram at no more than 10kph. Fines of $462 apply for failing to comply.
You can legally overtake a tram in motion, but you must not impede the tram and give way at all times.