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Hook turns

If you’re heading to Victoria, there is one unusual road rule that you need to know about. The "hook turn" is a right turn from a left hand lane that cars may only make in Victoria. Read on below to find out why hook turns exist, and how to perform this rare traffic manoeuvre.

Hook turns were introduced in Melbourne as early as the 1930s, as a way to facilitate tram movement. These turns can save trams up to 15.64 seconds per intersection, adding up to a considerable number of minutes per day1. That’s an impressive feat for a city with the world’s largest network of trams2.

Hook turns are used by bicycles around Australia, and are also used by buses in two specific Adelaide turns. But you won’t see cars making them anywhere else in Australia.

How to Perform a Hook Turn
A hook turn is a right-hand turn made from the left-hand lane. You can only make a hook turn at intersections with signs like this:
Hook turn street sign showing a right turn arrow and the text "right turn from left only"

According to the Victorian road authority, here are the steps you must take to make a hook turn3:

  1. Approach and enter the intersection from the far left hand lane and have your right indicator on
  2. Move forward to the other side of the intersection, keeping as near as possible to the left of the intersection and clear of any pedestrian crossings
  3. Stay stopped until the traffic lights on the road you are turning into have turned green
  4. Turn right into the road.

It’s worth committing these steps to memory before you start driving in Melbourne, as turning improperly can earn you up to 2 demerit points, and a fine of up to $3304.

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Laws and penalties may have changed since this article was created.
Please note the information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any decisions based on this article
References
Disclaimer
This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at  23rd April 2021 and may be subject to change. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

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