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Information for Tourists

This section highlights some of the risks and unique aspects of driving in Victoria. For more detailed information, please read the guide to Driving in Victoria: rules and responsibilities.

Driving on roads that you are not familiar with can increase the risk of a crash so remember to be extra careful when driving and pay close attention to the traffic and environment around you. If you find yourself on the wrong road pull over at a safe place, find out where you are and then plan how to get back on the right road.

At Intersections
Be careful at unfamiliar intersections as you can become confused. All drivers are at greater risk when turning right at intersections with up to a quarter of serious crashes occurring at metropolitan intersections, so be extra careful when turning right.

For further information, see Turning.

Rear-end crashes
Crashes where a vehicle hits the rear of another vehicle are called rear-end crashes and are the most common type of crash for drivers of all ages. Their main cause is that drivers fail to leave a safe distance between vehicles when driving. So when driving, give yourself some space as this gives you time to overcome mistakes you or other drivers make and can be the difference between stopping in time or crashing. Also, check your mirrors before braking. If a car is too close allow plenty of time to brake, and brake slowly.

Keeping left
Overseas visitors are reminded that (like in all other states in Australia) vehicles are driven on the left side of the road in Victoria. Visitors from countries that drive on the right side of the road need to be careful when driving and need to take additional care at intersections as they can be at higher risk of a crash when turning.

It can be a long drive between most Australian cities so take plenty of rest breaks while driving. For more information on fatigue see Fatigue and road safety.

Hook turns
At some intersections in Melbourne where trams operate, to turn right you must do a ‘hook turn’. These intersections are clearly marked, with a sign hanging overhead or on the side of the road.

A hook turn is a right turn from the left lane. If turning right at an intersection with traffic lights and a ‘Right Turn from Left Only’ hook turn sign, you must make a hook turn so as not to delay trams. To do a hook turn you must:
  • approach and enter the intersection from the left lane and indicate that you are turning right
  • move forward to the far left side of the intersection, keeping clear of the pedestrian crossings
  • remain stopped until the traffic lights on the road you are turning into have changed to green, then turn right.
Passing or overtaking trams
There are several rules about driving in Melbourne that relate to trams:
  • Drivers may only overtake a tram on the left.
  • Do not drive past the rear of a tram stopped at a tram stop (where there is no safety zone, dividing strip or traffic island). Drivers must stop level with the rear of the tram and wait for people to get on and off and for the tram doors to be closed before proceeding.
  • If the tram doors are open and the road is clear of pedestrians then drivers may only drive past if directed to do so by a uniformed tram employee and provided that they drive at 10 km/h or less.
  • If drivers are already passing when the tram stops, they must give way to pedestrians on the road between the tram and the far left side of the road.
  • Drivers must drive to the left of a safety zone, and slowly enough to be able to stop and avoid pedestrians.
Tram lanes
Some roads in Melbourne have tram lanes.
  • Tram lanes are designated by a tram lane sign (which may indicate hours of operation) and a continuous yellow line.
  • A driver must not drive in a tram lane during the times it is operational, except for up to 50 metres before turning, so long as they do not obstruct the progress of a tram.
Bicycle lanes
  • Bicycle lanes are indicated by a bicycle lane sign and a continuous or broken white line.
  • A driver must not drive in a bicycle lane during the times it is operational, except for up to 50 metres before turning or when parking.
In Victoria, U-turns are permitted at intersections with signals unless there is a ‘no U-turn’ sign.

International & interstate licences
Drivers from interstate and overseas who want to drive in Victoria see the section, New to Victoria.

Seat belts & child restraints
Everyone in a vehicle (unless exempt) must wear a seat belt, if there is one fitted and available for use in the vehicle.

It the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all passengers are appropriately restrained.
Children under seven years of age must wear a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car for improved safety.

The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows:
  • Children aged under six months must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint
  • Children aged between six months and under four years must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint OR a forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness
  • Children aged between four years and under seven must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, forward facing child restraint with an in-built harness OR an approved booster seat which is properly positioned and fastened.
See Child restraints for more information.

Travelling safely
For more information about travelling safely visit the Department of Infrastructure and Transport website.

For information on travel and holidays, including a long trip checklist, visit the TAC website

For more information click here…….