About driving

Key driving skills

Using lanes correctly

Lanes are painted on the road to separate traffic. It's important that you use lanes correctly. The information below will help you do that.

Lane rules at intersections

Make sure you are in the correct lane for the direction that you are travelling. Follow the direction of any arrows marked on the road.

If there are no arrows:

  • turn left from the left-hand lane
  • turn right from the right-hand lane
  • use either lane to go straight ahead.

Ideally, you should stay in the same lane all the way through the intersection. Don't change lanes unless you can do so safely.

Picture of car indicating to turn right in a right-turn lane

Laned intersection

Making a right turn at an intersection with marked lanes

When turning right from a road that has more than one marked lane in each direction into another road with more than one marked lane in each direction:

  • make sure you are in the right-turn lane
  • signal for at least three seconds before turning
  • turn into the appropriate lane of the road.
Picture of car turning right from a right-turn lane

Turning right with marked lanes

Making a right turn into a one-way street

When turning into a one-way street:

  • turn from the lane next to the centre line (if in a two-way street)
  • signal for at least three seconds before turning
  • turn into the closest lane of the one-way street.
Picture of car turning right into a one-way street

Turning right into a one-way street

Making a right turn from a one-way street

When turning right from a one-way street, you should stay in the same lane throughout the turn. That means:

  • if you're turning from the left-hand lane of the one-way street, turn into the left-hand lane of the two-way street
  • if you're turning from the right-hand lane of the one-way street, turn into the lane immediately to the left of the centre line of the two-way street.

Remember to signal for at least three seconds before turning.

Picture of car turning right from a one-way street

Turning right from a one-way street

Two vehicles turning into the same road at a laned intersection

When two vehicles are turning into the same road at an intersection that has more than one marked in lane in both directions:

  • both vehicles must show they want to turn by signalling for at least three seconds
  • both vehicles stay in their own lane throughout the turn, that is:
    • car A turns from the left-hand lane into the left-hand lane
    • car B turns from the right-hand lane into the right-hand lane.
Picture of two cars turning into the same road at a laned intersection

Turning at a laned intersection

Changing lanes at an intersection

Ideally, try to get into the correct lane before you get to the intersection. However, if you must change lanes:

  • make sure it's safe before you start
  • signal for at least three seconds before changing lanes
  • before changing lanes, look over your shoulder to check that there are no vehicles in your blind spot.

Never change lanes suddenly.

Picture of a car incorrectly changing lanes at an intersection

Incorrectly changing lanes at an intersection

Passing lanes

When there are passing lanes, drive in the left-hand lane unless you are passing another vehicle.

If you've been driving slower than the speed limit, don't speed up when you reach a passing lane if other vehicles are following – give them the opportunity to pass you safely. See Passing for more information.

Picture of a passing lane

Passing lane

Special vehicle lanes

Special vehicle lanes have signs or markings that indicate they are only for the use of specific kinds of vehicles, such as buses, cycles, taxis or vehicles carrying a specified number of passengers (transit lanes). See Main types of signs for examples of special vehicle lane signs.

Other vehicles may use special vehicle lanes to make a turn or get to a parking space. Use of the lane for these purposes must be kept to a minimum length and be no more than 50 metres. You must give way to any vehicles entitled to use the lane.

Some special vehicle lanes operate 24 hours a day for the use of the designated vehicles. Others have times of operation specified on their signs, for example, '4 pm to 6 pm'. In that case, you may be able to stop in them outside of these times.

Important

If you are turning at an intersection where there is a cycle lane, give way to cyclists going straight through.

< previous | next >

Last updated: 1 May 2011