Signals tell other road users you’re changing your direction or position on the road. Knowing when and how to give signals is an important part of being a safe driver. 

Drivers usually signal using their indicators. However, you may sometimes need to use hand signals if your indicators can’t be seen.

When to give signals

You must signal for at least 3 seconds before you:

  • turn left or right
  • move towards the left or right – for example, when changing lanes
  • stop or slow down
  • move out:
    • from a parking space
    • to pass another vehicle
    • to change lanes.
Blue car indicating turning right and moving into a right turn bay with median strip and right turn arrow road marking.

Signalling when turning right

Signalling at roundabouts

Using your indicators

Indicators tell other road users what you’re going to do. Front indicators are amber or white. Rear indicators are amber or red.


Don’t assume that other drivers have seen your signals.

Use your left indicator when you're:

  • turning left
  • moving towards the left – for example, when you pull back into the left lane after passing another vehicle or when returning to the kerb.

The back of a blue car with the left indicator on.

Use your right indicator when you're:

  • turning right
  • moving towards the right – for example, when moving out of a parking space.
Back of blue car with driver putting their hand out the window to indicate turning right.

Right-turn hand signal

Back of blue car with right indicator on.

Right indicator


Don’t just rely on the other driver’s signal. Is the vehicle slowing down? Is the vehicle in the right place on the road in relation to the signal?


Your brake lights, the red lights at the back of your vehicle, let people behind you know that you’re slowing down or stopping. Brake lights come on automatically when you use the brake pedal (footbrake). Keep your foot on the brake pedal to keep the brake light on to warn other drivers.

Back of blue car with driver putting arm out the window and bending the elbow at a right angle so the hand is pointing straight up.

Stop or slowing hand signal

Back of blue car with red brake lights on.

Brake lights

Tip: tapping the brake pedal will flash the brake lights to warn other drivers.

Hazard lights

When you turn on your hazard lights, both indicator lights flash at the same time as a warning to other road users. You should turn on your hazard lights when your vehicle becomes a temporary hazard to other road users, such as when:

  • you’re changing a tyre on the side of the road
  • your vehicle has broken down and is being towed.