Tourist and visitor information about road rules and driving in Victoria

If you are tourist visiting from interstate or overseas and want to drive in Victoria the information below highlights some of the unique aspects and risks of driving in Victoria.

This information is designed to help people with foreign licences from overseas on holidays in Victoria as well as interstate visitors. 

For interstate visitor the road rules are very similar around the country. However, there are some different rules like hook turns and these explained below. 

For drivers from overseas there is more detailed information about the risk especially for people where driving on the left side of the road would be quite foreign.  

Driving in Victoria

As a tourist or visitor, driving on roads that you are not familiar with can increase the risk of a crash so remember to be extra careful when driving on unfamiliar roads. You also need to pay close attention to the traffic, road rules 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.

Please read the following guide for more detailed information about the road rules and driving safely in Victoria and your responsibilities.

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.

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

All vehicles are driven on the left side of the road in Australia. 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 you can be at higher risk of a crash when turning.

Fatigue

It can be a long drive between most Australian cities so take plenty of rest breaks while driving.

Approaching and passing stationary or slow moving police and emergency vehicles

A 40km/h speed limit applies when passing a stationary police vehicle, emergency vehicle, enforcement vehicle and escort vehicle with flashing lights or sounding an alarm. 

For more information look at the Law enforcement & emergency vehicles page

Hook turns

If you are from interstate or overseas it is likely that a ‘hook turn’ is very foreign to you. 

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.

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.

Trams

There are several rules about driving in Melbourne that relate to trams:

  • you 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)
  • you 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 you may only drive past if directed to do so by a uniformed tram employee and provided that you drive at 10 km/h or less
  • if you are already passing when the tram stops, you must give way to pedestrians on the road between the tram and the far left side of the road
  • you must drive to the left of a safety zone, and slowly enough to be able to stop and avoid pedestrians.

An image of a tram lane signTram lanes

Tram lanes are designated by a tram lane sign (which may indicate hours of operation) and a continuous yellow line. You 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. You must not drive in a bicycle lane during the times it is operational, except for up to 50 metres before turning or when parking.

U-turns

In Victoria, U-turns are permitted at intersections with signals unless there is a ‘no U-turn’ sign.

Seat belts

Everyone in a vehicle 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 wear a seat belt or are appropriately restrained.

Child restraints

For improved safety children under 7 years of age must wear a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a car.

The type of restraint will depend on the age of the child as follows:

  • children aged under 6 months must wear an approved, properly fastened and adjusted, rear facing child restraint 
  • children aged between 6 months and under 4 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 4 years and under 7 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.

For more tourist and visitor information about driving safely in Victoria, visit the following websites.

Download the following brochure

Remember to take you time when driving, have plenty of  breaks and enjoy your time in Victoria.

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