Turning right from a single lane to a multilane in Canberra?

Hazel 13 May 2011 26

Hi, I am a Learner Driver.

I have searched the Australian Road Rules for this but haven’t found anything.

I have been online as well and read a forum, now I am totally unsure about this road rule!

I am turning right from a single lane at the traffic light into a multilaned road. The turn line is marked. Can i choose to enter either the first, second or third lane after negotiating the turn?

Or should i necessarily follow the turn line completely, enter the 1st lane THEN signal and move to the 3rd lane when possible?

People seem to have different opinions on this matter.

And what if there is a slip lane to the left of the multilane way that i am entering? 

Please help 🙂


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26 Responses to Turning right from a single lane to a multilane in Canberra?
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Shifu Shifu 5:20 pm 16 Dec 16

When turning right into a multiple line road (you have the green arrow) you must stay in the rightmost line on the road you are turning into. IT IS A VERY COMMON MISTAKE (AND CAUSE OF MANY ACCIDENTS) TO CHANGE THE LINE WHILE EXECUTING THAT TURN. YOU MUST STAY IN THE SAME LINE YOU HAVE STARTED THE TURN. It may all sound a bit strange but it makes a perfect sense if you rationally think about it. Firstly it allows the oncoming cars to turn left without any problems and secondly, if you didn’t stay in your line it means:
1. You have change line on the intersection – illegal
2. You have changed the line to the left while you have the right indicator on (because you turning right). That would be very confusing and illegal as well.
If you need to be in the left hand side lines after executing the right turn, you must follow all the rules of line changing – starting with correct indicating and making sure the line you turning into is free.

markjohnconley markjohnconley 11:49 am 16 Dec 11

markjohnconley said :

markjohnconley markjohnconley 11:46 am 16 Dec 11

Fuzzy said :

Wanon said :

Keep within the lines that are painted on the road. A dashed line is a give way line and a solid line cannot be crossed except for emergencies. A wide solid line is a stop line.

They will typically turn you into the right most lane. This will allow cars (on the opposite side of the intersection) to turn left into the left lane at the same time you turn right into the right lane.

..Part 2 of your question – traffic turning left from a slip lane is required to give way to cars turning right. While technically the 2 cars should be able to happily go together, most people will wait in the slip lane if lights have gone for right turns on the assumption that half the traffic will do a wide turn straight into the left lane.

Close, traffic turning left from a slip lane are required to give way to cars turning right if you are both turning into a ONE lane road, however as that car turning right HAS to turn into the ‘fast’ lane, I was told by the traffic police that the left turning traffic can proceed!

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 5:40 pm 15 May 11

No, there is a left turn slip lane from Mugga Lane into Hindmarsh Dr. “turn left at anytime with care”. This is the case for the vast majority of intersections entering multi lane roads. The left turn slip lane is NOT controlled by traffic lights.

That’s true, but the slip lane has to give way to whatever traffic is in the road, including a vehicle that leaves Dalrymple and chooses to cross directly into the left lane. However, a courteous driver exiting Dalrymple would see the car turning left out of Mugga Lane and turn into the right lane of Hindmarsh, allowing the Mugga lane driver to proceed a couple of seconds earlier. Same turning from Hindmarsh into Yamba, if there’s a car ready to enter Yamba from the Woden end, be courteous and stay over in the right lane.

Good road behaviour is made up of obeying the set road rules and in addition, understanding that everywhere you travel you should be looking for ways to drive defensively and courteously, and accepting that although you may have the ‘right’ to do something, you might not be ‘right’ to enforce your ‘right’.

Monomyth Monomyth 1:50 pm 15 May 11

As someoner who has recently obtained their P’s, I can’t tell you the specific laws but I can tell you the instructor will make you turn enter the same lane you exited from. as in, you will need to turn into the lane that lines up with the lane you’re exiting from.

Very Busy Very Busy 9:33 am 15 May 11

troll-sniffer said :

Hazel said :

Thanks for the comments guys. I was talking about turning right on the traffic lights from Dalrymple Street to Hindmarsh Drive. It’s sad that the road rules do not have precise advice for such a common case!

Isn’t that intersection controlled by separate flows, with Dalrymple and Mugga Lane on separate flows? Therefore when you turn from Dalrymple to go up towards Woden, the road is all yours, there’s no other traffic with a green light. You can turn perfectly safely directly into the far left lane with no consequences for anyone but the bogan P Plater who thinks it’s OK to hoon around your left hand side, and breaking the law in so doing.

No, there is a left turn slip lane from Mugga Lane into Hindmarsh Dr. “turn left at anytime with care”. This is the case for the vast majority of intersections entering multi lane roads. The left turn slip lane is NOT controlled by traffic lights.

Hazel Hazel 11:10 pm 14 May 11

troll-sniffer said :

Hazel said :

Thanks for the comments guys. I was talking about turning right on the traffic lights from Dalrymple Street to Hindmarsh Drive. It’s sad that the road rules do not have precise advice for such a common case!

Isn’t that intersection controlled by separate flows, with Dalrymple and Mugga Lane on separate flows? Therefore when you turn from Dalrymple to go up towards Woden, the road is all yours, there’s no other traffic with a green light. You can turn perfectly safely directly into the far left lane with no consequences for anyone but the bogan P Plater who thinks it’s OK to hoon around your left hand side, and breaking the law in so doing.

Thanks dear. Do you think I can make this turn directly into the far left lane without having to indicate left while making the turn? It is not an offence not to indicate in this case? You have the same scenario when turning right from Hindmarsh Drive to Yamba Drive.

Aeek Aeek 9:47 pm 14 May 11

troll-sniffer said :

You can turn perfectly safely directly into the far left lane with no consequences for anyone but the bogan P Plater who thinks it’s OK to hoon around your left hand side, and breaking the law in so doing.[/quote}

Its perfectly legal to overtake on the left if you are in a separate lane – definitely need to be careful.
Its legal to overtake in the same lane on the right.
It can be legal to overtake on the left IF you are riding a bicycle.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 3:17 pm 14 May 11

Hazel said :

Thanks for the comments guys. I was talking about turning right on the traffic lights from Dalrymple Street to Hindmarsh Drive. It’s sad that the road rules do not have precise advice for such a common case!

Isn’t that intersection controlled by separate flows, with Dalrymple and Mugga Lane on separate flows? Therefore when you turn from Dalrymple to go up towards Woden, the road is all yours, there’s no other traffic with a green light. You can turn perfectly safely directly into the far left lane with no consequences for anyone but the bogan P Plater who thinks it’s OK to hoon around your left hand side, and breaking the law in so doing.

Very Busy Very Busy 1:04 pm 14 May 11

Hazel, good on you for asking this question. Seeking this information demonstrates a willingness to learn proper techniques and a good driving attitude which is badly lacking in Canberra. A good attitude goes a long way to being a good driver. Good luck.

Very Busy Very Busy 12:56 pm 14 May 11

Hazel said :

I was talking about turning right on the traffic lights from Dalrymple Street to Hindmarsh Drive. The safest thing i understand is to follow the marked lines and turn into the right lane, then indicate left and move when possible.

This is the most courteous option and is the best habit to get into. By doing this, you are allowing any vehicles turning left from Mugga Lane into Hindmarsh Drive, to continue without coming to a complete stop. They can continue their manoeuvre at the same time as you are making your right turn. Another good piece of advice, in this situation, make eye contact with the other driver to guage their intent and be more certain that they know you are there.

Hazel Hazel 12:05 pm 14 May 11

Thanks for the comments guys. I was talking about turning right on the traffic lights from Dalrymple Street to Hindmarsh Drive. It’s sad that the road rules do not have precise advice for such a common case! The safest thing i understand is to follow the marked lines and turn into the right lane, then indicate left and move when possible. I have never ever seen any driver do this! Some posts say it is not an offence to go directly to the 3rd lane, that would be the direct simple way, if safe. I wish there was just one way to do this. But thanks a lot everyone, this has been very helpful!

dono dono 10:31 am 14 May 11

You’re a Canberran mate, do whatever you feel like.

JC JC 11:04 pm 13 May 11

Wanon said :

Keep within the lines that are painted on the road. A dashed line is a give way line and a solid line cannot be crossed except for emergencies. A wide solid line is a stop line.

They will typically turn you into the right most lane. This will allow cars (on the opposite side of the intersection) to turn left into the left lane at the same time you turn right into the right lane.

Your advice to keep within the lines doesn’t actually help in the situation the OP described because there is normally only 1 line on a single turn and that will be on the right. So by following just the lines the driver could end up in any of the lanes on the multilane road. Guess the OP knows this hence the question in the first place.

I was always told, in the situation to turn into the right hand lane, but reading the rules it is clear that the rule isn’t clear. So typical of them. The reason being of course is to give cars coming the other way the chance to make a left hand turn if they wish.

It also shits me seeing cars making a left hand turns straight away going to the right, especially at the intersection of Bindubi Street and Belconnen way where the left turn from Bindubi funnels into the left hand lane which has a solid white seperating from the middle lane on Belconnen Way. See the map here:

http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-35.25018,149.075542&z=20&t=k&nmd=20100707

Fuzzy Fuzzy 10:49 pm 13 May 11

Wanon said :

Keep within the lines that are painted on the road. A dashed line is a give way line and a solid line cannot be crossed except for emergencies. A wide solid line is a stop line.

They will typically turn you into the right most lane. This will allow cars (on the opposite side of the intersection) to turn left into the left lane at the same time you turn right into the right lane.

While this is what should happen, If you ignored this advice you’d be on par with 90% of all Canberra drivers. Part 2 of your question – traffic turning left from a slip lane is required to give way to cars turning right. While technically the 2 cars should be able to happily go together, most people will wait in the slip lane if lights have gone for right turns on the assumption that half the traffic will do a wide turn straight into the left lane.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 10:04 pm 13 May 11

A lot of the posts here have missed the point… the OP said turning from a single lane road into a multi lane one. A good example would be coming into Limestone Ave from one of the single lane side streets such as Farrer Street. If the road is clear, you can select whichever lane suits your purpose. If you’re turning left and a car is coming along in the right lane, you can carefully turn into the left lane if turning left, and similarly turn into the right lane if turning right and a car is coming along in the left lane. (Read it slowly it does make sense believe it or not). Other intersections will generally have road markings or layouts that indicate and guide you into the closest lane, such as a single lane street turning into Northbourne Ave will make it obvious you should be turning into the nearest lane (Greenway St turning left is a good example). Multi lane intersections are always clearly marked.

As for the astrojax Limestone Ave into Anzac Parade example quoted above… the writer obviously hasn’t studied the road markings enough to understand their purpose. There’s nothing to stop you exiting the roundabout directly into the left lane of Anzac Parade. The unbroken white line is simple there to prevent vehicles that have chosen the right hand lane and entered it, from crossing over immediately into the left lanes. I always exit into the left lane, as it is far safer to do that when I am in a position to choose it unhindered, than have to cross over a bit further down using rear view mirrors to get across to turn left at Blamey Cres.

“am sick of cars zooming across the unbroken lane from behind me as I navigate this intersection; they’re in the wrong but faster than me so i let them go, but bridle at their discourtsey and brazen flaunting of the road rules…”

If they cross the unbroken white line, they are in the wrong, however if they correctly choose the left hand lane as they exit the roundabout, they are perfectly entitled to gather pace to the allowed 60km/hr with nary a care what you are doing in your chosen right lane. Sir. (If you doubt the layout, Google Earth is a good place to get an education).

Wanon Wanon 7:30 pm 13 May 11

Keep within the lines that are painted on the road. A dashed line is a give way line and a solid line cannot be crossed except for emergencies. A wide solid line is a stop line.

They will typically turn you into the right most lane. This will allow cars (on the opposite side of the intersection) to turn left into the left lane at the same time you turn right into the right lane.

CanberraGirl19 CanberraGirl19 5:06 pm 13 May 11

You should follow the turn line and turn into the lane it indicates, then signal and move over if you need to be in a different lane. They covered this on Traffic Talkback on ABC radio a couple of weeks ago. Also, pretty sure the officer stated that if you were to turn into whatever lane you wanted, there is no specific offense for that, but if it caused an accident you could be charged with something else like negligent driving.

astrojax astrojax 5:01 pm 13 May 11

s’like turning right from limestone into anzac in front of the war memorial – there is one lane on the roundabout so it should turn into the lane nearest to the road from which you’re turning, hence the far right lane of anzac; then indicate when the unbroken lane has finished and move into a left lane in a conventional lane moving manouevre if you need to be left, to tuen up into campbell, for instance, on blamey crescent at [now] lights – am sick of cars zooming across the unbroken lane from behind me as I navigate this intersection; they’re in the wrong but faster than me so i let them go, but bridle at their discourtsey and brazen flaunting of the road rules…

54-11 54-11 4:10 pm 13 May 11

Very Busy said :

To avoid any confusion you should move off without dawdling and just before completing the right hand turn, signal left. Then, upon entering the right hand lane, move over to the left while keeping a close eye on your mirrors. By indicating early you will let drivers who want to fly down your left hand side know what your intentions are before they make their move. By not dawdling when you move off you will reduce the number of drivers that want to fly down your left hand side.

Exactly. Get into the lane you need as quickly as possible, and make sure everyone around you knows what your intentions are.

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