Navigate the Melbourne Hook Turn

A hook turn sign depicts a pointed line curve at a right angle and the words "right turn from left only"

Simon McGill

If you plan to drive in Melbourne, Australia, watch out for "hook turn" signs. It doesn't mean "Beware of Boomerangs," but to get ready to make a right hand turn from the leftmost lane.

This feels counterintuitive because you'd normally turn right from the rightmost lane of your traffic flow. Weird? Some drivers think so, and some go out of their way to avoid Melbourne streets with marked hook turns.

Be Prepared

When you catch sight of the Melbourne hook turn sign and need to turn right, you have to move quickly to the leftmost lane. This can be an impossible task in heavy traffic.

Generally, hook turns must be made when turning right when you're sharing the road with tramlines to your immediate right. There must be a hook turn sign just ahead of you at the intersection.

If you're on a street without tramlines beside you, you'd be avoiding hook turns and would turn right from the right lane of your traffic flow.

Doing the Hook

If you're new to hook turns, they can be both confusing and exasperating, and you're also likely to miss your turn if you're caught in the wrong lane.

Once you need to turn right and you see the hook turn sign, move as quickly as you can to the leftmost lane. On the green light, move forward on this lane to a point where you can turn right into the correct lane on the road you wish to enter.

At this point, you're blocking traffic from the left. But that's all right because they're stopped at the red light.

When this red light turns green, turn right quickly into the street you want to go. The stopped traffic that was earlier on your left then follows you on the green light.

Watch out for the hook turn sign, and follow these steps to maneuver the hook. Easy? Well, maybe not for new visitors to Melbourne.

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