Are You Allowed to U-turn if There Isn’t A Sign
A U-turn is a dangerous manoeuvre that must be performed with awareness and precision. Careless or abrupt manoeuvres can result in deadly crashes. Not by chance, U-turns are dealt with carefully by local road traffic legislation. Situations where they’re allowed, are prescribed in a detailed manner.
Perform a U-turn only when there’s a road sign allowing it, although there are exceptions. In any case, you should always have an unobstructed view of approaching traffic before doing this manoeuvre. Always observe the road rules. In this article, we’ll discuss when it’s allowed and not allowed to perform a U-turn.
When It’s allowed
Each state has its own legislation; these rules can vary from one state to another, like speed limit and road signing. In the rest of the country, U-turns are forbidden unless expressly allowed by road signs.
Even when it’s not technically illegal to conduct a U-turn, there are several variables the driver should observe:
- You should have a clear sight of approaching traffic.
- You should check if there’s a stop sign and if any vehicles are turning left. According to Rule 37, you must not obstruct the road; this includes pedestrian crossings and railway crossings. Otherwise, there’s a fine of $263, plus two demerit points.
- And you must give way to all vehicles and pedestrians. Failure to do so is a breach of Rule 38 and can cost an on-the-spot fine of $337, plus three demerit points.
- You can do a U-turn at traffic lights, given there’s a “U-turn permitted” sign positioned there.
- The U-turn must always start from the lane marked in the centre of the road. In case there isn’t any marking, it should begin on the left of the centre of the road.
When it ISN’T allowed
U-turns require space to be performed, as the driver must cross lanes to do so. This kind of manoeuvre, when miscalculated, can cause tragic accidents. That’s why it’s only allowed in specific situations. If you get caught performing a U-turn where it’s not allowed, you can be fined $100 and get two demerit points. In this section, you’ll read where you can’t perform it, as well as the corresponding fine for each breach.
- Any intersections with traffic lights without a “U-turn permitted” road sign
- Any intersections with no traffic lights
- On freeways and ramps
- Anywhere with a “no U-turn” sign
- When crossing a continuous double line or a single continuous dividing line to the left of a broken line. The only exception is when the line closest to the driver is a broken line.
Master the U-Turn with Driving Lessons from LTrent
Make sure you perform this manoeuvre legally and safely. Follow the road signs and always check your local legislation in case of doubt. Don’t put your life and the lives of others at risk. Drive safe. If you’re still feeling insecure, book a few driving lessons with us! LTrent has been helping drivers get their license and be safer on the roads for many years.
If you are a NSW learner and want to learn safe driving technique, enrol into the Safer Drivers Course. You will receive 20 logbook hours for completing the course.