Driving With Trams In Melbourne
Melbourne’s trams are one of the most unique things about the city. But for both new and experienced drivers, it may be hard to understand the laws and regulations related to driving with trams. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything that road users need to know about driving with trams in Melbourne.
Know The Difference Between Tramways & Tram Lanes
There are two primary types of lanes in which tram lines travel in Melbourne – tramways and tram lanes.
- Tramways – This type of lane is completely divided from traffic. It may be divided with raised dividing strips, or with double yellow lines located next to the tram tracks. You will see that there are overhead signs, indicating tram-only use.You are not allowed to drive in a tramway. However, if there are gaps in the dividing strips, you may use a break in the dividing strips to cross the tram tracks if doing so is safe.
- Tram lanes – This type of tram lane is divided using a single yellow line. They can be in operation for 24 hours or part-time. An overhead sign will show you the hours of operation.When the tram lane is not in operation, you may drive in it as you would drive in a normal lane.While the tram lane is in operation, the rules are a bit different. As long as you do not delay approaching trams, you can use tram lanes to avoid obstacles. You may also drive in a tram lane for up to 50 metres if you are turning right.
Knowing the difference between these two lanes ensures you can drive alongside trams safely, so learn to recognise them!
Rules For Driving Alongside Trams
Beyond tram lanes, there are also some rules for driving around trams that you must follow while in Melbourne – for your safety, and the safety of others.
- It is illegal to move into the path of an approaching tram
- You are not allowed to drive over any double yellow lines or raised dividing strips (indicating a tramway)
- It is illegal to make a u-turn across the centre of the road if there is a (single or double) solid dividing line
- You must always give way to trams from both directions at roundabouts
Safety At Tram Stops
At any tram stop where the tram must pull to the side of the road that is marked with a yellow “safety zone” sign, you are required to stop your vehicle level with the rear of the tram. You must remain stopped until the doors close, and all passengers have disembarked and cleared the road. You may then pass the stopped tram, but you may not exceed 10 km/h when doing so.
Hook Turns In Melbourne
Hook turns are used in some areas of Melbourne to prevent tram delays when motorists are turning right. Any intersection that requires a hook turn will have a sign indicating that it is required. To perform a hook turn properly, you must:
- Approach the intersection and enter it from the left lane. Indicate that you are turning right
- Keep clear of pedestrian crossings, and move to the far left of the intersection
- When the traffic lights on the road onto which you are turning right have turned green, you may turn right when it is safe to do so
Know How To Drive Around Trams – Keep Yourself & Others Safe!
If you’ll be driving in Melbourne frequently, it’s important to understand how to drive safely around trams. You’ll avoid fines and tickets, and keep yourself and tram passengers safe.
Interested in learning more about how to drive safely in Melbourne and Victoria? LTrent Driving School Melbourne is here to help. We offer professional driving instruction to drivers of all skill levels, and can ensure you stay safe behind the wheel. Get in touch with us on 1300 717 115 or book online today.