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Hook Turns - have I got this right?

London, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
4,730 posts
Hook Turns - have I got this right?

As far as I can tell, from reading various websites, when I approach a junction and want to turn right, I should look out for a sign indicating that it a hook turn.

I should then get into the left hand lane (???) and when the lights turn green go forward and then stop at the point where I would begin to turn right and wait. When the lights turn green for the traffic that is now on my left to proceed I should then make the right hand turn, making sure that no cars have jumped the red light and are overtaking me on my right side. I assume that even if there is a break in the traffic and I can make the right hand turn without hitting anyone, I still have to wait for the green light before making the turn.

Also, at a hook turn junction, is the left hand lane purely for people turning left or right or can I also use it go straight ahead as well (assuming that there isn't a car in front waiting to turn right of course) or does this vary from junction to junction.

Are there any appropriate hand signals that I should learn that are unique to Melbourne if people start honking their horns at me? :)

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Noosa
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6,159 posts
161 reviews
148 helpful votes
1. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Don't worry too much, it also confuses the heck out of anyone who isn't from Melbourne.

Melbourne
Level Contributor
3,247 posts
8 reviews
67 helpful votes
2. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Hi Mick

You've just about got it spot on. Always watch out for people coming from the direction you were coming from running the red light before you actually move off. But move off as soon as yiu feel it is safe otherwise prople also waiting to turn right behind you will start cutting in front of you and the people who are waiting to go accross the intersection will start moving and you get caught in between. The left lane can be used by anyone unless signs indicate otherwise, but if going straight ahead stay in the right lane as there should be no one blocking you. There are only 15 to 20 of these intersections and mainly in the CBD and South Melbourne.

They are only on streets with trams and are designed to ensure trams aren't blocked by cars turning right. Good Luck!

If people start honking at you give them the same sort of hand signals you would if they honked at you in London.:0) Good Luck!

Little Mountain...
Level Contributor
3,854 posts
59 reviews
132 helpful votes
3. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

I had my Kiwi friends here late last year Mick and he was keen to master the hook turns. I drove him through the city to his accom and made sure we went through one before he hired his car. He found it very easy to pick up.

As AJ has mentioned they are there on tram intersections, many other intersections that don't have trams will be normal turns. The sign is up on the power lines, so look up to see them. There should be no cars in the left lanes going straight ahead, these cars will all be in the right lane. So only cars in the left lanes at these intersections will be cars turning left or right. Cars turning left will have to wait for pedestrians walking with the lights.

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
131 posts
4. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Hook turns confused the hell out of me the first time I was in a car and the driver did one. You will pretty much only find them in the CBD, and at intersections where the trams are.

Basically, you should wind up in front of the traffic that is queued up at the red light intersecting with you. So, you just wait until the cross-street light turns green and you go.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
4,730 posts
5. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Thank you for that and I'm glad to hear that there aren't too many of these in Melbourne.

I've decided to splash out a bit and stay at the Langham hotel so hopefully I won't have to drive into the CBD, apart from when I have to return the rental car to the Thrifty office on Elizabeth street but I'm hoping I can make that without taking any right hand turns.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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33,229 posts
2,584 reviews
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6. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Good luck !! melbourne is such a pain to drive around...just put a sign on the back of car..sorry i'm a pom..that should do the trick!

Melbourne
Level Contributor
3,247 posts
8 reviews
67 helpful votes
7. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Hi Mick

Have just returned home after driving through the city and thought there are a few other things you should know about sharing the road with trams.

Along many roads that have trams in them now there are either yellow lines painted on the road or raised yellow humps running parrallel to the tram lines. These mean that you cannot drive along the tram lines and must stay in a line to the lseft of said yellow line. If there is no yellow line or there is a broken yellow line you can share that lane with the tram.

Also if a tram is stopping or is stationery you must also stop and let passengers off and not move until the trams doors close & it starts to move.

In regards Ellymay's comment about driving in Melbourne don't worry, its much easier than Sydney. Having a great harbour is one thing but it sure doesn't help with traffic.

If you can drive in London, Melbourne will be a breeze. Rectangular shaped CBD with wide streets and freeways which radiate out fram the city in most directions. Just watch your speed as our state government has made an artform of speed cameras, both fixed point and mobile cameras.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
4,730 posts
8. Re: Hook Turns - have I got this right?

Ellemay, when you say that will do the trick, do you mean I'll be rammed off the road or laughed off :).

John, thanks for those tips. I'll be sure to look out for those yellow lines. I did drive in Perth 2 years ago and the main problem I had was wanting to turn right but being faced by a lot of No Right turns so ended up going on a driving tour of Perth. The other problem was missing the exits of the freeways. I suppose I'm used to the UK where the mototways have junction numbers so it's easier to know when your exit is coming up.

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