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Americans baffled by Aussie road rule


American tourists have shared their confusion over a road rule that is distinctly ‘Melbourne’.

A US man living in Melbourne has shared his confusion over the city’s ‘hook turn’ road rule saying it stresses him out.

Former American journalist Steve Hatton recently shared a picture of the somewhat iconic road sign on an online forum discussing American road standards.

A hook turn is a mostly central Melbourne-specific right-hand turn drivers make from the left-hand lane, usually when driving adjacent to one of Melbourne’s tramlines.

The turns are well documented to confuse drivers not familiar with them, including those from country Victoria, interstate, and, of course, overseas.

The right-hand turn from the left-hand lane is confusing tourists. Picture: Steve Hatton/ Facebook

Mr Hatton shared the image with fellow Americans after returning home from an Australian trip, describing it as “unique”.

“In Melbourne (where they drive on the left), drivers may often have to make right turns in a manner similar to cyclists in order to avoid collisions with all the trams that run in the middle of the road,” he wrote.

“OMG, yeah, these are ALL over Melbourne. (I) saw them when I was there in 2022,” one exclaimed.

Another man said the feature makes for efficient travelling.

“Each time I have visited Melbourne, I have found that this system seems to work very well for everyone,” he responded.

The hook turn has been banned in other Australian cities. Picture: Supplied

Another added it “looks like an invisible roundabout.”

One Aussie weighed in with more of an explanation.

“Yes, Melbourne and in South Melbourne they insist on having these, 130 odd intersections use this turn so as not hold up the trams in the centre of the road,” he wrote.

“You sit to the left of the intersection, allowing through traffic to continue, when the lights change for the crossroad to go that’s when you complete your turn.

“All other cities in Australia just ban right turns if it holds up traffic, particularly in NSW, the State of No Right Turns.”



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