Left turn rules.

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Leaf T
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Left turn rules.

Postby Leaf T » Mon Oct 09, 2023 8:53 pm

Hi. I often drive in the Melbourne cbd and inner suburbs for my work and I am wondering if the rules for left turning vehicles has changed in regards to left turns and right of way. As I understand it, if I'm driving towards an intersection indicating to turn left I give way to bikes beside me and in front before turning. And I don't race up and cut them off at the turn which as a cycle commuter myself I know happens too often. So if I'm a safe distance ahead and I'm indicating to turn left then the bike has to slow or stop and give way to the left turning vehicle, no?

I looked on Vic roads website for info but it seems these rules apply to all left turns, separate bike lanes or not. Am I right or am I wrong? I'm questioning this because I see so many riders on seperate bike lanes just streaming by indicating left turn vehicles and getting irate if they aren't given right of way.

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P!N20
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby P!N20 » Mon Oct 09, 2023 10:22 pm

Leaf T wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2023 8:53 pm
So if I'm a safe distance ahead and I'm indicating to turn left then the bike has to slow or stop and give way to the left turning vehicle, no?

That's my understanding.

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Thoglette
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Thoglette » Mon Oct 09, 2023 10:56 pm

First, you need to find the actual rules. https://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/in-f ... s-2017/009

It appears that the question is whether the "bike lane" is actually a "bike lane". If it is, it's a left hand turn from a multilane road (28(1)).

In which case the vehicle is likely "changing lanes" (Rule 148(1)) rather than "turning left" (Rule 141). One doesn't get to indicate and just turn left from a lane that's NOT the left most lane. In theory the driver should drive in the bike lane for (less than) the permitted distance (50m) (Rule 158(1)b)) so as to turn left from the left most lane (per .

If the "bike lane" is actually "the shoulder," it is likely that the driver is turning left from the left most lane in which case 141(2) applies.

Note that this is a quick skim and there's lots of footnotes and exceptions to the exceptions, so RFTM and, as IANAL, I suggest you get professional advice on what should be happening in Victoria for this case (and what the case law says).
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:13 am

P!N20 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2023 10:22 pm
Leaf T wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2023 8:53 pm
So if I'm a safe distance ahead and I'm indicating to turn left then the bike has to slow or stop and give way to the left turning vehicle, no?

That's my understanding.
Agree, with the added caveat which Thoglette pointed out. Legally you should merge into/over the bike lane if marked prior and shortly to turn left. You'll be yelled at on Brunswick St in peak hour, but that's par for the course. Cyclists aren't immune from histrionics any more than drivers.
I'm questioning this because I see so many riders on seperate bike lanes just streaming by indicating left turn vehicles and getting irate if they aren't given right of way.
If they are close enough to be "streaming by" then they have right of way. I'd have thought that would be obvious?

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby P!N20 » Tue Oct 10, 2023 8:37 am

It's one of those rules that seems to be misunderstood by both parties. More often than not drivers will give way to me cycling, and while I'm aware I'm meant to be the one giving way, I'll ride through anyway to prevent a give way stalemate. Usually accompanied with a 'thank you' wave.

On the other side of the coin cyclists will berate a driver if they turn left in front of the cyclist.

It always felt to me like the driver should be giving way to the cyclist in this situation, just like pedestrians crossing an intersection. Alas, these are the rules we've been given.

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Leaf T
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Leaf T » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:20 am

I can observe streaming by as I'm approaching an intersection. In my experience there are equal number of numpties in all vehicle types that don't know the road rules. Unfortunately they don't seem to know the number 1 rule which is self preservation regardless of the rules.
A good example of an awkward intersection is heading south down Rathdowne Street where it crosses Victoria Parade.

Edit. The previous link was nowhere near what I was trying to show.
https://maps.app.goo.gl/43NG8mp9erUDECyf9
Last edited by Leaf T on Tue Oct 10, 2023 8:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Leaf T
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Leaf T » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:26 am

[quote=P!N20 post_id=1599809 time=1696887435 user_id=11076
It always felt to me like the driver should be giving way to the cyclist in this situation, just like pedestrians crossing an intersection. Alas, these are the rules we've been given.
[/quote

Same for me often too. But in regards to bikes having right of way keep in mind that you would be relying a motorists to do the right thing while looking into a little mirror on their opposite side. Safer to just let them have right of way perhaps.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Mr Purple » Tue Oct 10, 2023 11:50 am

The give way rules in this situation are actually fairly illogical. Legally the cyclist is permitted to ride in the shoulder or bike lane, therefore it would be much more logical to treat it as an extra lane of traffic. If a motorist turns left across another motorist they would be judged at fault; why should it not be the same doing it to a cyclist?

The problem comes when said motorist does a completely unnecessary (and often narrow) pass and then immediately turns left and expects you to give way. Legally in a bit of a grey area, but I would suggest the application of an unwritten rule called 'not being an a-hole'. This happens to me frequently enough on Sylvan Road in Toowong that I've basically given up and just wave the idiots through.

In short as a cyclist I give way to motorists turning left a) because it's the law, and b) because I like not lying on the ground. As a motorist I absolutely go out of my way to not turn left across any cyclists because I'm not an a-hole, it's almost always completely unnecessary, and I know what it's like. This is not a standard we can feasibly hold the general driving public to. Unfortunately.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby twizzle » Tue Oct 10, 2023 12:33 pm

ARR 141 "The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning
left and is giving a left change of direction signal."

Plus - trust no-one. :|
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Leaf T
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Leaf T » Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:13 pm

How about the rule being give way to the vehicle with any part of their vehicle/bike in front of yours? Same as when zip merging. That said most drivers aren't clear on that rule either.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby tpcycle » Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:30 pm

I thought bicycle lanes were deemed special purpose lanes and the road doesn't become a multi-lane road due to the presence of a bicycle lane.

Also, my experience is that a lot of drivers seem to treat left hooking cyclists as some sort of sport - road rules be damned.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Thoglette » Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:53 pm

Leaf T wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:13 pm
How about the rule being give way to the vehicle with any part of their vehicle/bike in front of yours?
That’s a very specific rule when two lanes turn into one. As opposed to one lane ending (where those in the ending lane give way) or overtaking (where one can only overtake if you can do so without getting “in the way” of the one overtaken - my #1 bugbear / fatal risk hazard at roundabouts. )

NB Each state and territory has implemented the model rules slightly differently: the OP was asking about Victoria so one needs to read their regs
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby twizzle » Tue Oct 10, 2023 4:35 pm

tpcycle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:30 pm
I thought bicycle lanes were deemed special purpose lanes and the road doesn't become a multi-lane road due to the presence of a bicycle lane.

Also, my experience is that a lot of drivers seem to treat left hooking cyclists as some sort of sport - road rules be damned.
re. multi-lane, correct in terms of lane changes and the like - but the ARR sub-clause about bicycles giving way stands alone, ie. the bicycle gives way regardless of whether or not there is a marked bicycle lane.

On a bicycle... any time I'm faster than the traffic, I just assume I'm going to be hooked at every point regardless of indicators so I slow down to match the traffic and usually hop into the line of cars if there is space.

As a driver, I tend to let the bicycles past because 99% don't know they are supposed to give way! Or I block the lane in the 50m before the turn.
I ride, therefore I am. But don't ride into harm's way.
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby tpcycle » Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:07 pm

twizzle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 4:35 pm
On a bicycle... any time I'm faster than the traffic, I just assume I'm going to be hooked at every point regardless of indicators so I slow down to match the traffic and usually hop into the line of cars if there is space.
.
When motor traffic is stationary due to peak hour or other congestion, matching the pace of motor vehicles doesn't seem like a great plan - I commute by bicycle to avoid the mind numbing traffic. Which brings us to the Adelaide special where bicycle lanes are painted behind 45 degree angled parking. Lots of drivers dart into these spaces without any consideration for cyclists - and it's much worse when they do it from stopped traffic as there is very little if any warning due to blocked sight lines (and usually done with no indicator) - I've had people do it whilst I am right next to their vehicle.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby twizzle » Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:27 pm

tpcycle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:07 pm
twizzle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 4:35 pm
On a bicycle... any time I'm faster than the traffic, I just assume I'm going to be hooked at every point regardless of indicators so I slow down to match the traffic and usually hop into the line of cars if there is space.
.
When motor traffic is stationary due to peak hour or other congestion, matching the pace of motor vehicles doesn't seem like a great plan - I commute by bicycle to avoid the mind numbing traffic. Which brings us to the Adelaide special where bicycle lanes are painted behind 45 degree angled parking. Lots of drivers dart into these spaces without any consideration for cyclists - and it's much worse when they do it from stopped traffic as there is very little if any warning due to blocked sight lines (and usually done with no indicator) - I've had people do it whilst I am right next to their vehicle.
No, not matching speed when the traffic is stationary. But I sure as hell don't ride into harms way, ie. assume everyone is out to kill you. Including the peds darting out from between cars.

Hospital food isn't that great. And at my age, it doesn't take much to break bones - I already have osteopenia from the riding.
I ride, therefore I am. But don't ride into harm's way.
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby warthog1 » Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:29 pm

twizzle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:27 pm


Hospital food isn't that great. And at my age, it doesn't take much to break bones - I already have osteopenia from the riding.
Ditto, same age. Yep bones break a lot easier than they used to. :(
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Leaf T
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Leaf T » Tue Oct 10, 2023 8:48 pm

I've spent time in the orthopaedic ward before. I'd like to stay out of it for as long as I can.

Here's this little video from our recently privatised Vic Roads to muddy the waters even more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH3bddt ... l=VicRoads

From Vic roads website. https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety- ... s/bicycles
When a vehicle is turning left

Bicycle riders must not ride past or overtake to the left of a vehicle that is:

already turning left and is indicating left.

Tips for cyclists: Vehicles have blind spots on their passenger side so do not assume a driver has seen you when they are indicating left and approaching an intersection. Slow down and ride with caution as you approach an intersection with left turning vehicles. If a truck is turning left stay behind it and give it time to turn.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Duck! » Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:38 pm

twizzle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 12:33 pm
ARR 141 "The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning
left and is giving a left change of direction signal."

Plus - trust no-one. :|
The situation isn't helped by the sizeable number of motorists who do not know how to use indicators.....
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby twizzle » Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:20 am

Duck! wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:38 pm
twizzle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 12:33 pm
ARR 141 "The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning
left and is giving a left change of direction signal."

Plus - trust no-one. :|
The situation isn't helped by the sizeable number of motorists who do not know how to use indicators.....
Along with "There's no such things as too much 'being visible'" (lights, clothing etc.) and "Don't ride into harms way" and There's a lot of potential harm out there.

I suspect a lack of street-smarts is a big impediment to getting more people using active transport - people get scared off pretty quickly.
I ride, therefore I am. But don't ride into harm's way.
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby find_bruce » Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:37 am

I've been tempted to weigh in here & set out my analysis of the rules, but (1) too many motorists think the road rules explain why you must give way to me (2) reasonable people on this forum have different views on who must give way (3) I'm with twizzle - look after your own safety first

Here lies the body of Johnny Gray
Who died defending his right of way
his way was right & his case was strong
but he's just as dead as if he was wrong
Anything you can do, I can do slower

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby fat and old » Wed Oct 11, 2023 5:01 pm

find_bruce wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:37 am
I've been tempted to weigh in here & set out my analysis of the rules, but (1) too many motorists think the road rules explain why you must give way to me (2) reasonable people on this forum have different views on who must give way (3) I'm with twizzle - look after your own safety first

Here lies the body of Johnny Gray
Who died defending his right of way
his way was right & his case was strong
but he's just as dead as if he was wrong
Damn straight! My yard and office was rolled over the weekend, and an upgrade of the camera/alarm system was in order. My wife questioned why I'd want to catch the thief in the act.......at 60 I'm getting older and slower and sorta mellower, if I shoot the prick I'd go to gaol......best just call the cops. Yep, not gonna take on some iced up junkie over electrical tools that are covered by insurance. Always look out for your personal safety.

Reckon I'd loose control of my car at an opportune moment tho.......

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Mr Purple » Wed Oct 11, 2023 5:22 pm

Right of way is irrelevant on a bicycle. Unless you survive the collision and are conscious enough to have an argument with the idiot that just hit you.

Honestly it's largely irrelevant in a car as well. I'd rather avoid the collision than enforce my right of way.

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby zebee » Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:18 pm

Mr Purple wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 5:22 pm
Right of way is irrelevant on a bicycle. Unless you survive the collision and are conscious enough to have an argument with the idiot that just hit you.

Honestly it's largely irrelevant in a car as well. I'd rather avoid the collision than enforce my right of way.
"Right of way" is nonexistent.

It is never mentioned in any legislation or case law. There is only "duty to give way".

People fail to do their duty all the time, for sure. But thinking about it as "I have right of way" is a bad mindset. Always think of it as "will they do their duty and if they do not, what do I do?"

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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby warthog1 » Wed Oct 11, 2023 8:58 pm

fat and old wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 5:01 pm
find_bruce wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:37 am
I've been tempted to weigh in here & set out my analysis of the rules, but (1) too many motorists think the road rules explain why you must give way to me (2) reasonable people on this forum have different views on who must give way (3) I'm with twizzle - look after your own safety first

Here lies the body of Johnny Gray
Who died defending his right of way
his way was right & his case was strong
but he's just as dead as if he was wrong
Damn straight! My yard and office was rolled over the weekend, and an upgrade of the camera/alarm system was in order. My wife questioned why I'd want to catch the thief in the act.......at 60 I'm getting older and slower and sorta mellower, if I shoot the prick I'd go to gaol......best just call the cops. Yep, not gonna take on some iced up junkie over electrical tools that are covered by insurance. Always look out for your personal safety.

Reckon I'd loose control of my car at an opportune moment tho.......
Bingo

Almost guaranteed to have no custodial sentence that way it seems.
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Re: Left turn rules.

Postby Duck! » Wed Oct 11, 2023 9:35 pm

zebee wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:18 pm
Mr Purple wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 5:22 pm
Right of way is irrelevant on a bicycle. Unless you survive the collision and are conscious enough to have an argument with the idiot that just hit you.

Honestly it's largely irrelevant in a car as well. I'd rather avoid the collision than enforce my right of way.
"Right of way" is nonexistent.

It is never mentioned in any legislation or case law. There is only "duty to give way".

People fail to do their duty all the time, for sure. But thinking about it as "I have right of way" is a bad mindset. Always think of it as "will they do their duty and if they do not, what do I do?"
Which then leads to the common decision for people to buy obnoxious Urban Assault Vehicles... The thought seems to not be, "I need something light & nimble enough to help me avoid an incident", rather "I need a big barge to protect me when I have a crash". The concept of not crashing because one is aware to one's surroundings is lost on a lot of people.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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