Special purpose lanes Lessons Note

These are lanes set aside for special vehicles (e.g. trucks, buses and bicycles), and have signs or road markings indicating their purpose. Some special purpose lanes have hours of operation, meaning that all vehicles are allowed when the lane isn’t operating.

Exemptions for driving in special purpose lanes

There are a few exemptions for driving in special purpose lanes. You’re allowed to travel up to 100m in a special purpose lane (50m in a bicycle and tram lanes) to:

  • enter/leave a road
  • overtake a vehicle turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road
  • enter a line of traffic or marked lane from the roadside.
  • avoid an obstruction

Transit lanes

Transit lanes can be used by vehicles carrying at least a certain amount of people. Buses, taxis, hire cars, motorcycles, bicycles and emergency vehicles can use transit lanes regardless of how many people that are in the vehicle.

You may drive in a:

  • T2 lane if you have at least 2 people in the vehicle (including the driver)
  • T3 lane if you have at least 3 people in the vehicle (including the driver)

Transit lanes operate during the hours indicated by the signs. Without the required passengers, you are only allowed to drive in a transit lane for 100m to enter or leave the road.

Bus lanes

Bus lanes can be used by taxis, hire cars, RMS operated or directed vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles.

Buses, taxis and hire cars are the only vehicles allowed to stop in a bus lane:

  • Buses are allowed to stop at bus stops
  • Taxis and hire cars are allowed to stop to pick up/drop off passengers

Vehicles that are not normally allowed to use a bus lane may travel up to 100m in the bus lane to enter or leave the road.

Buses only lanes

A ‘buses only’ lane is indicated by a sign or lane markings. Only buses may drive in these lanes.

Bicycle lanes

Bicycle lanes are for cyclists only, and cyclists must use them when available. However, you may drive in a bicycle lane for less than 50m to enter/leave the road at a driveway or intersection.

Be respectful and give way to cyclists in a bicycle lane, and only enter when safe to do so.

Slip lanes

In both situations, car B must give way

A slip lane is a lane for vehicles turning left that is separated from other parts of the road by a traffic island or painted island. It’s used to improve safety and traffic flow. When a slip lane is provided, you must use it.

Don’t stop in a slip lane unless there are signs that indicate parking.

Truck lanes

Truck lanes are only for trucks over 4.5t GVM.

Tram lanes

Tram lanes are for light rail vehicles only. You must never obstruct the path of a light rail vehicle, and must always give way to them when they are about to enter or already inside an intersection.

T-way lanes

Can only be used by authorised buses and service vehicles.

What are median turning lanes?

A shared part of the road where vehicles travelling in either direction may enter or leave the road. When using a median turning lane, you must give way to all other vehicles.

Overhead lane control devices

These are used to help control specific lanes, e.g. by closing them or by applying a speed limit to that lane.

  • If there is a white, yellow or green arrow above a lane, you may drive in that lane.
  • A lane marked with a flashing red cross means you must leave the lane as soon as safe.
  • A lane marked with a red cross indicates you must not travel in that lane.
  • If there is a speed limitsign above a lane, you must obey the speed limit for that lane.

If an arrow above your lane is pointing towards another lane, you must follow the directions and change lanes in a safe manner.

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