Driving safely around trams

Our tram network helps Melburnians and visitors alike make hundreds of thousands of passenger trips every day.  But our network is unique, with 75% of it shared with other vehicles and road users.  Because trams share the road, incidents can result not only in an injury to you but to passengers, employees and other road users as well as causing disruptions to the shared tram and road networks.  Victorian road rules ensure the safe operation of the road network, including roads shared with trams.  Here are some important rules relating to driving safely around trams.

Tramways and tram lanes

Tramways are divided from traffic by raised dividing strips or double yellow lines beside the tram tracks.  Overhead signs indicate their use by trams only.  You must not drive in a tramway, but you may use gaps in the dividing strips to cross tram tracks when safe to do so.

Tram lanes are divided from traffic by a single yellow line beside the tram tracks.  They may be full-time (24-hour) or part-time.  Overhead signs will indicate hours of operation.  You may only drive in a tram lane for up to 50 metres to turn right, or to avoid an obstacle, provided you don't delay approaching trams.

Key rules and tips

There are a number of road rules that relate to driving around trams.  Here are some of the key ones to help keep you, our passengers, employees, and other road users safe.

  • You must not move into the path of an oncoming tram
  • You must not drive over raised dividing strips or double yellow lines
  • You must not make a U-turn across a solid line in the centre of the road
  • You must give way to trams from both directions at roundabouts

Fines and other penalties can apply for breaches of road rules.  For more detail about road rules related to driving around trams, click here.

Remember to also:

  • Watch for trams in both directions when turning right into a road with tram lines
  • When turning right across tram lines, watch for trams approaching from both directions.  They may be approaching behind you as well as from in front of you.  Remember to check your blind spots.

Tram stops

At tram stops where passengers must cross the road to enter or exit the tram, you must stop level with the rear of a tram until the doors close and passengers have cleared the road.  This includes roadside easy access tram stops where the road is level with the passenger waiting area.  Once the tram’s doors have closed, passengers have cleared the road, and it is safe to proceed, you must not exceed 10km/h while passing the stationary tram.  

At tram stops equipped with separation barriers, you may proceed past a stationary tram if it is safe to do so, but watch for pedestrians and be prepared to stop.

Hook turns

Across the Melbourne CBD and some other locations, motorists are required to perform a hook turn when turning right.  Hook turns ensure that trams and other traffic are not delayed by right-turning traffic.  Intersections where hook turns are required have signage indicating this.  To do a hook turn:

  • Approach and enter the intersection from the left lane, and then indicate that you are turning right
  • Move to the far left of the intersection, keeping clear of pedestrian crossings
  • Wait until the traffic lights on the road which you are turning right into have changed to green, then turn right when it is safe to do so.

You can find more details about road rules relating to trams here.