Traffic lights and road markings

Traffic lights

Traffic light showing red lightRed means stop. Wait behind the stop line.

Do not go through the intersection.

Traffic light showing yellow lightYellow (amber) means stop. You can enter the intersection if you are so close that sudden braking might cause a crash.

Traffic light showing green lightGreen means proceed through the intersection carefully.

Turning arrows at traffic lights

Some traffic lights have arrows to control traffic turning right or left.

A green arrow means you can only turn in that direction.

A red arrow means traffic waiting to turn must wait behind the stop line until the arrow turns green or disappears, even if there is no traffic on the road.

Traffic light showing red light with green right arrow lightYou must not go straight ahead or turn left. You may turn right.

Traffic light showing red light with red right arrow light You must not turn right but you can go straight ahead or turn left if the way is clear.

Traffic light showing red light with flashing amber right arrow light When the yellow (amber) arrow is flashing, you may proceed but you must give way to any pedestrian who is crossing the road into which you are turning.

Image showing stop sign with three black dots

Signs at traffic lights

A STOP sign with three black dots is only seen at traffic lights. It means that if the lights are not working or are flashing yellow and you are approaching this sign, you must stop and give way to traffic as though you are at an intersection with stop signs.

Sign showing 'LEFT TURN ON RED PERMITTED AFTER STOPPING'

This sign allows you to turn left on a red light after stopping. When turning left you must give way to all traffic approaching from the right.

Left turn on red light is only permitted at intersections where the sign has been placed.

B signals

B signals separate buses and other vehicles at some intersections with traffic lights for a safer, smoother traffic flow. To ensure B signals work properly never drive in the lanes marked buses only.

B signals are attached to the usual traffic lights. They show a white B on a black background (some traffic lights have a red, yellow and white B signal attached to them). Shortly before the usual traffic signals change to green, the B signal lights up white. All other vehicles stay while the buses may go. Buses may proceed in any direction unless signs or markings indicate otherwise. When the lights turn green other vehicles may move off.

Image showing red traffic light with white B light.
White B means buses only go

The red and yellow B signals (or the usual red and yellow traffic lights) tell bus drivers when to stop at the intersection.

Left image showing red only lights, right image showing green only lights.
Left image: Red only means all vehicles stop. Right image: Green only means all vehicles go.
Image showing green light with red B light
Red B means buses stay. Green means other vehicles go.

Bicycle riders

Where the traffic at an intersection is controlled by traffic lights, cyclists may have signals that show them when to cross. Cyclists must follow these red, yellow or green bicycle symbols and proceed with care

T signals are special signals for light rail vehicles. These traffic lights display the letter T.

T signals

T signals are special signals for light rail vehicles. These traffic lights display the letter T. Red or yellow T signals tell the drivers of light rail vehicles when to stop or prepare to stop. A white T signal means that the driver of a light rail vehicle can go.

Red light speed cameras

Red light cameras are used to photograph vehicles that go through a red light.

A penalty notice is then sent to the owner of the vehicle, who has the option to:

  • Pay the fine.
  • Advise the State Debt Recovery Office on a statutory declaration the name and address of the person driving at the time of the offence.
  • Advise the State Debt Recovery Office you want to have the case heard by a court.

If you are crossing the intersection as the light turns yellow (amber) and it is not safe to stop, do not panic. Continue driving through the intersection. The camera only takes a photograph if you cross over the stop line 0.3 seconds after the light has turned red.

Traffic already in the intersection or entering on a yellow (amber) light will not activate the red light camera.

Red light speed cameras use digital technology that is capable of detecting both red-light and speeding offences.

Pedestrian signals

When making a turn at an intersection you must give way to pedestrians on the road into which you are turning.

Where the traffic at the intersection is controlled by traffic lights, there may be signals for pedestrians that show them when to cross.

Pedestrians must follow these signals.

Left image showing traffic light with red man or 'dont walk' lights. Right image showing traffic light with flashing red man or flashing 'dont walk'.
Left image: Pedestrians must not start to cross. Right image: Pedestrians must not start to cross but may finish crossing.
Left image showing traffic light with green man or 'walk' lights. Right image showing sign with green man and multiple arrows.
Left image: Pedestrians may start to cross. Right image: Pedestrians may walk in any direction when the green walk signal is accompanied by this sign.

Road markings

Painted arrows

Arrows are painted on the road to tell you which direction must be taken by traffic in each lane. When more than one direction is shown, you may go in the direction of either arrow.

You must signal that you are going to turn even if the lane you are in turns only in one direction. When you turn, stay in the same lane as you move from one road to the other

Dividing lines

Unless a sign tells you otherwise, you can cross any type of dividing line when turning right at an intersection. You can also turn to the right across a dividing line to enter or leave a property (eg home or shops) by the shortest route.

Broken white dividing lines – may be crossed to overtake if the road ahead is clear. Double white unbroken (continuous) lines – you cannot overtake

Broken white dividing lines – may be crossed to overtake if the road ahead is clear.

Double white unbroken (continuous) lines – you cannot overtake across these lines.

Double white lines with an unbroken (continuous) line closer to you – you cannot overtake across these lines. Double white lines with a broken line cl

Double white lines with an unbroken (continuous) line closer to you – you cannot overtake across these lines.

Double white lines with a broken line closer to you – you may cross the lines to overtake if the road ahead is clear.

Do not make a U-turn across an unbroken (continuous) line or double centre unbroken (continuous) lines, unless the line closest to you is broken or where another rule prohibits performing the U-turn.

Do not overtake across a single unbroken (continuous) line.

Do not overtake across a single unbroken (continuous) line.

Exceptions to keeping to the left of a dividing line

Drivers are permitted to cross a single dividing line enter or leave a road. See examples below.

Exceptions to keeping to the left of a dividing line. Drivers are permitted to cross a single dividing line enter or leave a road.

Painted islands

You must not drive on a section of painted road that is surrounded by double lines. You may drive on a painted island surrounded by single continuous or broken lines to enter or leave the road, or to enter a turning lane that begins immediately after the painted island for up to 50 metres.

You must not drive on a section of painted road that is surrounded by double lines.

You must not drive on areas surrounded by double lines.

When you enter a turning lane from a painted island you must give way to any vehicle already in the turning lane or entering the turning lane from another marked lane. You must not stop on a painted island. In some instances, such as giving way to emergency vehicles or when avoiding an obstruction, you may drive on a painted island regardless of the type of lines around the island.

When you enter a turning lane from a painted island you must give way to any vehicle already in the turning lane or entering the turning lane
Car B must give way to car A.
Keep clear pavement marking

Keep clear pavement marking

Keep Clear pavement markings are located in places such as outside ambulance and fire station exits to ensure their vehicles are not obstructed when leaving on an emergency call. You must not stop between the lines marked across the road. These markings may also be used at some T intersections to prevent queuing across the intersection.

Edge lines

These lines can be broken or unbroken (continuous) and are marked to keep traffic off soft road edges and breakdown lanes. They also help you see where you are going.

You may drive on, across or outside edge lines for up to 100 metres only if you are:

  • Stopping.
  • Overtaking on the inside of vehicles turning right or, in a one way street, overtaking vehicles turning left.
  • Turning off or onto the road by the shortest route.
  • Turning left or right at intersections.
  • Driving a slow moving vehicle.

Audible lines

Audible edge lines are lines composed of a series of raised pieces of material that create a noise or vibration if driven on by a motor vehicle. These lines are used to warn drivers who veer over the line.

Kerb lines

Yellow lines painted near the edge of the road show that there are stopping restrictions and tell you what rules apply to that particular section of road.

Broken yellow kerb line

A broken yellow kerb line is a CLEARWAY line. You must not stop at the edge of the road between the hours shown on the sign except in a medical or similar emergency. Buses, taxis and hire cars may only stop to pick up or set down passengers.

Unbroken (continuous) yellow kerb line

An unbroken yellow kerb line is a NO STOPPING line. You must not stop for any reason except a medical or similar emergency.

Dragon’s Teeth are a painted series of triangular road markings placed in pairs on each side of a lane or road.

Dragons Teeth

Dragon’s Teeth are a painted series of triangular road markings placed in pairs on each side of a lane or road. Dragon’s Teeth further increase the visibility of school zones for motorists and provide a constant reinforcement to slow down to 40 km/h around schools.

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