The Hook Turn

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The Hook Turn is quite obvious to everyone who lives in Melbourne.  You do them all the time in your car to avoid holding up the trams.  However, I still see cyclists putting their lives at risk by sitting in the middle of a busy intersection waiting to get across while cars whiz by.   This is so dangerous.

If you don’t live in one of the few places in the world that use hook turns, this may be new to you.  We obviously drive on the left side of the road here in Australia. Just reverse these directions below if you drive on the right side of the road.

Instead of sitting there in the middle of the intersection waiting for a gap in traffic or a light to change in order to turn right (or left if you live in North America) the safest thing to do is to pull a Hook Turn.  This means that you cross the intersection while the light is green and join the stopped traffic on your left that’s facing the way you want to turn (i.e right turn if you were waiting in the middle of the intersection).  See below.

hookturn– Approach and enter the intersection from the far left side of the road.

– Move forward keeping as near to the far left side of the intersection as practicable

– Remain at the position reached until the traffic lights change to green.

– Go through the intersection. This is effectively the right hand turn you wanted to make but you didn’t have to sit in the middle of traffic.

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