Driving In Melbourne

Melbourne has some unique roads and driving rules that we haven’t experienced in the rest of Australia. Here are a few things that come up in conversation in our house.

Trams Driving on tram tracks is not a relaxing experience. We have them all over town and sometimes they are designed just to be used solely by trams and other times us cars have to also drive on the tracks. It jostles the car from side to side and feels like you are driving on an icy road – a bumpy, icy road.

When a tram stops in the middle of the street to allow passengers to alight, you must stop behind the tram until the doors close and pedestrians finish crossing the road. 

Melbourne Tram – borrowed from Wikipedia

Hook turns – right turns taken from the left hand lane. Why do we have these? I have no idea but they are totally sketchy. We have seen accidents happen right before our eyes and many near misses.

Right turn from left only sign
Hook Turn Sign – Melbourne

Roundabouts from hell – pedestrian crossings, tram crossings, double and triple roundabouts, signal lights for traffic flow, warning lights to look out for oncoming trams, roads that cross over roundabouts…Mt Alexander Road in Essendon is a total nightmare for drivers. I am literally talking to myself each and every time I drive through here – which is way too frequent for comfort.

Vic Roads rules state that: You must give way to trams at roundabouts and that you must give way to pedestrians and cyclists at crossings. Throw these things in to the mix of crossing this very busy road with a triple roundabout section and holy moly! I have no idea what genius thought up this street but surely there must have been an easier way?

Mt Alexander Road, Essendon, Victoria

9 thoughts on “Driving In Melbourne

    • It is so true! Those London roundabouts and traffic – it is an art! I learnt to drive in the US and then moved to London. We didn’t have a car for 4 years but then decided it was time. I hadn’t driven in that time period though. So my husband and I both decided to have driving lessons to prepare for the driving test in the UK. My teacher was horrified at my driving! 🤣 My lack of use and my US instruction was below her standards for sure. It took us many weeks before I was ready and I totally nailed that exam. I think I lost one point for signalling a moment to late on the motorway. 🙄 They are so strict! 🤣🤣🤣

      • They really are strict! I kid you not, I needed to driving lessons for a year and half before I passed my test. I passed the second time. But I was learning to drive anyway, so I needed time

      • I believe you! We had friends who failed the test multiple times! It is not easy. Now, I feel like we are much better drivers as a result. Grateful for the trying experience for sure. 🤣

      • I’m certainly grateful for that too. I took the US driving test and passed the first time! It wasn’t NEARLY as difficult! Although, it scared me because it says a lot about how Americans think of a driver’s license as a right and not a privilege. I remember thinking “How can you not pass the US driving test the first time?” I don’t want to know what it takes to fail that test. I remember thinking “Dear God, now I have to share the road with those people!” Learning to drive in London saved my neck quite a few times in California!

      • Hahaha! Oh my gosh, that’s so true and so funny! I was thinking it was probably best for you to learn to drive in the UK. I had to break lots of bad habits. It was difficult to wrap my head around at the time. The US driving test is a joke. I took mine in a rural area and was done in 15 minutes. I literally drove a lap around the neighbouring streets, went back to DMV and parked my car. Done. Yikes!

      • I think it was best for me to learn in the UK too under a professional instructor. Although my Dad is a good driver too and he would have taught me well. He did help me a lot with transitioning to driving in the US, which was cool. I have so many opinions about the US driving test! A Canadian friend said the US driving standards are a joke too!

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