By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: June 3, 2019 at 11:45 am
Have you ever done a U-turn at the traffic lights, or decided to ignore that no U-turn sign and do it anyway?
If you have, you might want to brush up on your U-turn rules – it can be costly if you don’t. We’ve listed 6 U-turn dos and don’ts that will help you next time you need to change direction.
1. Making a U-turn at traffic lights
You’ve just missed the street you were planning on turning down, and now you’re sitting at the traffic lights looking for a place to do a U-turn.
Don’t be tempted to pull a quick uey at the lights in the right lane – it could be costly.
It’s illegal in SA to perform a U-turn at an intersection with traffic lights, unless there’s a sign saying it’s permitted. If you’re caught, you risk being fined $364, plus a $60 Victims of Crime Levy and 2 demerit points.
It’s best to wait until you’re further down the road where there’s a safe location to turn around.
Doing a U-turn at the traffic lights could cost you:
2. Location, location, location
Finding the correct spot to make a U-turn is vital to ensure you don’t endanger other road users and pedestrians. It’s not often that you can pull a U-turn as soon as you realise you need to turn around, so here are a few things you should consider when seeking the safest spot to do so.
The most appropriate location is the one that least disrupts the flow of traffic, both following and oncoming, so find a right-turn lane opposite a quiet street if possible.
You’ll also want to make sure the place you choose to do a U-turn gives you a clear view of oncoming traffic to ensure you can turn around safely.
When you do find a safe place, you must do it from the marked lane nearest, or as near as practicable to the road’s dividing line or median strip, or closest as practicable to the centre of the road.
3. Know your vehicle
Make sure the road is wide enough to allow you to turn around in one go. You don’t want to be caught having to reverse and have another go in traffic.
On very busy roads the safest and least stressful option may be to turn into a side street and do a three-point turn away from the intersection then turn left back onto the road.
Doing a U-turn on a road with a continuous dividing line could set you back:
4. Take note of road signs
When choosing where to make a U-turn, look for any road signs that might impact your decision.
Drive west along North Tce in the CBD, and you’ll see a set of traffic lights in front of the Adelaide Convention Centre with a sign saying ‘U-turn permitted’. Here, you can make a U-turn when there’s a green arrow.
Also keep an eye out for no U-turn signs. If there’s a no U-turn sign at the break in a dividing strip or a separate right turn lane, then you’ll have to look for a different place to chuck a uey.
If you ignore a no U-turn sign, you face a $364 fine, $60 Victims of Crime Levy and two demerit points.
5. Look at line markings
The lines painted on the road will give you a good idea of whether you can or can’t do a U-turn.
Motorists aren’t allowed to do a U-turn across a: single continuous dividing line, single continuous dividing line to the left of a broken line, two parallel continuous dividing lines or a painted median or island .
Doing a U-turn on a road with a continuous dividing line could cost you $386 and a $60 Victims of Crime Levy. The offence also attracts 3 demerit points.
6. Give way to other vehicles
When completing a U-turn remember that you must give way to all oncoming traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians.
If you’re doing a U-turn at an intersection across from a street, you’ll also need to give way to any vehicles that are coming out of the street.
Failing to give way to vehicles or pedestrians while making a U-turn will set you back $386 plus a $60 Victims of Crime Levy. You’ll also receive 3 demerit points.