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You are in car marked Y and want to turn right using a median turning lane. A car marked O, coming towards you, is already in the median lane; it is slowing down and indicating. Are you permitted to enter and share the median turning lane? You are in car marked Y and want to turn right using a median turning lane. A car marked O, coming towards you, is already in the median lane; it is slowing down and indicating. Are you permitted to enter and share the median turning lane?

  • A. Yes, but only if you race the other car and get to the turning position first.

  • B. Yes, but you must be prepared to slow down and stop.

  • C. No, if another car is already in the median turning lane you must not use it.

  •  
    The correct answer is B
     
    Correct. You can enter the median strip, but be aware that the other vehicle must be able to complete its manoeuvre.
     
 
 
 

Median strips

The median strip is a wide area that separates opposing traffic. Vehicles waiting to turn right can wait without disrupting the flow of traffic, and traffic emerging from a side street and turning right can cross when it's clear of traffic from the right, and then wait in the median strip until it's clear from the left before they enter the traffic flow.

As you can see in this picture of Parramatta Rd, there's not a whole lot of traffic when it was taken, but during rush hour it would be extremely difficult to get out from the side streets if you had to wait for traffic in both directions to be clear.

Parramatta Road median strip

When pulling out from a side road into a median strip long vehicles should ensure that they are all the way in and not obstructing traffic. If you will be followed onto the median strip by other traffic, pull forwards so that you don't obstruct them.

Remember that it's the law that you must signal for at least 5 seconds before moving into traffic from a median strip if you have stopped there.

A median turning lane is slightly different to a median strip. Vehicles travelling in either direction may use this lane to enter or leave the road at an intersection (including driveways and property access). They are a shared part of the road and you must give way to all other vehicles if you are using one.