Crossing Double Lines - Legal or Not?

Hi,

I drive to work each day, and the driveway to my office is located on the opposite side of the road. The road I drive on has two lanes and can get quite busy. The opposite side of the road also has two lanes and is quite busy.

I indicate my intention to turn right very early, then stop as I wait for traffic on the other side to cease before I pull into the drive way. In doing so I cross a double solid white line.

Unfortunately, when I'm stopped, a few cars will usually start to pile up behind me. Most of the time I have no issues and people wait until I turn in or switch to the left lane to pass, but last week the driver behind me was very agitated, honking his horn continuously before getting out of his vehicle to shout abuse at me. I explained that I was turning into the driveway, but he was having none if it, telling me to read the road rules and that what I was doing was illegal. He said there are no circumstances under which you can cross a double solid line.

I have always thought it legal to cross double solid lines to turn into a driveway, and that overtaking and U-Turns are prohibited. After the above altercation I am shaken and second guessing whether I am correct. I have tried to do some research on legislation but can't seem to find a definitive answer.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

P.S I live in NSW.

EDIT: Thanks for the replies so far. It seems like most people agree that it is illegal.

However, I just dug up this thread from Whirlpool and it seems like everyone there thinks what I'm doing is legal? Thoughts on this would be great!

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1536589

Comments

  •  

    Yeah you cant cross double solid lines under any circumstances. You are in the wrong and you will probably find those lines are there to stop traffic banking up behind you like you do.

      • +13 votes

        Read it again mate. That says 2 "broken" lines. OP is very clearly talking about double solid lines.

        • +6 votes

          Whoops, that's rather foolish.

          The RMS do say it's legal (PDF, bottom of page 8(rms.nsw.gov.au)):

          In NSW drivers are also permitted to cross two continuous lines to enter or leave the road by the shortest route.

          Edit: However, as pointed out by 2shoes, the RMS apparently get it wrong as the legislation only allows driving to the right of '2 parallel continuous dividing lines' to avoid obstructions.

          I'm going to stop before I dig myself any deeper.

      • +12 votes

        Thrift merely copied the wrong subrule but the link was correct.

        "(3–1) Without limiting subrule (2) or (3), a driver on a road with a dividing line (whether or not continuous) may drive to the right of the dividing line to enter or leave the road by the shortest practicable route.

        Note. This subrule is an additional NSW subrule. There is no corresponding subrule in rule 134 of the Australian Road Rules."
        

        Furthermore, to clear up that subrule (3-1) refers to more than just "a dividing line":
        "Note on examples. These examples do not include the crossing of a dividing line as permitted by subrule (3–1)."
        ie. Although not shown in these examples, crossing a double line is permitted by subrule (3-1).

        Better still, if you're still a non believer, this is clarified in lamens terms in the public exam resource:
        http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/licence/driver-kno...

        "LD005 -Traffic Lights / Lanes RUH
        Double unbroken dividing lines are marked on a roadway. You may -
        - Cross them to turn into a driveway or property, if it is safe to do so. (Marked correct answer)

        LD007 -Traffic Lights / Lanes RUH
        A section of road is marked with double unbroken dividing lines as in the diagram. When is a vehicle allowed to cross these lines?
        - To enter or leave a street or driveway. (Marked correct answer)"

        ie. To sum up, yes, you can cross double unbroken lines to either enter/exit a street, driveway or property. It is legal in NSW (only).

        Another rule I learnt after moving from ACT to NSW is that you don't need to indicate when coming out of a roundabout if you think that it's not practical. However, I found that on the road, this simply translates to; if it's too much effort to do so whilst driving, no need to indicate. Only way a cop can get you is if the roundabout was humongous and you didn't have the GPS running. I know qualified instructors who have incorrectly taught "Why would you bother indicating, are you making a left turn? No, you're going straight!"

    •  

      Yes you are right. i have same problem where i live at moment i only do it if no car behind me.

  • -2 votes

    The double lines are there for a safety reason and usually put in place after a traffic study on that area.

    If you need to turn into a driveway the safest and legal thing to do is a u turn at the next intersection and return to the driveway on the correct side of the road.

      • +9 votes

        Thanks nocure. I am definitely going to rethink doing the same thing in the future, even if it is possibly legal as some people have stated. I don't want to be causing any accidents/roadrage.

    • +2 votes

      Nice idea, but remember that u turns are illegal at traffic lights in NSW (unless marked otherwise) so make sure you find somewhere legal to u turn.

  • +11 votes

    You're also increasing the risk of getting rear-ended. Best to go around the block somehow so you turn in from the other lane, not trying to go across 2 lanes, and holding up a lane.

  • -1 vote

    Not having a go at you, but if you thought you can't cross to do a u-turn. Why would you think you can cross to enter a property? Both turns would affect traffic the same.

    • +6 votes

      To be honest, I have seen so many people do it and my family and friends have always told me that turning into a driveway is the exception. A lot of people live off main roads and do it. But then again I understand that my preconception could be wrong.

      On your second point, I would assume also that a U-Turn would affect traffic more (traffic on the other side of the road) as it takes more time and involves more actions.

    • +8 votes

      Why wouldn't you? It's legal. In the words of the RMS (PDF, bottom of page 8):

      In NSW drivers are also permitted to cross two continuous lines to enter or leave the road by the shortest route.

  • +18 votes

    You are right, it is legal if you want to turn into a drive way. I just got my license not long ago and my instructor specifically told me that. It really just defeats the purpose.

    This is where problems arise because it just doesn't make sense. It's illegal to cross them AT ALL, but suppose there is only two lanes separated by double white lines and the guy in front of you wants to park, you can indicate your intention to move to the other side of the road to overtake him provided there are no oncoming cars.

    Same thing really, welcome to NSW!

  • +1 vote

    A holes do this on Fitzroy st in St Kilda all the time, turning across solid lines and two tram tracks to get into parking garages on the other side of the road. Stopping on the road in the middle of heavy traffic is just asking for trouble.

  • +23 votes

    its legal to cross double lines to get to a driveway in nsw, not in vic.

    • +3 votes

      Surprisingly, this classification is awfully far down the thread. It's the answer we're all looking for.

    •  

      This is correct. AFAIK the double white lines in Victoria are broken in many circumstances just for driveways. In NSW this is not the case, the same breaks for driveways do not exist so there is an exception to let you cross to enter/exit.

      Otherwise in some cases you could be driving around forever trying to turn around (which is what I found myelf doing a whole lot, before I learnt it was legal!).

  • +33 votes

    Perfectly legal.

    According to RMS website:

    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.

    Double solid means you cannot overtake.

    http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/traf...

    • +1 vote

      Thank you! Very helpful and exactly what I was looking for.

    • -7 votes

      You are referring to the dividing lines, OP mentioned "cross a double solid white line"

      In the link you provided, it stated:

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

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

      So, the only thing it said was you are legal to cross a single dividing line. Not the double line.

      • +2 votes

        The RMS website states "any type of dividing line". The exact definition of dividing line in the law is provided in the NSW Road Rules 2014 which I have quoted in my comment below.

      • +1 vote

        Mistake

        • -1 vote

          Double "solid" lines are not…

        •  

          @jaxpylon: Yeah, was a cockup.

          RMS say it's legal (PDF, bottom of page 8(rms.nsw.gov.au)):

          In NSW drivers are also permitted to cross two continuous lines to enter or leave the road by the shortest route.

          But it seems the RMS get it wrong too.

    • +2 votes

      thanks for taking the time to provide the correct answer and referencing it.

  • +8 votes

    Well I looked at the law for you and I think it comes down to NSW Road Rule 134(3-1):

    (3–1) Without limiting subrule (2) or (3), a driver on a road with a dividing line (whether or not continuous) may drive to the right of the dividing line to enter or leave the road by the shortest practicable route.
    Note. This subrule is an additional NSW subrule. There is no corresponding subrule in rule 134 of the Australian Road Rules.

    And in the dictionary it defines "dividing line" to include a continuous double line:

    "dividing line" means a road marking formed by a line, or 2 parallel lines, whether broken or continuous, designed to indicate the parts of the road to be used by vehicles travelling in opposite directions.

    Source: http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fragview/inforce/subordleg...

    • +1 vote

      I could never understand how you could legally turn into some shop car parks in Tweed Heads. This now explains it.

      Now living QLD, but drove for 25+ years in Victoria.

      Also in QLD you can cross double lines to over take a cyclist when safe to do so, when it is not possible to do so without leaving the required separation (1m or 1.5m depending on speed).

    • -1 vote

      If you read Note (c) in NSW Road Rule 132(2), it says that rule 134 doesn't apply to the 2 parallel continuos lines. So I think it's illegal for our OP.

      Source: http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fragview/inforce/subordleg...

      •  

        Mistake

      • +1 vote

        That note was in the Road Rules in 1 Nov 2012, yet at that time the RMS released their "Changes to the NSW road rules" brochure (PDF):

        On 1 November 2012, a number of changes were introduced to the NSW road rules. Many of these changes are simply to clarify existing road rules and make them easier to understand.

        The changes affect all road users, so it is important that you read and familiarise yourself with this brochure.

        At the bottom of page 8, it says:

        In NSW drivers are also permitted to cross two continuous lines to enter or leave the road by the shortest route.

        So the RMS get it wrong in their 'clarification' brochure as the law only allows driving to the right of '2 parallel continuous dividing lines' to avoid obstructions.

      • +2 votes

        Interesting. But notes in an instrument are not to be taken to be part of an instrument under section 35(2)(c) of the NSW Acts Interpretation Act 1987.

        •  

          RMS emailed me back confirming Rule 134 (3-1) permits drivers to cross double lines to enter/exit the road.

  •  

    This is one of the things that shits me off in this country, all abide by every single other law but when it comes to road rules they're all different in each state.

    • +2 votes

      There are only a few variations. The bulk of them are the same.

      There really needs to be a web site stating all the variations.

    • +3 votes

      "every single other law"? Hardly, there are many other laws that differ from one state to another.

  • +1 vote

    It's now also legal in SA to cross double lines to overtake a cyclist while leaving the mandatory minimum of 1 metre between your vehicle and the cyclist (but apparently not to enter or leave the road, as in the OP's case). The only other exception I see is to avoid an obstruction.

    http://mylicence.sa.gov.au/road-rules/the-drivers-handbook/d...

  • +1 vote

    In QLD you can cross a SINGLE continuous line to enter a drive way or intersection but you can't cross a DOUBLE continuous line at all.

    https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/road/lines/#ce...

    IMO though if you're causing traffic on a busy road you shouldn't be crossing it at all and instead do a legal U-turn and exit safely on that side of the road.

    •  

      in your link it does say you can to pass cyclists if saf to do so but for no other reason

  • +3 votes

    For those in WA:

    "* double continuous (unbroken) lines
    These lines are used as dividing lines (centre lines)
    on roads. YOU must not cross these lines to
    overtake but you can cross them to turn right at an
    intersection, ‘U’ turn or enter or leave a road if it is
    safe to do so;"

    www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/…/LBU_DL_B_DriveSafePart3...

    •  

      Yeah you can't overtake, but allow to get off the road (house, intersection etc)

      not 100% sure about U turn, if it's a single lane, likely the road is too narrow for a U turn. If you stop at very left off the double solid lines(than close right of it). It's consider dangerous(even there is no traffic, the argument was u have to be close to the double solid lane with indicator signal, so incoming vehicles can clearly see what u doing - recommended not to do so with common sense)

  •  

    I previously worked for a road authority and from what I understand is that they are in the process of making this illegal nationwide.

    One of my jobs was to spot the new sections of roads for driveways where the double barrier lines would need breaks for driveways sounds like an easy job but very risky on windy country roads.

  • +4 votes

    I've run out of negs. You can enter or leave a driveway via the shortest route over double white lines in NSW. Thought this was common knowledge tbh.

  • +2 votes

    If there is a continuous double line it is probably unsafe to cross over the road. Particularly since it is a busy dual lane road.

  • +2 votes

    I got my L's at the beginning of this year and in the practice test that I did multiple times and the actual test that i did i came across around two similar questions about double solid lines and the answer was you can only cross them to turn into property, a road or driveway.

    There were also a few similar questions with diagrams of solid and broken lanes where it shows paths that could be taken and you're allowed to cross the lines to turn into a road, driveway or property whether its double solid or broken lines.

    If im wrong then i don't know how I got my L's but i got it first go. It's a quite common question that comes up a lot as well

  • +3 votes

    print out the copy of this http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/safety-rules/nsw-r... and keep it in your car, the next time you meet that guy again. throw that copy on his face and ask him to read his road rules..

  •  

    Definitely legal, mate. Tell that idiot to RTFM next time.

  •  

    Cant cross double lines. If one of the double lines is dashed you can cross on that side or if both double lines are dashed you can cross on both sides, but you cannot cross double lines that are continuous and unbroken.

    EDIT: Found this says: Two continuous parallel lines - You must keep to the left and must not cross these lines, unless you have to avoid an obstruction or, from 25th October 2015, if safe to do so, to allow enough room to safely overtake a cyclist. http://mylicence.sa.gov.au/road-rules/the-drivers-handbook/d...

  •  

    It's legal as you are turning into a driveway.

  • +2 votes

    I was told years ago that you can cross a double continuous line to turn into a property or exiting a property.

  • +1 vote

    Tasmania has now legalised moving to the right of double lines in order to overtake a cyclist with the required clearance, when safe to do so.

    I always thought double lines were there precisely because it was unsafe to do so. It won't be long before this practice causes an incident somewhere, possibly injuring the cyclists it was meant to protect.

  • +2 votes

    In WA it's perfectly legal.

    n double continuous (unbroken) lines
    These lines are used as dividing lines (centre lines)
    on roads. YOU must not cross these lines to
    overtake but you can cross them to turn right at an
    intersection, ‘U’ turn or enter or leave a road if it is
    safe to do so;

    Direct from the handbook here:

    http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/licensing/LBU_DL_B...

  •  

    Crossing a double line into a drive way is legal in nsw overtaking is not http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/traf...

    •  

      I DON"T see direct mention of crossing a double line into drive way (only mention for a single dividing 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."

    •  

      Actually I do agree
      Just a little confusing with all the terms

      It does appear to be LEGAL in NSW (as I always thought)

      Whether is it a single continuous line or a double-continuous line, they are both categorized under "dividing line". I hope my interpretation is correct.

      "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."

      •  

        the second double-continuous line has nothing to do with op. it's purpose is to control the vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. op (and other drivers) only need to worry about the lines (continuous or otherwise) closes to their right side.

  •  

    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.

  •  

    I don't think it's illegal if you're turning on to a driveway. BUT it's such an absolute d**k move to do, especially in peak hour traffic. If there's a way to turn around so you can turn straight in DO IT, don't be that guy who holds up peak hour traffic to turn into a driveway.

  • -2 votes

    pretty sure it's legal to cross double solids for residential "driveways" only. OP is entering a commercial driveway which is questionable.

  • +1 vote

    Clearly written in page 8 (http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/safety-rules/nsw-r...)

    "In NSW drivers are also permitted to cross two continuous lines to enter or leave the road by the shortest route."

  •  

    This rule turning right into driveway on double unbroken line is on driver knowledge practice test (L licence test)and It says it is legal although I am not not if that is just for residential property or anyother commercial premises as well.

    On the personal note, it is really annyoing because you're literally blocking the road. If I were behind you waiting, I would probably won't care about rule becasue you're jamming cars behind you and creating unnecassary traffic. Just take an extra few meters and turn out from anyother street and change your route. It really bugs people becasue their time is as valuable as yours. If you are not willing to take/drive an extra few meters then people have right to get angry and getting annoyed. That's just my personal thought.

  • +1 vote

    Perfectly legal in NSW. I hit the rear end of the driver just doing that last year. I was at fault - no question asked by police or court.

  • +2 votes

    of course its legal.

    to leave or enter a property is perfectly ok to cross double lines.

  •  

    I dont know common sense comes into it as well, if youre holding up heaps of people in peak hour every day for a long period of time I kind of feel its a disaster waiting to happen. I mean someone has been so irate they got out of their vehicle, this could happen again or possibly even worse an accident might happen and you or someone else might get hurt. To avoid any negative outcomes in the future could you maybe go to work via a different route where you come in on the same side of the road as the driveway?

  •  

    It is legal to cross double white lines to turn into a driveway
    illegal to overtake

  •  

    Country: WA :)

    Double line rule: Drive safe handbook page 60

    double continuous (unbroken) lines:
    These lines are used as dividing lines (centre lines) on roads. YOU must not cross these lines to overtake but you can cross them to turn right at an intersection, ‘U’ turn or enter or leave a road if it is safe to do so

  •  

    I am from NSW, always understood that turning into a street or driveway was legal, and also, performing a U-Turn over double lines was legal if it was safe to do so. Just overtaking etc (now with the exception of overtaking a cyclist) was ILLEGAL.

    However am I wrong about the U-Turns, or has this changed. I have been driving for some time, but am I incorrect. sorry if this has been answered, but the road rules arent clear on the U-Turn aspect.

    thanks

  •  

    I know this is an old thread, but I just stumbled across it and thought I'd have some input.

    We used to live at a house that was on a main road in town, if you were travelling south, you had to cross double-white lines to turn into the drive-way. We looked into this with the RTA and found (at the time, 10 years ago) that crossing double-white lines is indeed legal if it is the most convenient means to enter a residence.

  •  

    Found this in rule 132:
    132 Keeping to the left of the centre of a road or the dividing line
    (1) A driver on a two-way road without a dividing line or median strip must drive to the left of the centre of the road, except as permitted under rule 133 or 139 (1).
    Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
    Note 1. Centre of the road, dividing line, median strip and two-way road are defined in the Dictionary.
    Note 2. For the meaning of driving to the left of something, see rule 351 (3).
    Note 3. Rule 133 deals with driving to the right of the centre of the road to overtake another vehicle, to enter or leave a road, to move from one part of the road to another, or because of the width or condition of the road. Rule 139 (1) deals with driving to the right of the centre of the road to avoid an obstruction.
    (2) A driver on a road with a dividing line must drive to the left of the dividing line, except as permitted under rule 134 or 139 (2).
    Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
    Note. Rule 134 deals with driving to the right of the dividing line to overtake another vehicle, to enter or leave a road, or to move from one part of the road to another. Rule 139 (2) deals with driving to the right of the dividing line to avoid an obstruction.
    The effect of this subrule, in relation to continuous dividing lines, is as follows:
    (a) in the case of a dividing line that is only a single continuous dividing line, or that is a broken dividing line to the right of a single continuous dividing line, a driver may only drive to the right of such a line in the circumstances set out in rules 134 (3) and 139 (2), as supplemented by rule 139 (3),
    (b) in the case of a dividing line that is a single continuous dividing line to the right of a broken dividing line, a driver may only drive to the right of such a line in the circumstances set out in rules 134 (2), 134 (3) and 139 (2),
    (c) in the case of a dividing line that is 2 parallel continuous dividing lines, a driver may only drive to the right of such a line in the circumstances set out in rule 139 (2), as supplemented by rule 139 (3).

    But in rule 134:
    (3–1) Without limiting subrule (2) or (3), a driver on a road with a dividing line (whether or not continuous) may drive to the right of the dividing line to enter or leave the road by the shortest practicable route.

    So which one comes first? I assume 132 should be the one to follow, but some people don't agree

  •  

    I just had some old C..T beep at me and abuse me for doing this to turn right into my property, all cause he probably had to stop for 1 second. Probably things it's illegal to turn over double white lines. Gotta love the self-righteous oldies.

  •  

    Age has nothing to do with it. That makes him with the majority here of all ages with no idea.

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