Merging and changing lanes

Always check your mirrors and blind spots when changing or merging lanes. Remember to indicate and look out for motorcycles and bicycles.

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Changing lanes

When changing lanes, you must give way to vehicles in the lane you’re moving into.

You must indicate to let others know when you plan to move into another lane. Make sure your indicator is off after you’ve merged or changed lanes.

Changing lanes when a lane ends

When the lane you’re driving in is ending and you need to cross a broken line to move into another lane, you must give way to vehicles already in that lane – for example, when you’re joining a motorway.

Slow down and look for a suitable gap so you can change lanes safely.

If a vehicle is moving into your lane, you should leave a suitable gap.

Merging changing lanes crossing broken line
When a car is crossing a broken line to change into another lane (Car A), it must give way to vehicles already in that lane (Car B)

When a bus changes lanes

You must give way to a bus displaying a ‘Give way to buses’ sign when you’re driving in the left lane or line of traffic, and the bus:

  • has stopped or is moving slowly at the far left side of the road
  • is indicating right, and
  • is about to move in front of you.
Priority for buses entering traffic
Sign on bus with an arrow showing you must give way to the bus

Merging lanes

When you’re driving on a road and the number of lanes or lines of traffic reduces, and there are no longer any road markings, you must give way to the vehicle that’s ahead of you. This is called a zipper merge.

Merging lanes two lanes reduced to one
When two lanes reduce to one lane, the car trailing behind (Car B) must give way to the car ahead (Car A)

Merging and changing lanes rules video


Road rules: merging

Revise rules on ‘merging’ in this short Transport video animation.

Read transcript
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