U-turns and three-point turns

Three-point turns and U-turns can be tricky to do, and they're only legal in certain situations on NSW roads. Here are the rules you must follow and tips for turning safely.

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You must not make a U-turn:

  • at intersections without traffic lights where there’s a ‘No U-turn’ sign
  • at intersections with traffic lights, unless there’s a ‘U-turn permitted’ sign
  • across a single unbroken dividing line or double unbroken dividing line
  • across double dividing lines with an unbroken line closer to you
  • on motorways and freeways.

U-turn signs

The ‘No U-turn’ sign is a regulatory sign and must be obeyed by law.

No U-turn sign
Road signs indicating you must not make a U-turn

You can make a U-turn at traffic lights where this sign is displayed.

U-turn permitted sign
Road sign indicating you can make a U-turn at traffic light

Making a U-turn

When making a U-turn, you must:

  • have a clear view of approaching traffic
  • start your U-turn from the marked lane nearest to the centre of the road
  • start your U-turn to the left of the centre of the road if there are no lane markings
  • make the turn without obstructing traffic
  • give way to vehicles and pedestrians
  • indicate before you start to turn.

After you turn, check your mirrors and blind spots again, indicate, and only pull out when it’s clear and safe.

Three-point turns

You can do a three-point turn when a road is not wide enough to do a U-turn. It’s called a three-point turn because you usually need to do at least three turns to face the opposite direction.

A three-point turn generally takes longer to do than a U-turn. When you’re in heavy traffic or on a busy road, it’s safer to drive around the block or use a roundabout to turn around.

Three-point turn
A three-point turn usually involves at least three turns

U-turns road safety video


Road rules: u-turns

Revise rules on doing u-turns in this short Transport video animation.

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