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Keep left or right, slip and median turning lanes

Learn to recognise slip lanes, median turning lanes, and ‘Keep left’ and ‘Keep right’ signs on NSW roads. Here's what they mean and how to obey the rules.

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Slip lanes

Slip lanes improve safety and traffic flow for vehicles turning left. Slip lanes are marked by a painted island or traffic island.

You must use a slip lane to turn where one is provided.

When you’re turning left in a slip lane (with or without a ‘Give way’ sign), you must give way to:

  • vehicles on the road you’re turning into
  • oncoming vehicles turning right into the road you’re turning into
  • any other vehicle or pedestrian in the slip lane.

You must not stop in a slip lane, unless a parking sign says you can.

Slip lane
When a car is turning left in a slip lane (Car A), they must give way to vehicles turning right into the road they’re turning into

Median turning lanes

A median turning lane is a shared lane for vehicles driving in either direction to turn right into a side road (or a driveway or property access).

It’s usually in the middle of the road and is marked by signs or arrows on the road.

If there’s an oncoming vehicle already in a median turning lane, you can enter the lane, but you must give way to that vehicle by slowing down and, if necessary, stopping.

Median turning lane sign
Median turning lane road sign
Median turning lane share
You can enter and share a median turning lane with an oncoming vehicle

Keep left or right

‘Keep left’ and ‘Keep right’ signs are regulatory and must be obeyed.

When you see a ‘Keep left’ sign, you must stay to the left of the sign.

When you see a ‘Keep right’ sign, you must stay to the right of the sign.

Keep left sign
'Keep left' road sign
Keep right sign
'Keep right' road sign

Keeping left video


Road rules: keeping left

Revise rules on keeping left on multi-lane roads in this short Transport video animation.

Read transcript

On multi-lane roads with a speed limit of more than 80km per hour you must not drive in the right-hand lane, unless:

  • you are overtaking
  • turning
  • avoiding an obstacle
  • driving in congested traffic
  • driving in a special purpose lane
  • or if there is a must turn left lane or a left traffic arrow, and you are not turning left. 

If a keep left unless overtaking sign is displayed, the requirement applies regardless of the speed limit.

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