A Conversation for Hook Turns in Melbourne, Australia

I know why, I know why!!

Post 1


It's all because of the trams.

As everyone knows, tram drivers get a bit bored because their vehicles run on tracks - that takes all the fun out of driving really, because they don't have any say over where they go. So, the only fun that tram drivers can possibly have is to plough through right-turning cars if they're stupid enough to be sitting in the middle of the tram tracks waiting to turn right in the traditional right-turning-from-the-right-lane method.

The hook turn therefore had to be invented to make the tram drivers' lives even more boring. smiley - smiley

I know why, I know why!!

Post 2

Rocket Rod

Yeah!Great idea,works well.
I grew up down that way,Latrobe
Valley actually.That's why I live
in Broome,NO Traffic lights,Parking
meters,X-mass crowds,MCG,Crown casino
Take my advice escape before the
trams getcha or ya freeze solid
Whoops time for another beer
Cheers Rocket Rod
smiley - winkeyesmiley - winkeye

I know why, I know why!!

Post 3


It is also because it removes waiting cars from the traffic stream. Instead of blocking the right hand lane and reducing the traffic flow to one lane, waiting cars pull over to the left of intersection and keep the two lanes free flowing, hopefully reducing congestion. Of course there are teh trams, but they have to obey the traffic lights just like the cars (although sometimes they have thier own special ones).

Also, cars usually turn once the lights have turned yellow and have checked no idiots are going to try and make it through before it goes red. They are therefore usually out of the intersection (or at least facing the desired direction) before the light turns green for the cars they are blocking.

I know why, I know why!!

Post 4


No, it really is just because of the trams (she says earnestly!!) which is why you only find those dreaded little hook turn signs at intersections where there are trams. Sure, the trams have to obey the traffic lights, but if there are cars waiting to turn right in front of them and the light is green, the tram isn't going anywhere, right? So you're right in one respect - it does cut down on congestion in that middle lane, but the powers that be weren't thinking of all the poor car drivers stuck in traffic - they were only worried about the trams getting through. Which is a bit unusual really - normally public transport is a LOW priority, isn't it?? smiley - smiley

The disadvantage by the way, is that only a couple of cars get to turn right during any one green light phase, which can lead to dreadful congestion in the LEFT lane, but that's the joy of driving in Melbourne!! (and one reason why I live on the other side of the country . . . well, that and the weather!!)

I know why, I know why!!

Post 5


It has been said the true difference between a town and a city is that in a town people slow down for the yellow/amber traffic light and in a city they speed up. Melbourne is a City. People do speed through amber lights - and the latest trend in the 21st Century seems to be driving through the first couple of seconds of a red.

With this in mind - readers of the Guide are reminded that pulling out of the 'holding pattern' at a hook turn before the lights before you are red is both illegal and tremendously foolhardy.

To turn right you must go to the left lane. To go, you must wait for the red. This is the Squiggle Principle in action ('everything is upside down Miss Jane').

I know why, I know why!!

Post 6


All this talk seems to be focused on the persecdtive of the driver. As someone who actually uses a tram (no, I don't drive one so I am not that boring) it is very frustrating when running 2 hours late for a meeting to be stuck behind someone in a car blocking the tram trying to do a right hand turn. Think of it this way... a car can hold a 4 passengers ( in most cases unless you are trying to both break the law and get yourself into the guiness book of records) a tram can hold maybe 200 (particularly if it is one of those really long articulated ones), hence the tram has right of way and the hook turn was created. The strange thing is that the hook turn is only used in the city so there are perhaps only 30 intersections out of maybe 30,000 where the hook turn is used. Hence tram drivers love driving trams in the city where tourists are more likely to drive hire cars and not know about hook turns (its the only exciting thing aobut the job T-boning right turning tourists.

I know why, I know why!!

Post 7


Yes the hook turn was invented because of trams. It was about the same time that the public transport corporation of the day started solely hiring people who could not understand a bloody word of english. As a result it was decided safest to get the car drivers as far away as possible from the trams for safety's (and insurance) sake.

And a funny point worth mentioning that is similar to the effect noticed on American tourists abroad. Wait until you have seen a tourist in Brisbane pull a hook turn in the CBD, talk about ridicule!

And with the traffic light thing have you heard the one about the cabby who taught someone to drive?

The story goes like this, you get in a cab with a cabby: he runs every red and amber light; then comes to a screeching halt at a green light. You ask him why and he tells you: My instructor could be coming the other way!

I know why, I know why!!

Post 8


I think you are all missing the real cause of hook turns: Lucifer, The Prince Of Darkness, Satan otherwise known as Not A Very Nice Guy.

The trams are just used as an excuse for them (esp. by those that want to get rid of the trams: the fuel companies.) It's all just a big plot to piss off as many people as possible (and from what I saw when I was down there at Christmas it's working.)

I found out that one can avoid hook turns entirely by only turning left. It may take longer to get there but eventually you will!

Of course the other way is just to move out of Melbourne and to somewhere with more stable weather. Take Qld's Beautiful Sunshine Coast for example. Yep, our weather is Beautiful One Day, Raining the other 364. Now that's stable.

Then again there are that many Victorians up here already there might not be room for any more...

I know why, I know why!!

Post 9

Aussie Matt

Okay all you out-of-towners,

time to stop bagging that great Melbourne institution the hook or better diamond turn. I put down these negative feelings to "tram envy", a condition afflicting many dwellers of cities other than Melbourne. As for Broome, I can see the attraction, but really, Melbourne is a great place to live and as this is the only entry on it, it is time for more!

smiley - smiley

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