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.


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.

Examples of no turn signage
Road sign 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
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.

Steps for executing a 3 point turn
A three-point turn usually involves at least three turns.
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