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May 8, 2023

4 minutesmins


What is the “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle” rule?

Caravanning is a popular pastime for many people around Australia, offering the freedom to travel and explore the great outdoors. However, caravanning also comes with a responsibility to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. One important rule that all drivers should be aware of is the

“Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle ” rule.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this rule and why it’s especially important for caravan owners.

What is the Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle” rule?

The “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle” rule is a basic principle of road safety that applies to all drivers. It states that if you’re driving behind a vehicle that’s indicating to turn left or right, you should not attempt to overtake it. This is because the turning vehicle may need to lane filter and swing out wide to complete the turn, and if you’re alongside it, you could be at risk of a collision.

The rule applies to all types of vehicles, from cars and trucks to buses and caravans. It’s especially important for trucks and caravans, as they are longer and wider than most vehicles and require more space to manoeuvre.

As the owner of a caravan, this rule applies only if you have a Sticker, correctly mounted on the rear of your caravan to indicate this i.e.:  DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE


So let go through the actual rules.

This is a quote from Transport for NSW

Overall length of 7.5m or greater

A caravan and towing vehicle with a combined overall length of 7.5m or greater is required to have a “DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE” sign attached to its rear,  IF  the vehicle and caravan combination intend to momentarily occupy an adjacent lane (straddle) when making a turn.

Most people reading this miss one word – IF –   so to clarify

You only need the sticker            IF 

      •  the vehicle and caravan combination intend to momentarily occupy an adjacent lane (‘straddle’) when making a turn

      • Its not law that you have one if your over 7.5 m

      • However, it IS a requirement if you wish to lane straddle to turn.

      • Be aware also that most states prohibit the sign if you are less than 7.5m long.

    OK, now we shall clarify which signs you can display and where the signs should be placed.

    Preferred sign

    The preferred sign should have a minimum area of 0.125 square metres, and the words “DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE” should appear on the sign in block letters, with a height of not less than 50 millimetres. This sign is the most visible to other drivers, providing them sufficient warning to provide caravans and towing vehicles room to manoeuvre while turning.

    Other acceptable signs

    Alternate acceptable “DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE” signs include one measuring 300mm by 100mm, and another measuring 300mm by 300mm.

    The other important requirement is placement which is specified in the National Code of Practice VSB 12 Rear Marking Plates – Version 2.2

    Rear Marking Plates

        • The sign MUST be placed on the rear LEFT of the caravan

        • There must be a maximum of 500mm space from the left side of the vehicle

        • The sign must be no more than 2000 mm from the ground to the bottom of the sign, and must be at least 400 mm from the ground.

      We see many vans with signs in the middle and the right – however the requirement is to the left.

      (It makes sense when you think any car following you the driver would be a little to the left of you (if you’re straddling lanes) and therefore the sign must be visible).

      If the sign is on the right and you straddle and have an accident you will be deemed to be at fault.

      We also see signs that are meant for trucks – some people use these – these may not be legal and may open you up to a potential problem if involved in an accident.

      We believe these rules are Australian wide but specifically this blog article refers to NSW. If you live interstate, please check with your local regulations.

      If you would like more information, please visit:

      This Blog article has been written by CHECK WEIGHT founder Jeff DeAth and CHECK WEIGHT Greater Sydney Franchisee Jason Wadwell

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