Lane Ending Vs Lanes Merging

This pages have been put together using Qld road rules legislation as of 2009.
It is in no way purposed or designed to be used for legal defense or legal advice!
It is designed to help you know the road rules and do the right thing.

Not to justify bad driving behaviours

When two lanes become one there are two different ways the road markings are used to indicate who should give way. These are called "Lane Ending" and "Lanes Merging".

Lane Ending

Lane EndingThe image on the left is of a lane ending.

 In this example the Blue Car's (A) lane is ending and they must cross a line in order to continue. The Red Car (B) however, is in the continuing lane and does not need to cross a line at all.

So in this instance, even though the Blue Car (A) is in the lead they must, according to Queensland Regulation, "give way to any vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver in the marked lane to which the driver is moving." In other words, you are required by law to give way to the traffic in the lane you are changing into.

The Blue Car (A) should check their mirror, indicate right to show his intent, and perform the shoulder check before changing lanes.

The Red Car (B) should continue with care and not get caught up on "It's my right of way!" if the Blue Car (A) does decide to cut them off. Safety First, ALWAYS!


Lanes Merging

Lanes Merging

The image to the right is of two lanes merging.

The situation is exactly the same, the Blue Car (C) is ahead of the Red Car (D). The only difference is that neither car must cross a line to continue.

So this time, according to Queensland Regulation, the driver "must give way to a vehicle in another line of traffic if any part of the vehicle is ahead of the driver's vehicle." In other words the Red Car (D) must give way to the Blue Car (C) because they are in front.

Both cars should check their mirror, indicate their intent to merge, the Blue Car (C) indicating Right and the Red Car (D) indicating Left, and then perform a shoulder check before merging.

Ideally when two lines of traffic perform this merge it should end up looking like a zipper coming together, Left, Right, Left, Right...

Again both cars should continue with care and not get caught up on "It's my right of way!" if the other car does decide to cut them off. Safety First, ALWAYS!


Road Rules are always under review and are often changed or updated.This page was accurate at time of publishing, while we endeavour to keep these pages up to date we may occasionally miss something. You as a road user are expected to keep up to date with the Road Rules.