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Govt confirms changes to give way rules

Transport Minister Steven Joyce has signed a rule that will change the give way rules at intersections from March 2012.

He says the changes will help reduce confusion on our roads by removing some of the demands the current rules place on drivers’ decision-making at intersections.

“A high profile education campaign will be carried out closer to the time to ensure drivers are aware of the new requirements and when they begin.”

Currently if you are turning left you have to give way to right turning traffic coming towards you. This will change so the right turning vehicle will have to give way.

Changes are also planned for those making right-hand turns at uncontrolled T-intersections. Currently, the right-turning vehicle on the continuing road has to give way to a right-turning vehicle on the terminating road. The change will reverse that to give priority to traffic on the continuing road.

Mr Joyce says the give way rules changes are part of the government’s Safer Journeys road safety strategy and will reduce relevant intersection crashes by an estimated 7%.

“The changes will also help improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, groups often at risk in intersection crashes.”

The give way rule changes are included in the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2011.

Other changes in the amendment rule include allowing riders of motorcycles, mopeds and cycles to proceed on a white ‘B’ (bus) signal in a bus lane as well as allowing for school bus signs that incorporate flashing lights, to alert other motorists that school children are nearby and to drive carefully. The latter measures will come into force on October 1 this year.

Consultation on the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2011 was held in May and June and the majority of submissions received were supportive of changes to the give way rules. 

More by Niko Kloeten

Comments and questions

Common sense has finally prevailed.
I note in Auckland that many seem to be adopting the change already.

I can hear the Champage corks a poppin' from the workshops of towies and panel beaters...

Unlikely - they will be weeping at the loss of income from the most ridiculously dangerous road traffic rule in the civilised word. Hooray to that (the loss of the rule, not any lost income from trades)

Say hello to numerous crashes!

So I'm not a bad driver because I didn't give way, I was just ahead of my time!

While they planners of intersection and light systems are at it, how about:
- Free left turns at intersections when safe to do so (as in California)
- Phasing of lights to ensure efficiency for turning traffic.
- Keeping bus stops away from intersections
- actula insoection of intersections by planners to see how many of them do not work well.

Hear hear Get a Grip: And between midnight and 6 a.m. turn all lights to flashing amber, to mean give way.

It's a good move and gets rid of anomalies, especially where intersections are right next to service stations and fast food outlets, leading to confusion about where the people turning left are actually going. It also brings us in line with the rest of the RHD world.

Can we please PLEASE simultaneously make it legal to make the "easy" turn when sitting at a red light facing no traffic? "Left on Red" - it just makes sense.

Agree completely re Left turn on Red after stopping - they should also introduce 4 way stop signs at some uncontrolled suburban intersections - cars go in the order they get to intersection - slows cars down & works a treat in USA.

Here Here

While they're at it, they should also bring in compulsory third party insurance - like the Poms have always had.

Yes - and no WOF or Rego without proof of 3rd party insurance.

At last... out of the dark ages.
One less thing for tourists from LHD countries to get confused about when driving on the wong side of the road...

Thank goodness we are going back to sensible rules. We followed Victoria when they tried it, but they realised their error and reverted years AND years ago.

Me too!!, when turning left ahead of right turning vehicle, I didn't indicate and just sped on through , so now its to be legal, and the right option to keep traffic flowing

Pity to change - we had the best system in the world. Look forward to thousands more traffic lights installed at minor intersections now.

While we are at it could we introduce traffic timers to intersections. They are throughout Asia and are brilliant