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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.