Road rule change takes place soon
In an attempt to bring New Zealand into line with the rest of the world, the current give-way rule is on its way out.
The existing rule states motorists turning left must give way to the right, however from 5am on Sunday, March 25, all traffic turning right will have to give way to a vehicle coming from the opposite direction and turning left.
Matamata driving instructor James Turney said going back to the old rule, which was replaced in 1977, was a brilliant idea.
‘‘The new rules are going to be wonderful as it will align us with the rest of the world, make our roads safer and it will make it easier for international drivers coming into the country to understand the road rules,’’ Mr Turney said.
A change to the give-way rules was identified as a road safety priority in the Government’s road safety strategy to 2020, Safer Journeys. Intersection crashes account for 20 per cent of fatal and serious injury crashes and the number of intersection crashes involving pedestrians hit by turn- ing traffic has increased by 79 per cent since 2000.
New Zealand Transport Agency media manager Andy Knackstedt said the agency would be doing all it could to ensure drivers were briefed on the new rules before they came into place.
‘‘We are planning a pretty intense advertising campaign that starts on March 15 because we need to make people aware of the changes,’’ Mr Knackstedt said. ‘‘ It’s estimated that changing our give-way rules will result in a reduction of about 7 per cent of relevant intersection crashes and the change will save one life each year.’’
The new rules: From 5am, March 25, the give way rule is set to change.