Road rule change takes place soon

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By LAURA MCLEAY

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.

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