Two of the give way rules are changing

Updated: 29 February 2012

To make our roads safer, two of the give way rules are changing. These changes come into effect at 5am on Sunday 25 March 2012. Until then the current give-way rules apply.

These changes will affect all drivers, riders, pedestrians and cyclists. Make sure you know the new rules so you’ll know what to do.

What give-way rules will be changing at 5am on 25 March 2012?

There are two give-way rules that will be changing.

Change 1: The left-turn versus right-turn rule

From 5am on 25 March 2012, this new rule will require all traffic turning right to give way to a vehicle coming from the opposite direction and turning left. This applies at cross roads, T-intersections and driveways where both vehicles are facing each other with no signs or signals, or the same signs or signals.

Examples of common situations where the new rule will apply are shown below. In each of the diagrams below the RED car with the dotted arrow has to give way to the GREEN car with the solid arrow:

a) Both vehicles facing each other with no signs or signals (neither vehicle is controlled)

 

b) Both vehicles facing Give Way signs

c) Both vehicles facing Stop signs

d) Both vehicles facing green traffic signals

 

Change 2: At uncontrolled T-intersections ('uncontrolled' means when there are no signs or signals to tell you what to do)

At an uncontrolled T-intersection, all traffic from a terminating road (bottom of the T) will have to give way to all traffic on a continuing road (top of the T). This will bring it into line with T-intersections where there are Stop or Give Way signs on the terminating road. In the diagram below the RED car with the dotted arrow has to give way to the GREEN car with the solid arrow:

 

 

This rule change will also apply to uncontrolled driveways, such as at a supermarket or hospital. From 5am on 25 March 2012 the traffic exiting the driveway will need to give way to all traffic on the road.

All vehicles entering or exiting a driveway must continue to give way to pedestrians on a footpath, or cyclists and pedestrians on a cycle path or shared path. Drivers should not pull out to block the footpath in front of pedestrians and cyclists.

Are all the give-way rules at intersections changing?

No. Traffic signs and signals are placed at intersections to show road users what they need to do and this will not change. Road users should continue to obey all road signs and signals.

Here is a snapshot of what give way rules won't change:

  1. If you are at an intersection controlled by a Stop sign, you must stop and give way to all other vehicles.
  2. If you are at an intersection controlled by a Give Way sign, you must give way to all other vehicles except those controlled by a Stop sign.
  3. If you are turning, give way to all vehicles not turning. Note: If the road is marked with a centre line, you are deemed to be turning if you leave the path of the centre line. If you follow the path of the centre line, you are deemed to be not turning.
  4. If all other give way rules (or signs or signals) do not determine who gives way, give way to vehicles coming from your right. (An example of this is at cross roads controlled by traffic signals when the signals have failed and all approaches have a flashing yellow light.)

Remember these four rules won't change but from 5am on 25 March they will apply with the new left turn versus right turn and uncontrolled T-intersection rules (outlined at the top of this page).

Will there be any changes to the give-way rules at roundabouts?

No. You should continue to give way to all vehicles that will cross your path from your right as you enter the roundabout.

Public awareness campaign

It's important that you stick to the current rules until 5am on Sunday 25 March 2012.

National advertising will start 10 days before the change and run until 1 April. This late start date has been planned to minimise the risk of people starting to use the new rules too early.

Further information

This website page will continue to be updated from 1 March 2012 with more give way resources.

 

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