Tuesday, December 9, 2008
NZ Government to consider road rule changes...
New Zealand has been giving way to the right for the past thirty years – it’s the basis of our road rules.
But overwhelmingly those in the business of traffic safety think it’s time we changed it for reasons of safety and common sense– every other country in the world gives way to the left.
The AA has renewed the call to change the rule and the government has said it will consider it.
The rule was adopted from Victoria thirty years ago who used it to deal with their tram system. However, the Australian state dumped the rule in 1993.
The rule is particularly dangerous at T-intersections when there is a car behind the left turning vehicle. The left-turning vehicle may stop, letting in the right-turning vehicle but the vehicle behind on the left may try to overtake, causing a collision.
The AA says further confusion arises when a car indicating left actually carries on straight. Police say this causes 50 crashes a year.
Just about every group involved in road traffic safety, the police, Ministry of Transport, Land Transport, the Cyclist Advocate Network and the Institute of Engineers have called for the rule to be changed.
Changing the rule will making driving in New Zealand easier for tourists but the focus is on safety.
Analysis by the Ministry of Transport suggests that it could result in a bout 160 fewer crashes per year.
Acknowledgements to Automobile Association NZ