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New road rules come into force on Sunday

25 February 2005

New road rules come into force on Sunday

New traffic rules for pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and roundabouts come into force this coming Sunday (27 February) as part of the Land Transport Road User Rule.

The Road User Rule requires drivers to give way to pedestrians on both sides of a pedestrian crossing, unless the crossing is divided by a raised traffic island. An average of three pedestrians are killed and over 100 are injured each year from collisions with vehicles on pedestrian crossings. The rule also makes it clear that pedestrians have a responsibility to ensure that vehicles are able to stop safely before stepping on to a crossing.

Nationally consistent requirements for the use of 'special vehicle lanes' such as cycle and bus lanes are also being introduced.

The rule aims to improve traffic flows, reduce congestion and prevent crashes at roundabouts by making it a legal requirement for vehicles to signal their intentions and use the correct lane.

On average three people are killed and more than 250 are injured each year in crashes at roundabouts. One of the major contributing factors to those crashes is uncertainty – drivers being unsure of what they are supposed to do, and what others intend to do. The rule is expected to reduce driver hesitancy and confusion at roundabouts, helping to prevent crashes and make traffic flow more efficiently.

The Road User Rule also increases the maximum speed limit for light vehicles towing trailers from 80km/h to 90km/h. This is expected to smooth traffic flows and reduce the incidence of other vehicles attempting to overtake dangerously. Detailed information on the Road User Rule is available at http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/road-user-safety/new-road-rules/

ENDS

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