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More road rule changes from 1 November

More road rule changes from 1 November

The NZ Transport Agency is reminding people that several changes to New Zealand’s road rules will take effect from 1 November, in addition to the ban on using hand-held mobile phones when driving.

The changes are part of the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2009 which comes into force next Sunday (1 November). The NZTA is encouraging people to familiarise themselves with the rule changes now.

The changes cover road use by drivers, motorcycle riders, cyclists and pedestrians. All of the changes are being introduced to make New Zealand’s roads safer and more efficient to use.

One of the key changes is the requirement for motorcyclists and moped riders to use headlamps or daytime running lamps during daylight hours. This requirement applies to riders of all mopeds or motorcycles made after 1 January 1980.

Motorcycles’ speed and manoeuvrability coupled with their small size can make them less visible to other road users than larger vehicles. Poor visibility is a contributing factor in many multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes, and daytime headlamps will help make motorcycles more visible to other road users.

Another significant rule change relates to drivers crossing special vehicle lanes (i.e. bus lanes) to turn left or get to a parking space. The rule specifies that drivers may only enter a special lane when they are less than 50 metres from where they will turn off, and that they complete the manoeuvre in the minimum length of lane necessary.

Setting a nationally consistent maximum distance for these lanes makes the requirements clearer for drivers and makes enforcement easier. Other changes include:

•drivers must give way to pedestrians who are ‘obviously waiting’ to cross at a pedestrian crossing (the current requirement is to give way to pedestrians on a crossing)

•vehicles towing another vehicle without a rigid towing system (i.e. using a tow rope) will be limited to a maximum of 50km/h

Detailed information, Q&As and the full list of changes in the Road User Rule are available at www.nzta.govt.nz/publications/road-user-amendment-2009.

ENDS

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