Traffic Rules in New Zealand

Guide to Road and Traffic Rules in New Zealand

Road rules are generally maintained and designed to avoid accidents and other wrongdoings on the road. New Zealand follows the rule that drivers should drive on the left side of the road, as in England and other commonwealth countries. This left-hand rule for the drivers was also designed to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions of the right directed vehicles.

Traffic Rules of New Zealand

Road rules in New Zealand are strictly maintained as these ensure avoidance of collision and accidents on the road. As a traveler to the nation, you must be aware of the traffic rules in New Zealand to avoid getting caught in any wrongdoings. Let us have a look at New Zealand road rules that ensures a better journey while on the roads.

Speed Limit in New Zealand

  • The maximum speed limit to be followed on New Zealand roads is 100 km/hour.
  • The speed limit for heavy vehicles including the load that is greater than 3,500 kg is 90 km/hour.
  • The maximum speed limit to be followed in all urban areas of New Zealand is 50 km/hour
  • You must reduce your speed to 20 km/hour if there have been any accidents.
  • The speed limit of 20 km/hour is also applicable while crossing any school.

LSZ

The term LSZ (Limited Speed Zone) generally means that you can drive on the open road at a speed of 100 km/hour. However, it also ensures that in case of weather turning rough or hazardous, the speed limit comes down to 50 Km/hour. Bad weather along with lots of traffic on the roads, be it cyclists, animals, or other vehicles can bring your speed limit down to almost half.

Special Rules for slow drivers

New Zealand also has rules assigned specially for slow drivers. The rule guide says that if you are traveling slower than the usual speed and there are other vehicles following, you must consciously keep close to the left of the road. The traffic rules also guards against your speeding up on straight road stretches to avoid vehicles that pass you.

Curve warning signs

The curve signs on different road bends of New Zealand warns you about the coming up of a curve while recommending a safe journey in a comfortable speed that is better kept reduced.

Traffic Signals of New Zealand

The traffic signals are another important concern of New Zealand traffic rules. As a traveler, you must be aware of all the traffic signals that are displayed by the New Zealand traffic authorities.

  • Red light means stop.
  • Red arrow means that you are not allowed to turn if traveling in the direction of the arrow.
  • Amber light signals that the road is about to turn, therefore, you can stop to ensure a safe turn.
  • Amber arrow means that the road is about to turn and if you are traveling in the direction of the arrow then you must ensure a safe stop.
  • Green light signals the opening of the traffic. If you are about to turn then follow the give way rules and offer space to the pedestrians crossing on a cross light.
  • Green arrow signals that you can turn with care if you are traveling in the direction of the arrow.
  • Flashing Amber light signals that the traffic signal is not working and you must follow the give way rules.

Traffic Give Way Rules of New Zealand

The give way rules of New Zealand roads offer many guidelines to be followed. Let us have a look at the give way rules of New Zealand:

  • While driving straight ahead, you must give way to all the vehicles coming straight on your right.
  • If you are about to turn, then you must always give way to all the vehicles that are not turning.
  • If you are about to turn to the left, then, you must give way to all the vehicles coming towards you and about to turn in a right direction.
  • If you are turning to the right then you must give way to all the vehicles that are turning left. If you are about to leave the path of a centre line when you are turning, then you must give way to the other vehicles who are following the centre line.

One Lane Bridges in New Zealand

  • A round sign with a round border and red arrow means you must give way to incoming traffic.
  • A big white arrow on a blue rectangle signals that you can go onto the bridge first.
  • Roundabouts of New Zealand Road Rules:
  • Single lane roundabout: You must always give way to your right.
  • Multi lane roundabout: You must always give way to all your vehicles that will cross your path from the right as you enter the roundabout.

New Zealand Driving Rules

  • Foggy Weather: According to New Zealand road rules, you must dip your lights when driving in fog – if lights are on full beam they will only be reflected. This will hold back the visibility status.
  • Wet Weather: The New Zealand road rules observe that on slippery, wet and icy roads, you must stay at least 4 seconds behind the car in front. You also need to reduce your driving speed.
  • Seat Belts: In New Zealand as per the road rules all passengers must wear a seat belt while driving or riding. In case you fail to do so, fines are imposed on a regular basis.
  • Night Driving: While driving during the night hours, you must always use your headlights from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise. You must dip your headlights while following any vehicle or when other vehicles come towards you.

Motorcycles and Bike Riding Rules in New Zealand:

  • No bicycles are permitted on motorways.
  • Motorcyclists should always drive with a headlight on at all times.
  • Helmets must be worn by the Motorcyclists and cyclists at all times.
  • Rear and front lights should be used while cycling during night hours.

While on traveling to New Zealand be it for any purpose, you must always keep in mind the New Zealand road rules to ensure a proper and safe journey in and around the country.


Photo by : B.Muirhead

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Published On: Tuesday, October 15th, 2013