In New Zealand, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road.
It is essential to keep left, because if you don't you are likely to cause a head-on crash. This is one of the worst types of crash, as it almost always results in death or serious injury.
What is a road?
The legal definition of a road is very broad. It includes not only streets and highways, but also any place the public has access to – including bridges, beaches, riverbeds, car parks, reserve lands, wharves and road shoulders.
Because of this, you should apply road rules at all times when you're driving, even when you aren't on a public road.
Most roads in New Zealand have lanes marked on them with a white line or raised studs.
When driving on a laned road, it is important to drive your vehicle within your lane.
Where there are two or more lanes on your side of the centre line:
The lane closest to the centre line should only be used when:
An unlaned road is a road with no marked white lines or raised studs.
To stay well out of the way of oncoming vehicles, always keep as close as possible to the left side of the road.
When driving on an open road with a centre line, your driver's seat should normally be in the centre of your half of the road (except when driving a left-hand drive vehicle).
Reduce your speed to stay in this position when driving around bends.
Keep well to the left when you are driving around a curve (a bend in the road), whether you are on a laned or unlaned road.
This is particularly important because you can't always see what's around the corner. As well as other vehicles coming the other way, there could be cyclists, horses, pedestrians or an object on your side of the road.
Curves in the road
Last updated: 3 October 2012