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Give way rule change proposals to improve intersection safety

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Proposed changes to New Zealand's give way rules released for public comment today are expected to reduce intersection crashes and improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, the NZ Transport Agency says.

New Zealand’s current give-way rules place complex demands on road users, and changes were identified last year as a road safety priority in the Government’s 10 year Safer Journeys road safety strategy.

Intersection crashes currently account for 17 percent of fatal crashes on New Zealand roads, and over 80 percent of intersection crashes causing injuries occur in urban areas. In the ten years to 2009, the number of crashes involving pedestrians and turning vehicles at intersections doubled.

It is expected that the proposed changes to the give-way rules will reduce intersection crashes and improve safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, as the proposed changes will result in less complex decision-making at intersections.

New Zealand’s current give way rules were introduced in 1977, at a time when the country had many more uncontrolled intersections and rapidly increasing traffic volumes, leading to increasing conflicts between turning traffic.

The proposed changes to the give-way rules would come into force in early 2012, and would be preceded by an awareness campaign so the public know what to do.

Further information on the proposed changes (including detailed Q&As) and information on the consultation process are available online at Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2011

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