The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is thanking Kiwi motorists for a 'fantastic forty days' on the roads since the roll out of two new give way rules on March 25.
NZTA Acting Chief Executive Stephen Town said that while it was still early days, the agency was rapt with the way drivers had responded to the changes.
“Police tell us that drivers are applying the new rules well and driving carefully at intersections. Overall we’ve seen an amazing outbreak of patience, caution and courtesy on the roads, and New Zealand drivers deserve a real pat on the back for that. It’s exactly what we need while these changes bed in.
“A few very vocal critics were predicting that drivers wouldn’t cope with the changes, and that chaos on the roads would result. We’re pleased that New Zealand has proved them wrong.”
Mr Town said that while it would be several months before enough crash data was available to begin assessing the impact of the rule change on intersection crashes, to date Police had not reported any serious incidents which could be attributed to the rule changes.
Results from an NZTA-commissioned survey of 1,000 drivers carried out last month show increasing levels of awareness and understanding of the rule changes, with 90% of respondents choosing the correct option when asked which vehicle gives way at an uncontrolled T intersection – compared with 61% of respondents who answered correctly when surveyed in February. For the right-hand turn rule, 89% answered correctly in the April survey compared with 74% in February.
Mr Town said while the rule changes were still at the front and centre of people’s minds at the moment, the challenge for all drivers was to stay vigilant at intersections in the months ahead and avoid slipping back into old habits.
“It will take some time before the new rules become second-nature, but based on the great response from drivers over the first 40 days we’re optimistic that things can continue to go smoothly.”
Information on the two new rules remains available at www.giveway.govt.nz (external link). This includes an interactive quiz, a computer 'drive through' animation illustrating how the two new rules will work, advertisements, and resources in multiple languages.