Updates to the Road code

This page lists any updates to The official New Zealand road code since the last published edition. These changes will usually have been caused by a legislation change.

Other update pages:

The 2016/2017 version of The official New Zealand road code was published in March 2016

Update February 2017

On 1 February 2017, the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (VDAM) 2016 comes into effect. The rule sets vehicle size and weight limits, and vehicle configuration requirements, with a focus on heavy vehicles. There is one change to the general road code.

Page 254

‘Your load must not extend more than 1.25 metres on either side from the centre of the vehicle’ has now changed to ‘Your load must not extend more than 1.275 metres on either side from the centre of the vehicle’.

Update December 2016

Page 140

Passing

Added new text due to sharrow marking and flush median rule changes.

Passing a cyclist
Ideally allow at least 1.5m between you and a cyclist when passing. If you cannot pass safely, slow down and wait behind the cyclist until you can pass safely.

There are some situations where cyclist may want to move toward the centre of lane in order to keep safe. This is called “taking the lane”. A driver of a motor vehicle may encroach on a flush median, when passing a cyclist provided they do so safely.

Situations when cyclists may take the lane are:

  • On roundabouts
  • Turning right at intersections
  • Turning left at intersections
  • When the road is too narrow for motor vehicles to safely pass the cyclist
  • When there are parked cars where doors might unexpectedly¬† open in the path of the cyclist

You may see a sharrow marking in these situations.

The sharrow road marking indicates a situation where cyclists are likely to ride more toward the centre of the lane in order to be safe. Drivers should slow down and follow the cyclists until the road widens and they can pass safely, or use another lane to pass the cyclist.

Page 186

Stopping at intersections, railway level crossings and pedestrian crossings

Added text to clarify new rules around cycle-only lanes

Cycle-only lanes

Cycle-only lanes are marked by a symbol of a cycle on the road.  A driver must not stop in or obstruct a cycle lane. When approaching an intersection a driver must not enter a cycle lane if the drivers intended passage or exit is blocked by stationary traffic and the driver will obstruct the cycle lane.

cycle lane blocked at intersection

Advanced stop box

An advanced stop box is a green square with a white cycle symbol at the head of a controlled intersection. It is for cyclists only and gives them a head start when the lights turn green. Motorists should not encroach on the green cycle box and should expect cyclists to come through to the front of the queue.

Page 265

Safe driving around cyclists

Updated text to include new sharrow markings and cycle lane rules

  • Hazards like parked cars, potholes, glass, litter, strong wind and opening car doors may cause cyclists to veer off-line and move into your path. Because of this, give cyclists plenty of room when passing them. Ideally, allow at least 1.5 metres between you and the cyclist.
  • Wait for a clear space before passing a cyclist on a narrow road. You may see a sharrow marking in this situation.
  • At intersections, apply the same rules to cyclists that you would to any other vehicle on the road. Take care to indicate turns. If you are turning the same way as a cyclist at an intersection, wait to pass until they are through the intersection.
  • If you are crossing a cycle lane, give way to cyclists before you cross.
  • Take extra care around young cyclists.
  • You must not drive in or cross a cycle lane except for a maximum of 50 metres when entering or leaving side roads, driveways or parking spaces.
  • You must not stop, stand or park in a cycle lane.
  • A driver approaching the intersection must not enter a cycle lane if the drivers intended passage or exit is blocked by stationary traffic which would cause the driver to obstruct the cycle lane.

Pg 271

How to do a hook turn

Added new hook turn sign information

  • This sign may be placed ahead of an intersection where a hook turn is recommended

Hook turn

Last updated: 31 July 2017