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Traffic control devices manual - Definitions

The Traffic control devices manual (TCD Manual) will provide guidance on industry good practice, including, where necessary, practice mandated by law in relation to the use of traffic control devices. 

Traffic control devices manual index

Some of the terms listed below may have different meanings depending on their context in a particular section of the manual. Contact if you require clarification.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

24 x 7

24 hours a day seven days a week.

85th percentile

The value at which 85% of the sample is included. Only 15% of the sample will exceed the 85th percentile. In speed sample analysis, 85% of the vehicles surveyed will travel at or below the 85th percentile speed.



See annual average daily traffic.

Accommodation service

A commercially run facility that provides overnight accomodation for visitors.

Active traffic control

Control by means of a device that is displayed when the presence of a hazard is automatically detected and the person to be controlled responds accordingly.

Active warning sign

A sign incorporating flashing lights and/or LED components that are only displayed when the presence of a hazard is automatically detected.


A planned event undertaken within the road reserve or affecting the normal operation of the road reserve. An activity covers, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. construction projects
  2. maintenance activities
  3. utility service operations
  4. mobile operations
  5. on-road events and races
  6. emergency services operations
  7. tow truck operations
  8. stock droving and crossing
  9. survey and investigation operations
  10. road inspections
  11. adjacent activities, e.g. logging, blasting, buidling works
  12. adjacent events, e.g. horse races, flower shows.

Advance direction sign

A sign placed on an approach to, and in advance of, an intersection, junction or interchange, indicating the direction of routes and destinations beyond the intersection, junction or interchange.

Advance information sign

A sign placed on an approach to, and in advance of, a road condition, event or facility which may be of interest to travellers.

Advance lane designation sign

An advance direction sign that identifies which lane of lanes a road user must use to travel toward the destination or destinations shown.

Advertisements of a specified kind

A specific form of 'election sign' defined in the Electoral Act 1993 and controlled by the Electoral (Advertisements of a Specific Kind) Regulations 2005.

Advertising signs

A sign displaying an advertisement. An advertising sign (or device) is distinguished from an information sign (or device) by having a style and format unique to the enterprise it refers to, while an information sign has a standard format for all enterprises of a similar nature.

Advisory sign

A sign that provides road users with information or guidance (including information about destinations, routes, amenities, distances, street names and place names). It could be a guide sign, route sign, motorist service sign, general information sign, street name sign, place name sign, etc.

Agency, the

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).


Australian Level Crossing Assessment Model.

Alternating flow

The movement of vehicles in alternating opposing directions normally controlled by traffic signals or manual traffic controllers.

Annual average daily traffic (AADT)

The total volume of traffic passing a roadside observation point over the period of a calendar year, divided by the number of days in that year (365 or 366 days). Measured in vehicles per day (vpd).

Approach visibility

  1. For a level crossing: The visibility of a driver approaching a level crossing protected by Give Way signs needs to be able to either: 
    1. see an oncoming train in time to stop before reaching the level crossing; or 
    2. continue at the approach speed and cross the level crossing safely ahead of a previously unseen train or a train far enough away to be clearly not a collision threat.
  2. For an intersection: The stopping distance measured from the driver's eye height to pavement level on the approach to an at-grade intersection.
  3. For a pedestrian crossing: The safe stopping distance required for any part of pedestrian crossing to be visible.

Arterial road

A road predominantly carrying through traffic from one region to another, and intra-regionally forming principal avenues of travel for traffic movement.


Australian standard.


Joint Australian and New Zealand standard.

Assembly of signs

Approved combinations of traffic signs installed on one pole and may include the single pole upon which they are installed.


Abbreviation for American Society for Testing and Materials.


Abbreviation for Advanced Traffic Management Systems.


See audio tactile profile.

Audio tactile profile

An optional component of pavement marking which has raised ribs orientated perpendicular to the longitudinal direction and are closely spaced at regular intervals along or adjacent to the line. They provide a noise (audio) and vibratory (tactile) warning when driven over.

Auxiliary lane

The portion of carriageway adjoining the through traffic lanes, used for speed change, weaving, climbing, passing, or for other purposes supplementary to through traffic movement.


See active warning sign.


Backing board

A larger surrounding panel or board on which a standard traffic sign (or combination of traffic signs) is placed, creating a border around the sign to enhance conspicuity of the sign.

Balloon or blimp

An inflatable devide raised into the sky, which for the purposes of Part 3, is used for advertising.

A rectangular device constructed of flexible material attached to supports at all four corners which is primarily used for advertising. Banners can be aligned vertically and horizontally.


A sight rail which when erected on site is positively attached to two end supports.


An obstruction placed to prevent access to a worksite which physically separates it from vehicles in live lanes and other road users.


A cycle with two wheels.

Bi-directional flow

The controlled channelling of traffic flows, usually onto temporary alignments, to maintain a traffic flow in both directions. Delineation devices or physical barrier systems are normally used to separate the traffic flows.


A sign, often freestanding, consisting of a number of standard-sized poster panels. Advertising industry classification of billboards used in New Zealand are bulletin, poster, supasite and spectacular. A billboard could include an election sign, a road safety sign, a private or commercial advertising sign, etc.


A type of billboard normally 3 m wide by 1.5 m high.


A passenger service vehicle (as defined in section 2(1)(external link) of the Transport Services Licensing Act 1989) that has more than nine seating positions (including the driver’s seating position).

Bus lane

A lane reserved by a marking or sign installed at the start of the lane, after each intersection along its length and at other locations considered appropriate by the road controlling authority, for the use of:

  1. buses
  2. cycles and motorcycles, unless either or both are specifically excluded by the signs.

Note: Cycles are not permitted on motorways unless approved under section 83 of the Government Roading Powers Act 1989. Thus, bus lanes on motorways are not used by cycles.


Car park

A place where cars may be parked—also commonly referred to as parking lot.


That portion of road or bridge devoted particularly to the use of vehicles, inclusive of shoulders and auxiliary lanes. Divided road are considered to have two carriageways.

Casual users

Casual users are usually short-term visitors to an area who would not be familiar with the parking systems in place. These types of users may warrant larger parking spaces being made available.


CCS Disability Action Incorporated, the major issuer of disabled parking permits in New Zealand.

Centre line

  1. In relation to any portion of a roadway not marked with a flush median, means a dotted or solid line or lines of paint or raised studs (or any combination of those lines or studs) intended to separate opposing traffic
  2. In relation to any portion of a roadway marked with a flush median, means the longitudinal white line that forms the left side of the median as viewed by a driver facing forward
  3. In relation to an unmarked roadway the inferred line down the longitudinal centre of the roadway.

Changeable message sign

A sign capable of displaying alternative traffic operational or guidance messages. The messages may be changed manually, by remote control or by automatic control. The display may combine elements of static and variable (real-time) information.

Channelised intersection

An intersection provided with medians and islands for defining the trafficable area and to control specific movements.


The defining of traffic lanes by use of traffic control devices, separately or in combination.


The lateral movement of traffic from one line or one or more lanes onto another alignment before a shift back toward the original road alignment, but not necessarily into the original line, lane or lanes.

Clear zone

The desirable unobstructed roadside area available for the recovery of errant vehicles that have left the road.


A length of roadway over which a no-stopping parking restriction applies for the purpose of increasing the number of through traffic lanes or providing increased space to allow for the free movement of traffic during the period for which the clearway restriction applies.

Closure, at worksite

The physical area between the 'advance warning' sign and the 'end of works' including all temporary traffic management (TTM) required to divert traffic away from any area that it is to be excluded from. Also see worksite.

Cluster, of tourist establishments

A group of tourist establishments located at a single site or a collection of tourist establishments having a similar nature located within a geographical area (eg a cluster of art and craft galleries).


A passenger service vehicle that has more than nine seating positions inclusive of the driver’s seating position, and that is engaged in the conveyance of persons on organised tours.

Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) Traffic control devices manual Part 8 Code of practice for temporary traffic management describes best practice for the safe and efficient management and operation of temporary traffic management (TTM) on all roads in New Zealand.

Collector road

A non-arterial road that collects and distributes traffic in an area, as well as serving abutting property.

Commercial Services

Commercial services, in the context of roads, are that subset of commercial activities providing services for the travelling public. They include locations providing facilities such as motor fuel, vehicle repairs, refreshments and meals as well as public parking areas.

Commercially operated tourist establishment

An establishment operated on a commercial, profit making basis aimed at tourists.

Community facility sign

A form of a general interest sign that identifies community facilities and public amenities, including destinations of local importance.

Confirmation direction sign (CDS)

A sign located beyond intersections, junctions or interchanges to reassure drivers they are travelling towards their intended destination. The sign generally includes route distances to the places shown.

Construction site sign

A sign notifying the public that the area indicated is a construction site.

Contingency plan

The plan describing how unforeseen scenarios will be addressed (eg weather, excessive delays, queues of vehicles, two lanes unexpectedly reduced to one lane, one lane unexpectedly reduced to no lanes).

Continuity lane

A longitudinal broken line used to indicate the edge of that portion of the carriageway assigned to through traffic and which is intended to be crossed by traffic turning at an intersection, or entering or exiting an auxiliary lane, a motorway or expressway.


For the purposes of Part 8 CoPTTM means a person, organisation or company responsible for implementation of an activity on or affecting a road whether or not under a contract with the road controlling authority (RCA). This includes organisations such as, but is not limited to:

  • utility companies
  • surveyors
  • adjacent forestry operators
  • stock drovers
  • filming crews, and
  • personnel managing events on roads.

The terms 'contractor' and 'applicant' have the same meaning in this Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM).


Traffic flow in a direction opposite to the normal flow. For example, directing traffic into a lane that normally operates in the opposing direction.

Contrast ratio

An objective measure of contrast. For traffic signs this measure is expressed by the formula (LL – LB) / LB where LL is the luminance of the legend and LB is the luminance of the background.


The NZ Transport Agency's Code of practice for temporary traffic management.

Crown entity

An organisation that forms part of the New Zealand state sector established under the Crown Entities Act 2004 and includes the NZTA.


a. A vehicle having at least two wheels designed primarily to be propelled by the muscular energy of the rider; and b. includes a power-assisted cycle.

See also bicycle, unicycle, wheeled recreational device.

Cycle lane

A longitudinal strip within a roadway reserved by a marking or sign designed for the passage of cycles.

Cycle path

  1. Part of the road that is physically separated from the roadway that is intended for the use of cyclists, but which may be used also by pedestrians; and
  2. includes a cycle track formed under section 332 of the Local Government Act 1974.


Deceleration distance

The distance it takes for motorists to reduce to a particular speed.

Deed of grant

A deed or agreement that grants easement of right of way pursuant to a statutory right to grant easements of right of way, for ONTRACK through section 35 of the New Zealand Railways Corporation Act 1981 or for other operators through common law rights of a landowner.


A treatment that enhances the selection of the appropriate path and speed or position to allow a movement to be carried out safely and efficiently. It could include line marking, raised pavement markers, traffic cones, post-mounted reflectors, chevron signs, etc.


A device, other than a simple post, used to improve delineation of the road environment to road users.

Department of labour (DoL)

The NZ Government’s DoL functions include working to reduce work-related death and injury rates, and supporting employers and employees in productive work. It provides information and guidance to workplaces on occupational safety and health issues and managing hazardous substances. It enforces health and safety legislation; researches workplace health and safety matters, and provides policy advice to government on these issues.

Design vehicle

For each nominated class of vehicle, the dimensional configuration that represents the characteristics that will encompass the greater number (nominally 99 percent) of the vehicles in the national fleet in that class.

Destination name

The name of a place where travellers want to go.


A temporary route to guide road users to around a worksite operation.

Directly lit (sign)

Where a sign is illuminated or lit from an external source, such as a lamp directed at the sign.

Directory sign

A single advertising sign indicating a number of different businesses located at the same location in order to reduce ‘sign clutter’.

Disabled (person with a disability)

Any person who suffers from physical or mental disablement to such a degree that they are seriously limited in the extent to which they can engage in the activities, pursuits and processes of everyday life (The building code and NZS4121: 2001).


The area at a bifurcation of two carriageways.


Divisions of a single stream of traffic into separate streams.

Divided road

A road with separated roadways for traffic travelling in the opposite direction.


See Department of Labour.


A person driving a vehicle; including the rider of an all-terrain vehicle, a motor cycle, a moped, a cycle, a mobility device or a wheeled recreational device.


A defined area used by vehicles travelling between a public roadway and property adjacent to or near the road. Drivers are not permitted to park over a driveway or within 1 m distance from the prolongation of the driveway.

Diagram showing road and driveway

Diagram showing road and driveway

Dual name

A geographical place name where the NZ Geographical Board has formally approved both a Maori name and another name.


The length of time in minutes or hours that a vehicle is permitted to be parked in a parking area.


Edge line

A broken or continuous white line marking (or kerb) used to indicate the far left or far right side of the roadway.

Election sign

A sign advertising a political party, their objectives or any person standing for office.


An uncontrolled event that has caused, or is risking to cause, loss of life, injury or serious property damage. It can include declarations of civil defence emergencies, traffic crashes or other significant incidents. It does not include delays unless these are the result of one of the above situations.

Emergency route

A route designated either permanently or temporarily for the use of people to escape or detour around an emergency.

Emergency services

New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire Service, Ambulance Services and Civil Defence.

Engineering exception decision

In relation to a TMP, a written decision made following consideration of all factors, including the safety of all concerned, to vary a code of practice, standard or guideline, to suit a particular situation. The decision must be included with the TMP.


The paved area adjacent to the through lanes of a motorway or expressway that is intended for vehicles entering and merging from a local road via an on-ramp.

Event advertising

An advertisement or sign board notifying of a short term planned event.

Exit, of a motorway or expressway

The paved area from the commencement of the exit taper that is adjacent to the through lanes and used by vehicles exiting a motorway or expressway en route to the off-ramp, which connects with the local road.

Exit nose

A kerbed concrete island located at the exit to a motorway or expressway that separates the ramp from the through route.


A road mainly for through traffic, usually dual carriageway, with full or partial control of access. Intersections are generally grade separated. See also motorway.

Externally lit (sign)

Where a sign is illuminated or lit through means of a directed light source at the traffic sign. The lighting is commonly attached directly to the sign and designed to direct adequate illumination over the entire face of the sign.


Fire authority sign

A sign erected by or for the NZ Fire Service that can include notification of the public about current fire risks, banning or limiting the use of open fires.


A device made from flexible material attached to supports at two or three corners which, in the context of Part 3, is primarily used for advertising.


The space next to the rails of a railway line that allows the flanges of the rail vehicle's wheels to pass through a level crossing or other raised areas.


The deflection of the leading end of a road safety barrier, or channelling device, away from the general alignment of the road and/or direction of traffic flow.

Flare rate

The rate at which a road safety barrier flares away from the general alignment of the road, nominally a 1:10 (10 percent) taper.

Flashing beacon

Flashing beacons consist of a light encapsulated in an amber casing that may either flash (strobe) or appear to flash when circled by a rotating reflector.


Flashing lights and bells.

Fluorescent (material)

Material that emits optical radiation at wavelengths longer than absorbed.

Flush median

A median marked in accordance with 7.4(2) of the TCD Rule.


A grade-separated footpath, such as those over roads, rivers, etc.


A path or way principally designed for, and used by, pedestrians; and includes a footbridge.
Users of mobility devices and wheeled recreational devices are permitted (unless specifically prohibited by the road controlling authority) to use a footpath.


Designed to break away or deform when struck by a motor vehicle, in order to minimise injuries to occupants.

Free alternate route

A route which is available to bypass a tool road.  At least one such feasible alternate route is a requirement before a toll road may be approved.  [LTMA section 48(1)(e)(ii)]

Free standing sign

A sign not installed on a building, vehicle or other structure. The structure supporting the sign is purely for that purpose.



A gantry is a traffic sign assembly in which signs are mounted on an overhead support. Gantries are usually built on high-traffic roads or routes with several lanes, where signs posted on the side of the highway would be hard to see for drivers. Gantries may be cantilevered or one-sided or they may be bridges with two sides.

Gated (traffic signs)

The installation of the same design of traffic sign on each side of a roadway.  Signs are often 'gated':
   a. where other vehicles may obscure the view of a sign on one side of the roadway for an approaching driver, or
   b. at a threshold between two sections of road with markedly different characteristics and the size and placement of the signs impacts on the driver speed choice.


A term used to describe the action of the end terminal of a road safety barrier that is designed to break away, pivot or hinge to allow a vehicle to pass through when impacted at an angle to the end, or at a point on the flare near the end.

General interest sign

A general interest sign that identifies such things as names of rivers and streams, local authority boundaries, community facilities and public amenities and other miscellaneous information that may be useful to a traveller.

Geographical feature

A natural or man-made feature including a waterfall, rock formation, cave, lake.

General information sign

A general interest sign that identifies such things as names of rivers and streams, local authority boundaries and other miscellaneous information that may be useful to a traveller.

Goods vehicle

A motor vehicle that is:
   a. designed exclusively or principally for the carriage of goods; or
   b. used for the collection or delivery of goods in the course of trade.

Gore area

The paved triangular area between the through lanes, an exit and the exit nose which is defined by two wide solid white lines that guide traffic exiting a motorway or expressway.

Granted level crossing

A level crossing subject to a deed of grant.


Austroads Guide to Traffic Management.

Guide sign

A guide sign informs road users of direction, distances, destinations and routes. See also advance direction sign, intersection direction sign, confirmation direction sign.



Half-arm barrier.


Any activity and/or condition that varies the normal operating conditions of a road that is an actual or potential cause or source of harm to road users and/or road workers.

Hazard warning lights

The use of both left and right direction indicator lights of a motor vehicle simultaneously.

Heavy vehicle

For the purposes of traffic rules, a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3,500 kg.

Heritage marker

Used to identify a heritage place or heritage trail.

Heritage place

Any place of special interest, character, intrinsic or amenity value or visual appeal, or of special significance for spiritual, cultural, historical (including archaeological), architectural, scientific, or ecological reasons (see s189 of the Resource Management Act 1991).

Heritage trail

A path of historical significance identified by the New Zealand Heritage Trails Foundation. These trails are a subset of named touring route.

High performance long life

Pavement markings that should be used on smooth surfaced roads for improved skid resistance and wearing properties and better delineation in wet conditions.

Historical site

Locations of particular historic interest denoted by a marker or monument.


See high performance long life.


Information centre

An unattended roadside facility or an attended tourist information centre.

Intelligent transport systems

A broad range of communications-based information, control, and electronics technologies integrated into the transportation system infrastructure, and in vehicles, to help monitor and manage traffic flow, reduce congestion, provide alternate routes to travellers, enhance productivity, and save lives, time, and money.


A junction that typically uses grade separation, and one or more ramps, to permit traffic on at least one road to pass through the junction by passing over or under other traffic streams.

Interchange sequence sign (ISS)

An overhead mounted sign installed in an urban motorway or expressway median, usually approximately midway between interchanges, which shows the next two or three interchanges by name and route number and the distances to them, to the nearest 0.1km. Interchange sequence signs are installed in a series and are generally supplemental to advance exit signs but they may replace the first advance exit sign where interchanges are closely spaced.

Internally lit (sign)

Where a sign is illuminated or lit (commonly by neon light tubes) from within.


a. In relation to two or more intersecting or meeting roadways, means that area contained within the prolongation or connection of the lateral boundary lines of each roadway (as shown in the figure);
b. but if two roadways are separated only by a traffic island or by a median less than 10 m wide, the roadways must be regarded as one roadway.

Diagram showing boundaries of an intersection

Diagram showing boundaries of an intersection

Intersection direction sign (IDS)

A sign located at an intersection, showing the general direction of the roads leading away from the intersection, the destinations on those roads and the distances to those destinations.


The unobstructed sight between two points.


i-Sites (VIN) are New Zealand’s official visitor information network sites and are generally attended facilities. They are a subsection of information services within the service signs category.


See interchange sequence sign.


See intelligent transport systems.


Kea crossing

Refer to school crossing point.


A raised border of rigid material formed at the edge of a roadway.

Kerbed roadway

A roadway bordered on each side by a kerb.



a. A longitudinal strip of roadway that is intended for the passage of vehicles or a specific class of vehicle that is separated from other parts of the roadway by a longitudinal line or lines of paint or raised studs; and
b. includes:
   i. a cycle lane
   ii. a lane for the use of vehicular traffic that is at least 2.5 m wide
   iii. a lane of a two-way road divided by a centre-line.

Lane drop

A situation where one lane (usually the left hand lane) of a road with two or more lanes in one direction diverges from the main route. The continuation of the road, therefore, has a lesser number of lanes than it had on the approach to the lane drop.

Lane gain

A situation where an additional lane is added to a section of a road, usually on the left hand side of the main route. The continuation of the road, therefore, has a greater number of lanes than it had on the approach to the lane gain.

Lane line

A longitudinal line or lines of paint or raised pavement markers that divide two lanes of traffic.

Large sign

A large sign is one requiring two or more posts, a sign panel exceeding 4.7 m2 or where sign supports are located more than 2.1 m apart.

Lateral clearance

The distance between the edge of the roadway and the closest edge of a traffic sign.


Text and symbols used on a sign.

Level 2 road

For the purposes of Part 8 (CoPTTM), a high-volume road with AADT greater than 10,000 vpd.

Level 3 road

For the purposes of Part 8 (CoPTTM), a high-volume, high-speed, multilane road or motorway road with AADT greater than 10,000 vpd.

Level crossing

A place where users of a formed path or road cross a railway line at the same level.
[This definition differs from that in the Railways Act 2005. See section 2.2(external link) of Part 9 Level crossing.]

Light rail vehicle

For the purposes of Part 9 Level crossings, is a rail vehicle that is designed to run on a road with other road users, and includes a tram.
[This definition differs from that in the Railways Act 2005.]

Live lane

A lane available for use by a class or classes of vehicles.

Loading zone

An area of marked roadway designated solely for the purpose of loading or unloading goods or passengers.

Local road

A road or street primarily used for access to abutting properties.

Location referencing management system

NZTA’s system for managing location reference points on state highways.

A graphical element that typically forms a trademark or brand designed for immediate recognition used to identify organisations and other non-commercial entities.

Longitudinal position

Longitudinal position refers to a traffic sign's position along the length of the side of the road, ie the distance from a specified point or hazard.

Long-term operation

An activity on a level 2 or level 3 road that occupies a worksite for more than one day. There is no differentiation between a short-term and long-term activity on a level 1 road.

Loop height

Used to specify the lower case letter height, excluding any ascender or descender.


See location referencing management system.


See Temporary Traffic Management for Local Roads Supplement to NZTA CoPTTM.


Land Transport Management Act 2003.


Luminance is a measure of the luminous intensity per unit area of light travelling in a given direction. The luminance indicates how much luminous power will be perceived by someone looking at the surface from a particular angle of view and is thus an indicator of how bright the surface will appear.



A horizontal bar over the top of a vowel to indicate a long vowel (ā) can be used for Māori names on guide and tourist signs when formally approved by the NZ Geographical Board.

Major road

A category of road which includes state highways and arterial roads defined within the TA District Plans or any RCA policy documents.

Major tourist attraction

A destination with a significant volume of tourist traffic attracted to the site or area and may include national or region parks, aquatic or alpine resorts, theme parks, historic town or an aggregation of significant tourist facilities.

Mandatory sign

A regulatory sign that indicates an action a road user must take. Compare with prohibitory sign.

Manual traffic controller (MTC)

A person controlling the flow of traffic in a single lane past a worksite with the use of stop/go paddles.

Map sign

A sign which depicts directions for various destinations in a pictorial way.


Marking A line, symbol, pattern, message, numeral, pavement marker or other device set in the roadway or applied or attached to the road surface.

Masking of sign

The act of covering the message portrayed by a traffic sign.


Indicates an option (non-mandatory and no recommendation).


A device installed on the approaches to a level crossing, most commonly where there are two or more railway lines, for pedestrians and riders of mobility devices, wheeled recreational devices or cycles that redirects them at right angles toward the direction any approaching train would be and then at a right angle in the opposite direction to permit them to proceed across the level crossing (see figure 8.1).


A strip of land that may be part of a road that separates vehicles travelling in opposite directions.


The area at a junction of two carriageways other than an entrance.


The converging of separate streams of traffic into a single stream.

Minor road

A road that is not a major road.

Mobile operations

Mobile operations are those activities or operations not contained within a fixed site where vehicles are progressively travelling in the same direction as, but at a speed less than or in a manner different from, normal traffic. Mobile operations may involve planned stops of up to ten minutes.

Mobility device

  • A vehicle that:
    • is designed and constructed (not merely adapted) for use by persons who require mobility assistance due to a physical or neurological impairment; and
    • is powered solely by a motor that has a maximum power output not exceeding 1500 W; or
  • A vehicle that the Director of Land Transport has decided under section 168A(1) of the Land Transport Act 1998 to be a mobility device.


A motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphical elements to form a symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an organisation or company, and are used as recognisable symbols or logos.

Motorist service sign

A sign used to identify one or a number of services commonly required by travellers that are depicted by internationally recognised symbols.


Means a motorway declared as such by the Governor-General in Council under section 138 of the Public Works Act 1981 or under section 71 of the Government Roading Powers Act 1989 and includes all bridges, drains, culverts, or other structures or works that form a part of any motorway so declared but does not include any local road, accessway or service lane (or the supports of any such road, way or lane) that crosses over or under a motorway on a different level.


Manual of traffic signs and markings, Transit New Zealand and Land Transport New Zealand.

Mounting height, of a sign

Height measured from the underside of the sign, or the lowest sign in an assembly of signs, to the surface of the adjacent road, trafficable shoulder or top of kerb, whichever is the critical dimension.


See Manual traffic controller.


Indicates a statement that is mandatory.


US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.


Named route

A route or section of route that has been given a commonly recognised local or historical identifying name.

Named touring route

Named (including numbered) touring routes which are continuous trail-blazed routes which might be, or contain sections of, state highway, urban routes or local roads.

New Zealand Geographic Board

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) assigns, approves, alters or discontinues the use of names for geographic features (eg place names), undersea features and Crown protected areas in New Zealand, its offshore islands and its continental shelf and the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

Normal braking

The level of braking applied to a vehicle that does not lock any of the vehicle’s wheels and permits the vehicle to decelerate without adverse directional control.

Normal vision

The visual acuity required of a person to obtain and hold a driver licence in accordance with the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999.

No parking

A requirement similar to ‘no stopping’, except that stops for short periods are permitted for the purpose of taking up or setting down passengers or goods.

No stopping

A requirement that a vehicle may not be stopped or allowed to remain stationary, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or to comply with the directions of a member of the police force or a traffic control sign or signal.

Notice of non-conformance

An instruction in writing to the traffic management supervisor or contractor to advise them that traffic management measures do not comply with the approved Traffic Management Plan (TMP), or the actions of the site traffic management supervisor do not comply with the requirements of Part 8 (CoPTTM).

NZ Transport Agency

A New Zealand Crown entity created by the merger of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand on 1 August 2008. Also referred to as ‘the NZTA’ or ‘the Agency’.


See NZ Transport Agency.



Outside diameter.

Off ramp

A carriageway to allow vehicles to leave a motorway or expressway, specifically the section of carriageway between a motorway or expressway exit and its intersection with the local road. Also commonly referred to as an ‘exit ramp’.

On ramp

A carriageway to allow vehicles to join an expressway or motorway, specifically the section of carriageway between the local road intersection and the motorway or expressway entrance. Also known as an ‘entry ramp’.

Operating speed

The 85th percentile speed of vehicles on a section of a road or, for the purposes of TCD Manual Part 8 (CoPTTM) the operating speed as declared by the RCA.

Over-dimension vehicle

A motor vehicle or combination vehicle (including any load) that exceeds one or more of the dimension limits outlined in section 4 of the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2002.



See sign panel.

Panel face

The side of a sign panel on which a traffic sign has been mounted.

Panel reverse

The opposite side of a sign panel to the ‘panel face’.


a. In relation to any portion of a road where parking is, for the time being, governed by the location of parking meters or vending machines placed under a bylaw of a local authority, the stopping or standing of a vehicle on that portion of the road for any period exceeding five minutes; and
b. in relation to any other portion of a road, the stopping or standing of a vehicle (other than a vehicle picking up or setting down passengers in a loading zone or reserved parking area, and entitled to do so) on that portion of the road.

Parking bay

A recess or a section of marked roadway set back from the general flow of traffic that can accommodate one parked vehicle. Also commonly referred to as parking space.

Parking machine

A parking meter or other device that is used to collect payment in exchange for parking a vehicle in a particular place for a limited time.

Parking enforcement officer

A ‘parking warden’ appointed under section 7 of the Transport Act 1962.

Parking meter

A device for registering and collecting payment for a length of time during which a vehicle may be parked.

Parking space

The area of roadway required to park one vehicle. Used interchangeably with the term ‘parking bay’ where the space is set back from the flow of traffic.

Passive traffic control

Control that is always displayed and requires the person controlled to assess whether a hazard is present and respond accordingly.


The structural layer or layers of a roadway, including metalled shoulders, that forms the running surface for vehicular traffic.

Pavement marking

See marking.


The times of the day or night, month or year, when the road carries the highest traffic flows, in one or both directions.

Peak (period)

The period (hour, half hour, etc) with the highest volume of traffic or number of passengers during the day.

Peak traffic flow

The traffic volume during a time period of specified length during which such volume is at its maximum.


a. A person on foot on a road; and
b. includes a person in or on any contrivance equipped with wheels or revolving runners that is not a vehicle and permitted to use a footpath.

In New Zealand law, a pedestrian does not include a person on a mobility device or a wheeled recreational device. However, both of these classes of user may use a footpath. Readers are advised that, in some overseas jurisdictions, particularly Australia, rules and guidelines use the term pedestrian to include mobility devices and wheeled recreational devices.

Pedestrian crossing

A pedestrian crossing established and marked on a roadway in accordance with clause 8.2 of the TCD Rule.

Permanent warning sign

A warning sign used to indicate permanent conditions that require caution or special action by road users.

Position sign

A sign which indicates the location of a service or destination or the side road turn-off to the service or destination.

Positive traffic management

A method of using signs, delineation devices, pavement markings, traffic signals or manual traffic controllers (MTC) together or separately to reduce speed at a site, while maintaining adequate safety and capacity.

Post (or pole)

A vertical support for signs.

Posted speed limit

The legal speed limit for a specific section of road as indicated by permanent or temporary speed limit signs.


A type of billboard normally 6 m wide by 3 m high.

Poster board

A structure or part of a structure upon which posters may be shown.  They may include public poster boards on free standing signs or buildings through to specifically designed structures and frames for which a fee is paid (eg bus shelters).

Power-assisted cycle

A cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors that have a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300 W.

Private car park

A car park (eg at a residential development or place of employment) that is not intended to be used by the public without prior invitation or that is available only under certain conditions.

Private level crossing

Statutory or granted level crossings provided to connect a private road used to gain access to private land.

Prohibitory sign

A regulatory sign that indicates an action a road user must not take. Compare with ‘mandatory sign’.


In relation to a VMS, means the formal, documented processes which must be approved by the road controlling authority which define:
   a. the composition of messages permitted to be displayed
   b. the circumstances or conditions under which each message may be displayed
   c. any other operating requirements considered appropriate which may include requirements to log the times when messages are displayed.

Public amenities

Public amenities are resources, conveniences, facilities or benefits continuously offered to the general public for their use and/or enjoyment, with or without charge (e.g., restrooms, information displays, public telephones, rain shelters, drinking fountains, etc.).

Public holiday

A day specified as a public holiday in section 44(1) of the Holidays Act 2003.

Public level crossing

A level crossing where a road crosses a railway line and the public have a general right to cross.

Public parking

Parking spaces available to general road users, which may be controlled by either a road controlling authority or a private company but which, subject to the road user meeting the conditions imposed by the controlling organisation, the public are invited to use


Rail access provider

The person who controls the use of a railway line by rail operators (including that person if it is also a rail operator), whether or not that person engages rail personnel to exercise or assist in exercising that control on its behalf; but does not include those rail personnel (section 4 Railways Act 2005).

Rail corridor

The rail corridor is the strip of land owned by the rail access provider or a railway premise owner on which the railway operates. The corridor may vary in width from 10 m to 60 m but is more generally 20 m. A single railway line is generally located in the centre of the rail corridor and rail fences may have been relocated as close as 5 m from the centreline of the nearest railway line.

Rail operations level crossing

A level crossing located within rail property (eg marshalling yards, depots or the rail corridor) where the road or path is owned and maintained by the rail access provider or rail operator, is used in the operation of rail business and is generally, although not always exclusively, provided for rail personnel.

Rail operator

A person who provides or operates a rail vehicle, whether or not that person engages rail personnel to do so or to assist in doing so on its behalf; but does not include those rail personnel (section 4 Railways Act 2005).

Rail participant

A rail participant may be an infrastructure owner, a rail vehicle owner, a railway premises owner, an access provider, a rail operator, a network controller, a maintenance provider, a railway premises manager or any other class of person prescribed as a rail participant by regulations.

Rail vehicle

Any vehicle that runs on, or uses, a railway line and includes:

  1. a locomotive, rail carriage, rail wagon, railcar, light rail vehicle, rail maintenance vehicle (whether or not self-propelled), and any other vehicle prescribed as a rail vehicle by regulations; and
  2. a vehicle designed to operate both on rails and off rails, but only when that vehicle is running on rails.

Railway crossing

Refer to level crossing.

Railway line

A set of rails, having a gauge of 550 mm or greater between them, laid for the purposes of transporting people or goods by rail and includes:

  1. sleepers, associated formation and ballast, tunnels and bridges; and
  2. a tramway; and
  3. a set of rails, having a gauge of less than 550 mm between them designated as a railway line in regulations; and
  4. except for a tramway, any area within 5 m of a line drawn midway between a set of rails.

Railway premises owner

A person who owns, or leases for a period of seven years or more, any railway premises, whether or not that person engages rail personnel to exercise or assist in exercising the rights and duties of ownership on its behalf; but does not include those rail personnel (section 4 Railways Act 2005).

Raised pavement marker (RPM)

A device that is applied or attached to the roadway:

  1. in a regular pattern to define a lane line (white or yellow); or
  2. to mark the edge of the safe, useable portion of roadway (red);
  3. to mark the presence of a fire hydrant or other water source for firefighting (blue);
  4. to mark the presence of a culvert or other drain under the roadway (green).

They may be retroreflective or illuminated.

Raised reflective pavement marker (RRPM)

A raised pavement marker with reflectors.

Ramp terminal

The intersection between a local road and a motorway or expressway on ramp or off ramp.

Rapid number

A rural address property identifier in the form of a plate attached to a letter box, gatepost, or fence close to the property's vehicle entrance.


See Road Controlling Authority.

RCA Forum

See Road Controlling Authority Forum.

Real estate sign

An advertising sign to notify that the adjacent property is for sale.

Reflective material

Material designed to reflect incident light back towards the light source, or in a specific direction, but does not, for the purposes of the TCD Rule, include a reflector. More correctly termed retroreflective material.

Regional council

Responsible for managing natural resources and region-wide planning.

Regular users

Those users who are familiar with the parking systems. These types of user may be comfortable with using smaller car parking spaces.

Regulatory sign

A sign that instructs road users by requiring or prohibiting specified actions in using a road [TCD Rule]. See also mandatory sign and prohibitory sign.

Reserved parking

An area of roadway reserved for parking by a specified class or classes of vehicle or class or classes of road user, or for a specified purpose.

Rest area

A roadside stopping place separated from the road.  No specific facilities need be provided at a rest area but typically it could be expected to include at least a picnic table.

Restart view

The visibility a driver needs when stopped at the stop line before a level crossing to be able to see far enough along the railway to be able to start off, cross and clear the level crossing safely before the arrival of any previously unseen train.

Retroreflective material

Material designed to reflect incident light back towards the light source, or in a specific direction, but does not, for the purposes of the TCD Rule, include a reflector. More commonly called reflective material.


A person riding an animal, an all-terrain vehicle, a motorcycle, a cycle, a mobility device or a wheeled recreational device.


Resource Management Act 1991.



  1. a street; and
  2. a motorway; and
  3. a beach; and
  4. a place to which the public have access, whether as of right or not; and
  5. all bridges, culverts, ferries and fords forming part of a road or street or motorway, or a place referred to in (d); and
  6. all sites at which vehicles may be weighed for the purposes of the act or any other enactment.

For the purposes of Part 9 Level crossings, is defined as in the Land Transport Act 1998 – as defined above.  It is important to note this definition of road differs from that in the Railways Act 2005, which uses the definition of road contained in section 315 of the Local Government Act 2002. The main impact of this is in relation to the legal definition of a level crossing. This is discussed in section 2.2 of Part 9.

Road Controlling Authority (RCA)

In relation to a road:

  1. means the authority, body or person having control of the road; and
  2. includes a person acting under and within the terms of a delegation or authorisation given by the controlling authority.

Road Controlling Authority Forum (RCA Forum)

A closed, non-political group with representatives from the 73 territorial local authorities, the Department of Conservation, NZ Transport Agency and Local Government New Zealand. 

Road margin

Includes any uncultivated margin of a road adjacent to but not forming part of either the roadway or the footpath (if any).

Road marking

See Marking.

Road reserve

The area of land between the legal boundaries, usually fence line to fence line and including any safety run-off areas, which is dedicated to allow the passage of road users. The road reserve also includes an air space of six metres directly above the road surface. The terms ‘road’ and ‘road reserve’ have the same meaning in the TCD manual.

Road user

A driver, rider, passenger or pedestrian.

Road User Rule

Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004, including any subsequent amendments.

Roadside advertising

Includes all advertising signs and devices which can or are intended to be seen by road users.


That portion of the road used or reasonably usable for the time being for vehicular traffic in general.

Roll-ahead distance

The distance to allow for forward movement of a vehicle following a rear impact from another vehicle.

Route indicator symbol

A distinctively shaped or coloured symbol used to identify a route.  Includes state highway and regional route numbers, named touring route logos, detour logos and special vehicle routes.

Route plan

A plan to co-ordinate a uniform approach to route and direction signs along a route often across several RCAs to ensure signs follow a logical and coherent approach.

Route sign

A sign indicating by means of number, symbol, colour, etc or a combination of such elements the course of a particular route.


See Raised pavement marker.


See Raised reflective pavement marker.


Road Safety Manufacturers Association.

RSMA compliance standard

RSMA Compliance standard for traffic signs 2008.


In relation to a road, is one having a speed limit of 70 km/h or more.


Safe stopping distance

The minimum distance required for a driver of normal vision travelling at a safe operating speed for the road to recognise a hazard and decelerate with normal braking to stop completely before reaching the hazard.

Safety zones

A safety zone is a three-dimensional space extending to the front and back, to the sides and above a working space.

This space also includes the areas within the coned tapers although these are not included in the safety zone dimensions.

Sandwich board

A portable free-standing sign. Sandwich boards are commonly used for the purpose of advertising and are usually located on a footpath.

School bus

A bus that is used for carrying school children and displays a school bus sign and may include coaches being used for carrying children on a school function.

Note this term is defined in the Road User Rule and TCD Rule to define duties of school bus drivers and operators in relation to displaying the sign and maximum speed of travel and to impose a speed limit on other road users when passing a stopped school bus.

School crossing point

A school crossing point established in accordance with clause 8.4 of the TCD Rule. These are commonly called ‘kea crossings’.


See Supplementary destination sign.

Semi-static operation

An operation, not contained within a fixed site, that moves intermittently in the same direction where the vehicles used in the operation stop for more than ten minutes and less than one hour at one location.

Service bay

A designated space clear of the apron to accommodate a commercial vehicle parked at a loading dock.

Service centre

A facility with access to and from an adjacent road, particularly an expressway or motorway, that provides services and amenities to road users.

Service sign

An advisory sign used to indicate a facility commonly sought by travellers, which is located adjacent to the road, or a reasonable distance along the road and can be identified by an approved symbol.  Examples of such a facility include a rest area, commercial service, accommodation, information, toilets, airports, medical centre, etc.  Previously termed a ‘motorist service sign’ in existing NZ documents.

Shared path

A path intended to be used by both pedestrians, cyclists, mobility devices and wheeled recreational devices.

Short-term operation

An operation occupying a location for less than one day on a level 2 or level 3 road. There is no differentiation between a short-term and long-term activity on a level 1 road.


Indicates a recommendation.


The portion of the formed road beyond the traffic lanes that is contiguous and flush with the surface of the pavement and, on a sealed road, includes:

  1. any unsealed part of the road; and
  2. any sealed part of the road outside an edge line on the road.


Abbreviation for State Highway Route Marker.

Shuttle bus

A small bus catering for between 9 and 11 passengers. Usually tows a trailer for passenger luggage.

Shy line

The distance from a hazard beyond which a typical road user will not perceive it as an immediate danger so they will not normally change their vehicle's speed or placement.

Side friction

  1. The retarding effect on the free flow of traffic caused by interference of any sort at either edge of a carriageway or traffic lane, other than at an intersection. In relation to road works it is a form of positive traffic management that uses delineation devices placed close to a live lane, to give road users the impression they are travelling in a more restrictive width than they actually are.
  2. Friction force acting on a vehicle during cornering.

Sight distance

The distance over which a road user must have unobstructed sight to respond to a visual cue, or safely avoid a conflict.

Sign component

  1. 1 In general, the elements of a sign which provide a unit of information (eg symbol, route number, route name, time period) or an element of the sign design (eg border).
  2. 2 In relation to parking signs, a term defined in the TCD Rule to mean one of four types of information. A parking sign may be comprised of one, two, three or four components. [Refer to TCD Rule or TCD Manual Part 7.]

Sign face

The side of a traffic sign designed to face oncoming vehicles or other users.

Sign legend

A word message, logo or symbol design that is intended to convey a specific meaning.

Sign panel

  1. 1. In general, means the area of the sign including any backing board
  2. 2. In relation to parking signs, a term defined in the TCD Rule to mean up to four parking signs installed on the same pole or location even though each sign may be on separate sign plates or combined on one or more plates. [Refer to TCD Rule or TCD Manual Part 7.]
  3. In relation to stack signs, the segmented portions which relate to one direction.

Sign plate

In relation to parking signs, a single, flat substrate upon which one or more signs may be affixed. [Refer to TCD Rule or TCD Manual Part 7.]

Sign stand

A sign stand consists of a base and an upright.

Sign visability distance

The minimum distance over which the driver of an approaching vehicle must be able to see the first advance warning sign. Where necessary, increase sign spacings to achieve visibility distance.

Site, road work

A section of road defined at each end by 'advance warning' and 'end of works' signs, or between vehicles in a mobile operation, including the vehicles themselves. In Part 8 (CoPTTM) it is sometimes referred to as the worksite. Also see closure.

Site access, to worksite

An access point through which personnel or vehicles enter or leave a worksite.

Site traffic management supervisor (STMS)

An NZTA qualified person who has specific responsibility for documentation and management of temporary traffic management (TTM).

Small sign

A sign panel area less than or equal to 4.7 m2. Where the sign is less than 1.3 m wide, one support post is needed and where the width is greater than 1.3 m, the sign should have two support posts.

Special vehicle lane

A lane defined by signs or markings and restricted to a specified class or classes of vehicle; and includes a bus lane, a transit lane, a cycle lane and a light-rail vehicle lane.

Special vehicle route

A route along which vehicles of a particular class or classes are encouraged or must use.  Such routes include cycle routes, heavy motor vehicle detours, over-dimension vehicle routes.


A type of billboard that varies in size greater than 12 m wide by 3 m high.

Specular reflection

Specular reflection is the perfect, mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction (a ray) is reflected into a single outgoing direction. It is the complement of diffuse reflection, where the reflection of light is such that an incident ray is seemingly reflected at a number of angles.

Speed environment

The speed that 85 percent of drivers do not exceed on a section of road that passes through relatively consistent terrain conditions and has similar horizontal curves, road widths and grades.

Stack sign

A guide sign which shows the available destinations in a list divided into panels for each direction.


A section of a route generally defined by means of a significant location frequently used as a stopping place or destination.

Stage name

A key place name in a network which is shown on guide signs.  NZTA has a specific list of stage names applicable to the state highway network.



  1. for the purpose of picking up or setting down passengers, or, in the case of a taxi stand, for the purposes of waiting for hire; and
  2. while a vehicle remains attended by the driver at all times.

State highway

A road, whether or not constructed or vested in the Crown, that is declared to be a State highway under section 11 of the National Roads Act 1953, section 60 of the Government Roading Powers Act 1989, or under section 103 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003 ; and includes:

  1. all land along or contiguous with its route that is the road; and
  2. any part of an intersection that is within the route of the State highway; and
  3. for the purposes of regional land transport programmes, the national land transport programme, and any expenditures approved under section 20 by the Agency, a proposed State highway.

Static operations

Static operations are those activities that are contained within a fixed area.

Statutory level crossing

Level crossings provided by statute at the time the railway was constructed needed to give legal access to property that was severed and no alternate access available.


See Site Traffic Management Supervisor.


See Non-Practising site traffic management supervisor.


See Road.

Street name sign

A sign providing the name of a road and may include additional information, such as street numbers.


A type of billboard normally 12 m wide by 3 m high.

Supplementary destination sign

A sign, usually ground mounted, that may be used to provide information regarding destinations accessible from an interchange, other than places shown on the standard interchange signing.



See Territorial Authority.


A straight or smoothly curved row of delineation devices used to shift traffic laterally, eg from a lane to the shoulder.

Target value

The visibility of an article and the ability of a chosen colour, pattern, graphic or light system to attract visual attention in a given environment.

Tavern sign

An advertising sign mounted at right angles to the path of viewers enabling it to be viewed from both directions of approach.  Most commonly installed perpendicular to the face of a wall or building but may be installed on a pole or over a veranda.


See Traffic Controller.


See Traffic Control Device.

TCD Rule

Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004, including any subsequent amendments.

TCD Specifications

Land Transport NZ Traffic control devices specifications – a collective term to cover the Sign specifications, Signal specifications and Marking specifications parts of the TCD Manual (available at

Temporary public notice

Public notices (which can include advertising of cultural, religious or recreational events) where an RCA has placed a limitation of time when they may be displayed.

Temporary speed limit (TSL)

A speed limit approved by an RCA to temporarily replace the permanent speed limit.

Temporary traffic management

The process of managing road users through or past a work site, in a safe manner, with minimal delay and inconvenience.

Temporary warning sign

A warning sign used to indicate temporary conditions that require caution or special action by road users. The most common temporary warning signs are those provided at road work sites.

Territorial authority (TA)

A district council, city council or county council (as defined by the Local Government Act 2002).

Threshold sign

A sign which defines a point where the character of the road differs markedly and driver speed choice should change.  The size, placement and often the gating of threshold signs impacts on drivers’ speed.

Through lane

A lane provided for the use of vehicles proceeding straight ahead.


See Territorial local authority.


See Truck mounted attenuator.


See Traffic management coordinator.


See Traffic management plan.

Toll road

Road or part of a road that is subject to tolling under a road tolling scheme pursuant to the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

Touring route

A significant continuous length of state highway(s) and/or local road(s) that is being marketed by a regional tourist organisation(s) or jointly promoted by territorial authorities, to attract tourists.

Tourist attraction

The broad definition for signing purposes is a permanently established destination or facility that attracts or is used by visitors to an area, and which is open to the public without prior booking during its normal opening hours.

Tourist drive

A route that has been selected by a regional or local authority for the particular scenic, cultural or historic attractions it offers. A tourist drive can be located in either a rural or urban area and may be in the form of a circuit leading back to the vicinity from which it started, an alternative scenic route to a section of a regular and more direct route or a local road to a location of tourist interest.

Tourist establishment

A commercially operated establishment aimed at the tourist market for which a charge may or may not be made but which has some interpretive value such as guided tours or working demonstrations (ie not just a retail facility), cater for and be of genuine interest to tourists, and should be considered a tourist attraction within the local regional tourist strategy.

Tourist facilities

A collective name for a range of locations of particular interest to tourists and visitors unfamiliar with the locality, including tourist features, tourist establishments, major tourist attractions and tourist information facilities or visitor information centres.

Tourist feature

Sites of interest such as scenic lookouts, historical sites or geographical features which may be viewed from specific vantage points from the road.

Tourist or scenic drive

A short (up to four hours) local scenic route selected by a regional or local authority for the particular scenic, cultural or historic attractions it offers.

Tourist sign

A sign used to indicate tourist features, tourist facilities, tourist establishments, tourist information centres, major tourist attractions and tourist drives.

Tourist way

A collection of tourist or scenic drives or touring routes.

Traffic control device (TCD)

A device used on a road for the purpose of traffic control; and includes a:

  1. sign, signal or notice; or
  2. traffic calming device; or
  3. marking or road surface treatment.

Traffic Controller

An NZTA qualified person who has specific responsibility to manage a worksite on a level 1 road.

Traffic instruction

Instructions frequently used in conjunction with directions on motorway and expressway signs to provide preparatory warnings or manoeuvring instructions necessary to effect safe and efficient turning or diverging to reach the named direction, e.g. EXIT 1 km, LEFT LANE, THIS EXIT.

Traffic island

A defined area within a roadway, which may be flush with the roadway or raised, and from which vehicular traffic is intended to be excluded.

Traffic lane

A portion of the carriageway allotted for the use of a single line of vehicles.

Traffic management coordinator (TMC)

A person, or position, in an organisation that has the delegated authority from an RCA to approve TMPs, coordinate TTM and, where appropriate for local roads, to delegate power to approve TMPs to others.

Traffic management plan

A document describing the design, implementation, maintenance and removal of TTM while the associated activity is being carried out within the road reserve or adjacent to and affecting the road reserve.

Traffic sign

A board, plate, screen or other device, whether or not illuminated, displaying words, figures, symbols or other material intended to instruct, advise, inform or guide traffic on a road; and includes a ‘children crossing’ flag, a hand-held Stop sign, a parking control sign and variable message signs; but does not include a traffic signal.


A set of rails laid on a road for the purposes of light rail vehicles and includes:

  1. any area between the rails; and
  2. the area that extends 500 mm outside the extremity of any light rail vehicle being used on that set of rails.

Transit lane

A lane reserved for the use of the following (unless specifically excluded by a sign installed at the start of a lane)

  1. passenger service vehicles
  2. motor vehicles carrying not less than the number of persons (including the driver) specified on the sign
  3. cycles
  4. motorcyles
  5. mopeds.

Transit New Zealand

Formerly, a Crown entity responsible for the development and maintenance of the state highway network in New Zealand. Now merged with Land Transport New Zealand to form the NZTA.

Transit NZ

Abbreviation for Transit New Zealand.

Trap lane

A general traffic lane that becomes a lane dedicated to a specific manoeuvre with no alternative manoeuvre possible for traffic in that lane, e.g. a lane drop at a motorway exit, an auxiliary slow vehicle lane, etc.

NOTE: Motorway entrances and merges, passing lane terminations and right turn bays are not trap lane situations.

Travelled path

The swept path of a vehicle as it travels over a section of road.


A vehicle with a gross mass of more than 4.5 tonnes.

Truck mounted attenuator (TMA)

A safety device fitted to the rear of a vehicle that collapses when impacted by another vehicle.


Temporary traffic management.

Under veranda sign

A sign mounted below or under a veranda for the specific purpose of advertising and usually located over a pedestrian footpath.



A vehicle with one wheel that is designed to be propelled by the muscular energy of the rider. With only one wheel, a unicycle is, by definition, not a cycle (which has two or more wheels). A unicycle must therefore be considered to be a wheeled recreational device.

Refer to ‘cycle’ and 'wheeled recreational device’.

Un-kerbed roadway

A roadway that is not bordered on each side by kerbs.


In relation to a road, is a road having a speed limit of 60 km/h or less.


Urban route marker.


Variable message sign (VMS)

An electronic sign in which the message can be changed in form, shape, layout, colour and any other manner. Such signs may be illuminated or otherwise. Refer to variable traffic sign.

Variable traffic sign

Capable of displaying a different message to meet traffic management needs at different times. They may be either a permanent or a temporary sign. Includes active warning signs, variable message signs, changeable message signs.


A contrivance equipped with wheels, tracks or revolving runners on which it moves or is moved; and includes a hovercraft, a skateboard, in-line skates and roller skates; but does not include:

  1. a perambulator or pushchair
  2. a shopping or sporting trundler not propelled by mechanical power
  3. a wheelbarrow or hand-trolley
  4. a child’s toy, including a tricycle and a bicycle, provided, in either case, no road wheel (including any tyre) has a diameter exceeding 355 mm
  5. a pedestrian-controlled lawnmower
  6. a pedestrian-controlled agricultural machine not propelled by mechanical power
  7. an article of furniture
  8. an invalid wheelchair not propelled by mechanical power
  9. any other contrivance specified by any other rule not to be a vehicle for the purposes of this definition.

Vending machine

A self-service device that, upon insertion of a coin, paper currency, token, card or other technology, dispenses a paper ticket to ‘display’ within the vehicle (Pay and Display machines) or displays the duration of time paid for each specific space within the area covered by the machine.

Veranda fascia sign

A sign, other than an ‘under veranda sign’, mounted on any vertical face of a veranda for the specific purpose of advertising.

Video advertising

Video advertising is any video screen or variable message sign that is visible from the roadway that is used for the specific purpose of advertising.


Able to be seen from a safe stopping distance.


Variable message sign.


Vehicles per day. See annual average daily traffic (AADT).


Vehicles per hour.

Vulnerable road user

A road user who is not contained in a motor vehicle, including a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist.


Warning distance

The minimum distance between the first advance warning sign and the start of the cone taper or the beginning of the worksite.

Warning sign

A sign used to indicate actual or potential hazards to road users. Refer to temporary warning sign and permanent warning sign.

Wheeled recreational device

A vehicle that is a wheeled conveyance (other than a cycle that has a wheel diameter exceeding 355 mm) and that is propelled by human power or gravity.
Includes a conveyance to which are attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors that have a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 W.

Working space

The area within a site that is available for workers ise to complete the activity.


See Site.


Zone parking

A defined area of roadway where parking is permitted or prohibited for a specified class or classes of vehicles or class or classes of road user (with or without a time restriction). Persons using vehicles within the zone (or area) can reasonably be expected to be aware of the application of the parking restriction to the area without the need for the erection of signs at each intersection within the area, for reasons including:

  1. the nature of the zone; or
  2. the nature of the parking restriction; or
  3. traffic patterns into and within the zone; or
  4. the nature and number of entry points to the zone.

The extent of the zone is defined by signs at the boundaries advising road users of the control requirements.

Zone restriction

An area of roadway the use of which is restricted to a specified class or classes of vehicle or class or classes of road user (with or without a time restriction).

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Last updated: 18 December 2008