Vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road in Aotearoa.
If you don’t keep left, you’re 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.
Most roads in Aotearoa have lanes marked on them with a white line, double white lines, or raised studs.
When driving on a laned road, it’s important to drive your vehicle within your lane.
Where there are 2 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.
Keeping left on an unlaned road
Keep to the left when you’re driving around a curve or bend in the road, whether you’re on a laned or unlaned road.
This is because you can’t always see what’s around the corner. You should be prepared to slow down in case there are cyclists, horses, pedestrians or an object on your side of the road, as well as vehicles coming the other way.
What is a road?
The legal definition of a road is very broad. It includes the roadway and also any place the public has access to – such as beaches, riverbeds, riverbanks, sports fields, car parks, reserve lands, wharves and road shoulders.
This means requirements like displaying a current warrant of fitness (WoF), holding a current driver licence, wearing a seatbelt, and following the road rules, continue to apply even when you're driving somewhere other than the road.