Give-way change imminent

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 09:54 12/02/2012

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A major publicity campaign aimed at educating drivers about the new give-way rules will kick off next month.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is spending $1.2 million on the nationwide advertising campaign which will include TV, radio, online and print advertising as well as a leaflet drop to 1.73 million homes.

The ads will focus on highlighting the date of the change - Sunday, March 25 - and will provide a simple overview of the new rules.

NZTA chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said the campaign would kick off on March 15, 10 days prior to the go-live date, and would continue through until April 1. It had been carefully timed to ensure maximum awareness of the changes, while at the same time minimising the risk of drivers starting to apply the new rules too early.

"The new rules will help to reduce confusion and reduce crashes by making decision- making easier for drivers at intersections, but there are obvious safety risks if some people start following the new rules too early," said Dangerfield.

The advertising campaign will be preceded by a major update to the official website for information on the new rules - www.giveway.govt. nz - on February 29.

The website will be updated with a range of new material, including videos illustrating the rule changes from a birds-eye view and from a driver's view, an interactive quiz for people to test their knowledge of the rules, and PDF leaflets on the rule changes available in 13 languages and in larger print.

At the same time half a million leaflets detailing the rule changes will be distributed via councils, police, the NZTA and driver licensing agents.

Changing the give-way rules is one of the first actions being implemented as part of the government's Safer Journeys road safety strategy.

WHO GIVES WAY?

The new rules come into effect at 5am on March 25.

All traffic turning right will have to give way to vehicles coming from the opposite direction and turning left. This rule will apply at crossroads, T-intersections and driveways where both vehicles are facing each other with no signs or signals, or the same signs or signals.

At an uncontrolled T-intersection, all traffic from a terminating road (bottom of the T) will have to give way to all traffic on a continuing road (top of the T).

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