Drivers pass give-way test
Timaru's trickiest intersections have failed to catch out drivers heading to work and school under the new give way rules.
During the lunch hour yesterday, the Herald and South Canterbury road safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude came across four situations where drivers had to apply the new rules at the Otipua Rd-Church St intersection and the Wai-iti Rd-Morgans Rd-Barnes St intersection.
There was a bit of hesitation but each time, drivers turning right remembered they had to give way.
Mr Naude said so far he had not heard of any accidents relating to the new rules.
An intersection that drivers could find tricky was the traffic lights-controlled one at Theodosia St-Evans St-Wai-iti Rd because there was a free turn for north-bound traffic turning left into Wai-iti Rd, but it was controlled by a give way sign so drivers still had to give way to right-turning traffic.
Another tricky intersection was at Otipua Rd-Church St where drivers also had to look out for traffic exiting Centennial Park opposite Church St.
Church St and the Centennial Park exit were controlled by stop signs so, although the exit looked "different" to other roads, drivers still had to treat it as part of the intersection, Mr Naude said.
Previously it had been treated as a driveway, meaning drivers exiting from there had to give way to all traffic.
However, with traffic lights most likely to be installed at that intersection soon, the district council's transport engineers wanted drivers to get used to the new layout.
"So if a vehicle comes out of Centennial Park and wants to turn left onto Otipua Rd or wants go straight onto Church St, vehicles turning right from Church St will have to give way to them," Mr Naude said. "The reason why many think that is not part of the intersection, is because it has different characteristics than a `proper' road, like the gutter, no kerb and arch over it."
On the Herald's Facebook page, Stacey Hall said the Wai-iti Rd-Morgans Rd-Barnes St intersection was "awful" yesterday morning: "People just sitting and waiting and no one moving – I suppose that's better than everyone ramming into each other though."
The Timaru Herald