The give way rule.

For my first few years in New Zealand, I didn’t drive. Wellington is a compact city, so I walked, or I took the train.

Driving on the wrong side of the road was just too intimidating for this fragile migrant's state of mind.

And there was the unusual give-way rule. When Adam turned right at intersections BEFORE the cars turning left, I was understandably confused.

“Adam, you didn’t have the right of way back there!”

“Yes, I did.”

“Are you sure?”

New Zealand motorists were required to give way to all traffic on the right.

But tomorrow, New Zealand will change this rule of the road. Instead of giving way at an intersection to traffic on the right, we will now do the OPPOSITE.

Source: TVNZ

The change is taking place because after 35 years on the books, everyone still found the give-way rule confusing.

Accidents are expected as motorists try to get up to speed with the change. But as accidents frequently occur at intersections anyway, we will risk this confusion for the greater good and tourism.

Kiwis are of course smarter than most. Someday we'll understand the new give-way rule.

In the interim, the exciting game of chance at our intersections keeps our pulses racing.

Does the other driver know the new give-way rule? How long should we wait before we turn? Motorists, place your bets.

I have a bad feeling about this.


Joel Godwin said...

Hah! You and me both. That rule freaked me out for so long here and now that I've gotten used to it....

Oh well, should be fun fun fun.

Suzy said...

I wait for the person on the right to go first at intersections. Or whoever got there first goes first. Apparently I'm in a minority of people who do this. Or know this. Or give a shit.

Happy Frog and I said...

Good luck and be careful out there! My other half often gives way to people on the right even though we are both from the UK. I think he got used to doing this when he was out in NZ.

From AA to NZ said...

Ha! Ha! Some people just never "give way!"

Hugh Manaty said...

I always tell myself I could just flip around...Because I would drive sllooooooooowly so sllllloooooowwwwwly.

But I think that's hubris.

Jayne Martin said...

LOL! Good luck to you. I live in a small, rural community where everyone is desperately polite. You could sit at a 4-way forever as each driver say, "You, first." "No, you." "Oh, I couldn't. Please, after you."

Etc, etc. :)

Unknown said...

Its easy when you live in Texas. The biggest pickup truck has the right of way.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I've just got used to that damned rule after 8 years here in NZ, and now they go and change it.
I must admit, the new rule sems more sensible,just like they do back in the UK.

However, an admission. I always new I had right-of-way when I was turning right into a side road if the approaching car was turning left, but I didn't know about the other rule about the T junction.
That could explain some rather nasty hand signals over the last 8 years.

Anonymous said...

It took me so long to get used to that weird rule, and now that they've changed it I'm doubly confused!