Amended Land Transport Rules in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Minister of Transport, Hon Steven Joyce, has signed into law 12 new Rules that will change the existing Land Transport Rules.

The amendment Rules include a Driver Licensing Amendment Rule (SR 2011/306) to improve the on-road safety of young and novice drivers and motorcyclists in order to reduce their over-representation in crashes. For example, the Rule amendment aims to create greater safeguards against attempts to obtain a driver licence fraudulently; tighten security around obtaining a driver licence and the use of a temporary licence during an application or when sitting a test; and to clarify requirements for overseas drivers.

The major change in the amendment Road User Rule (SR 2011/307), meanwhile, is to the give-way rules on New Zealand’s roads. The left turn v. right turn give-way rule will be reversed. This rule applies at intersections where both vehicles are not controlled by signs or signals, or where vehicles are controlled by the same sign or signal. The rule applying to two right-turning vehicles at T-intersections will also be reversed so that the driver of a vehicle on a terminating road (the base of the “T”) will have to give way to vehicles on a continuing road (the top of the “T”). The rules applying to the driver of a vehicle that is entering or exiting a driveway have also been amended.

There have also been ten amendment Rules which will make relatively minor changes to Land Transport Rules: Dangerous Goods Amendment 2011 (Rule 45001/3); Frontal Impact Amendment 2011 (Rule 32006/5); Heavy Vehicles Amendment (No 2) 2011 (Rule 31002/5); Light-vehicle Brakes Amendment 2011 (Rule 32014/2); Operator Licensing Amendment (No 2) 2011 (Rule 81001/6); Steering Systems Amendment 2011 (Rule 32003/3); Traffic Control Devices Amendment 2011 (Rule 54002/5); Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Amendment 2011 (Rule 33001/5); Vehicle Standards Compliance Amendment (No 2) 2011 (Rule 35001/9) and Work Time and Logbooks Amendment (No 2) 2011 (Rule 62001/4).

All 12 amendment Rules come into force on 1 October 2011, although certain provisions in the Driver Licensing Amendment Rule take effect on various dates, and the changes to the give-way rules will start to apply at 5.00am on Sunday, 25 March 2012. All  Rules, together with Questions and Answers, are available on the NZTA’s website at


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