New Zealand Road Code

The New Zealand Road Code is the official road safety manual for New Zealand published by NZ Transport Agency. It is a guide to safe driving practices and traffic law in New Zealand, and is also the basis for theory and practical driving tests.

There are separate editions:

  • The Official Road Code (cars and light vehicles requiring a class 1 licence)
  • The Official Road Code for Heavy Vehicle Drivers (vehicles 3500kg and heavier, and licence classes 2-5)
  • The Official Road Code for Motorcycles (two-wheeled vehicles, and licence class 6)
  • The Official Code for Cyclists provides rules for cyclists on New Zealand's roads.

The latest versions of the printed Road Code books are also available online, but in both cases need to be read in conjunction with any updates - which are posted on NZTA's Road Code updates page.[1]

The Road Code contains a list of all questions that can be asked in the theory test for the learner licence. Answers are not included with the questions and must be either deduced from reading the Road Code, or researched using an external website such as Driving Tests[2].

For tourist drivers, the Visiting Drivers Project has been created to improve improve road safety for tourists.[3]


  1. ^ "Updates to the Road code"
  2. ^ DT
  3. ^ "Visiting Drivers Project". NZ Transport Agency. Retrieved 6 August 2018.

External links

Automotive industry in New Zealand

The automotive industry in New Zealand supplies a market which has always had one of the world's highest car ownership ratios. The distributors of new cars are essentially the former owners of the assembly businesses. At the dealership level they have maintained their old retail chains in spite of the establishment of the many new independent businesses built since the 1980s by specialists in used imports from Japan. Toyota entered into direct competition with those used-import businesses refurbishing old Toyotas from Japan and selling them through their own dealers as a special line. The nation's car fleet is accordingly somewhat older than in most developed countries.

New Zealand no longer assembles passenger cars. Assembly plants closed after tariff protection was removed and distributors found it cheaper to import cars fully assembled. Cars had been assembled at a rate nearing 100,000 a year in 1983 but with the country's economic difficulties their numbers dropped sharply. Towards the end of the decade the removal of various restrictions as part of the nation's restructuring of its economy made available low-priced old used cars from Japan. These used cars met the local need for high ownership levels in a financially straitened world but since that time continue to arrive in such large numbers they substantially increase the average age of the nation's fleet.

Toyota, Ford, and General Motors Holden division still dominate the new vehicle market but there were more new Mazda cars than Holden cars sold in 2018 and Ford (and Nissan) cars were no longer among the volume sellers. They were overtaken by Hyundai, Kia and Suzuki. Holden cars are sliding towards Ford sales levels in 2019. The tiny home market—the size of a large city— and distance from potential export customers worked with first-world pay rates against the formation of any significant indigenous manufacturers. Only small boutique kit and replica car firms were able to survive. They produce original kit and replica cars using locally-made car bodies and imported componentry for both the local and international markets. Several of these, while small in size, are noted internationally for the quality of their workmanship.


Dooring is a traffic collision or crash in which a bicyclist (or other road user) rides into a motor vehicle's door, swerves to avoid or is struck by a door that was opened quickly by an occupant who failed to check carefully for approaching traffic. Proper procedure requires a driver to check the side mirror before opening the door, and/or perform a shoulder check. Use of the 'Dutch Reach' (or 'far hand method') for vehicle egress has been advised to prevent doorings as it combines both measures. The term dooring is also applied when such sudden door opening causes the oncoming rider to swerve to avoid collision, with or without loss of control, crash or secondary collision with another oncoming vehicle. The term also applies when a door is negligently left open, unduly blocking a travel lane. The width of the door zone in which this can happen varies, depending upon the model of car one is passing. The zone can be almost zero for a vehicle with sliding or gull-wing doors or much larger for a truck. Dooring can happen when a driver has parked or stopped to exit their vehicle, or when passengers egress from cars, taxis and rideshares into the path of a cyclist in an adjacent travel lane. In many cities across the globe, doorings are among the most common and injurious bike-vehicle incidents.

Emergency vehicle lighting

Emergency vehicle lighting is one or more visual warning lights fitted to a vehicle for use when the driver wishes to convey to other road users the urgency of their journey, to provide additional warning of a hazard when stationary, or in the case of law enforcement as a means of signalling another driver to stop for interaction with an officer. These lights may be dedicated emergency lights, such as a beacon or a light bar, or may be modified stock lighting, such as a wig-wag or hide-away light, and are additional to any standard lighting on the car such as hazard lights. Often, they are used along with a siren (or occasionally sirens) in order to increase their effectiveness. In many jurisdictions, the use of these lights may afford the user specific legal powers, and may place requirements on other road users to behave differently, such as compelling them to pull to the side of the road and yield right of way so the emergency vehicle may proceed through unimpeded.

Laws regarding and restricting the use of these lights vary widely among jurisdictions, and in some areas non-emergency vehicles (e.g. school buses) and semi-emergency vehicles (e.g. tow trucks) may be permitted to use similar lights. These non-and semi-emergency lights are also discussed here. Research into the usefulness and potential dangers of these lights is also presented.

Emergency vehicle lighting is a sub-type of emergency vehicle equipment.


Jaywalking occurs when a pedestrian walks in or crosses a roadway that has traffic, other than at a suitable crossing point, or otherwise in disregard of traffic rules. The term originated with "jay-drivers", people who drove horse-drawn carriages and automobiles on the wrong side of the road, before taking its current meaning.The term "jaywalking" is primarily a North American concept where laws restrict pedestrian use of public roads. In other countries such as the United Kingdom, the word is not generally used and there are no laws limiting how pedestrians can use public highways.Legal texts in other countries use different concepts, such as Rules applicable to pedestrians in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. One member of this convention, the United Kingdom, does not have jaywalking laws; its Highway Code relies on the pedestrian making his own judgment on whether it is safe to cross based on the Green Cross Code. Pedestrians do have priority over turning vehicles. Rule 170 of the UK's Highway Code instructs a driver to "watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way."

School bus by country

As a part of student transport, buses play a key role in transporting students to and from school, coinciding with their high seating capacity and higher degree of safety compared to other modes of transportation. The usage of buses in student transport varies worldwide, ranging from the usage of public transportation by students, transit buses set aside to transport students, or purpose-built school buses owned and operated by school systems.

The yellow school bus is most commonly associated with North America, where federal and state/provincial regulations have influenced its design characteristics, including its yellow color. When loading or unloading students, yellow school buses are given traffic priority; their red warning lights and stop signs allow them to stop traffic. Outside of North America, school buses typically do not have traffic priority while loading or unloading students.

Speed limit

Road speed limits are used in most countries to set the legal maximum or minimum speed at which road vehicles may travel on a given stretch of road. In the US they have been set to protect the public and regulate unreasonable behavior. Speed limits are generally indicated on a traffic sign reflecting the maximum or minimum permitted expressed as kilometres per hour (km/h) and/or miles per hour (mph). Speed limits are commonly set by the legislative bodies of national or provincial governments and enforced by national or regional police and judicial authorities. Speed limits may also be variable, or in some places unlimited, such as on most of the Autobahn in Germany.The first numeric speed limit for automobiles was the 10 mph (16 km/h) limit introduced in the United Kingdom in 1861. The highest posted speed limit in the world is 160 km/h (99 mph), which applies to two motorways in the UAE.There are several reasons to regulate speed on roads. It is often done to attempt to improve road traffic safety and reduce the number of casualties from traffic collisions. In the "World report on road traffic injury prevention", the World Health Organization (WHO) identified speed control as one of a number of steps that can be taken to reduce road casualties. This followed a report in which the WHO estimated that some 1.2 million people were killed and 50 million injured on the roads around the world in 2004.Speed limits may also be set to reduce the environmental impact of road traffic (vehicle noise, vibration, emissions) and as a political response to local community concerns for the safety of pedestrians. For example, a draft proposal from Germany's National Platform on the Future of Mobility task force recommended a blanket 130 km/h (81 mph) speed limit across the Autobahn to curb fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Some cities have reduced limits to as little as 30 km/h (19 mph) for both safety and efficiency reasons. However, some research indicates that changes in the speed limit may not always alter average vehicle speed.

Speed limits in New Zealand

General speed limits in New Zealand are set by the New Zealand government. The speed limit in each location is indicated on a nearby traffic sign or by the presence of street lighting. The limits have been posted in kilometres per hour (km/h) since 1974. Before then, when New Zealand used imperial units, maximum speeds were displayed in miles per hour (mph). Today, limits range from 10 km/h (6.2 mph) to 110 km/h (68 mph); in urban areas the default speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph).

Student transport

Student transport is the transporting of children and teenagers to and from schools and school events. School transport can be undertaken by school students themselves (on foot, bicycle or perhaps horseback; or for older students, by car), they may be accompanied by family members or caregivers, or the transport may be organised collectively, using buses or taxis.

Traffic-light signalling and operation

The use of traffic lights to control the movement of traffic differs regionally and internationally in certain respects. This article describes some of these non-universal features. Note that the color phase commonly known as "yellow" is often referred to, especially in official usage, as "amber"; for consistency this article uses "yellow" throughout.

Traffic code

Traffic code (also motor vehicle code) refers to the collection of local statutes, regulations, ordinances and rules that have been officially adopted in the United States to govern the orderly operation and interaction of motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and others upon the public (and sometimes private) ways.

The traffic code generally includes provisions relating to the establishment of authority and enforcement procedures, statement of the rules of the road, and other safety provisions. Administrative regulations for driver licensing, vehicle ownership and registration, insurance, vehicle safety inspections and parking violations may also be included, though not always directly related to driving safety. Violations of traffic code (i.e., a "moving violation") are often dealt with by forfeiting a fine in response to receiving a valid citation ("getting a ticket"). Other violations, such as drunk driving or vehicular homicide are handled through the criminal courts, although there may also be civil and administrative cases that arise from the same violation (including payment of damages and loss of driving privileges). In some jurisdictions there is a separate code-enforcement branch of government that handles illegal parking and other non-moving violations (e.g., noise and other emissions, illegal equipment). Elsewhere, there may be multiple overlapping police agencies patrolling for violations of state or federal driving regulations.

Traffic stop

A traffic stop, commonly called being pulled over, is a temporary detention of a driver of a vehicle by police to investigate a possible crime or minor violation of law.

Traffic violations reciprocity

Under traffic violations reciprocity agreements, non-resident drivers are treated like residents when they are stopped for a traffic offense that occurs in another jurisdiction. They also ensure that punishments such as penalty points on one's license and the ensuing increase in insurance premiums follow the driver home. The general principle of such interstate, interprovincial, and/or international compacts is to guarantee the rule "one license, one record."

Rules of the road
Road user guides
Speed limit
Moving violations
Driver licensing
Traffic violations reciprocity
Automotive safety
Road safety


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