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Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: When in doubt at a crossroads, give way to your right

By Phoebe Falconer


Does the "top of the T goes before me" rule also now apply at four-way crossroads when a car on your left wants to turn right and you are also turning right?

Chris Paxton, Beth Miller, Ken Wilson, Alastair Smith.

According to the Transport Agency website, if all other give way rules or signs or signals do not indicate who gives way, then give way to vehicles coming from your right. This may happen when traffic signals have gone on the blink. The website also says intersections with four or more approaches, such as crossroads, always have signs on at least two approaches, or traffic signals on all approaches. I am somewhat sceptical of this claim. I'd be glad to hear of examples where this is not the case.

Does the new rule for T-intersections apply to supermarket car park entrances and exits? Alice Robinson.

Yes it does. From 5am on Sunday, vehicles entering or leaving driveways must give way to vehicles on the road.

Has the Transport Agency considered those drivers who are colour deficient when using red and green cars of the same size and shape in their examples? Colour deficient family members I know cannot determine from the pictures used which car is which colour.

Perhaps using "RED" and "GREEN" colour labels on the cars may help.

Arndrea Martin.

Good point. The most common colour blindness involves red and green. However, on the TA's website, even though the cars are still red and green, the car with the dotted arrow gives way to the car with the solid arrow, so it's still possible to work out the new rules.

At many intersections there is a separate left-turning lane which curves to the left some distance before joining the other street (the junction of Hobsonville Rd and Trig Rd is a local example for me). Under the new rule does a left-turning car in this lane have right of way over a right-turning car coming from the opposite direction, given that the right-turning car will effectively already have completed its turn and be travelling straight by the time the lanes intersect?

Simon Cole-Baker.

In my experience, left-turning lanes or slip lanes such as you describe often have a give way sign at the terminating end. If this is the case, the vehicle in the slip lane should give way if the right-turning vehicle does not have a stop or give-way sign. If it does, the vehicle in the slip lane has right of way under the new rules.

* Former driving instructor Graeme Wattam has sent in a little interactive driving test to check that people really understand the new rules (I'm ashamed to say I got two wrong the first time I took the test). Go to

The NZTA also has an interactive test, at

- NZ Herald

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