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Ask Phoebe: Exit-lane misuse on motorway can be punished

By Phoebe Falconer

A motorway exit. Photo / Martin Sykes
A motorway exit. Photo / Martin Sykes

On the Southern Motorway, southbound between Market Rd and Greenlane, the inside lane is marked as exit only from the Market Rd offramp onwards, which is great for those of us exiting at Greenlane. But I have noticed a lot of vehicles using it as a fast lane and then pulling onto the main carriageway at the last minute. Even worse, an increasing number are using it as an inside overtaking lane when the main carriageway is congested. What are the legalities of using an exit lane as an overtaking lane and when are people supposed to leave the lane if they're not using it as an actual exit? Doug McGibbon, Auckland.

The Transport Agency says overtaking on the left is not prohibited by law, but this is an issue of good motorway manners and safe and courteous driving. People using an exit-only lane for overtaking increase the risk of disrupting traffic flows and nose-to-tail type crashes. The police have the power to issue a ticket for unsafe lane changing.

With many others I take an early morning walk or jog up Mt Eden. The council has a vehicle gate at the Mt Eden Rd entrance which is signed as opening at 7am and closing at 11pm. It makes a great start to the day to stand on top of the mountain without traffic noise and fumes. But when I get there about 6.30am each day, the gate is almost always open. The security firm the council employs to operate the gate is not sticking to the times notified. Can you find out what is going on? With the darker mornings it creates a safety hazard for pedestrians using the summit road as well as disturbing the peace. It would be great if the opening time could be a bit later now daylight saving has finished. Ian Bone, Mt Eden.

The security firm the council uses has to get around many parks to open gates each morning. To allow for this, they are given a time window for opening each gate and a time the gates must be open, e.g. 7am. The Maungawhau gates have been opening about 6am but security has agreed to adjust its routine to get to Maungawhau between 6.30am-7am.

There seems to be some confusion at the intersection of Richmond Rd and Surrey Crescent with the advent of the give-way rule changes. Those turning left from Surrey Crescent into Richmond Rd have a give-way sign to obey. But this is contrary to the changes and every time I am at this intersection there seems to be some argument as to who should go first if there happen to be cars at all the points of the intersection. Do the cars turning left obey the sign and give way to those turning right from Surrey Crescent into Richmond Rd or do they ignore the sign and follow the new rules?
Susie Pascoe, Grey Lynn.

They obey the sign. The new rule applies where opposing motorists either face the same signs (stop, give way or lights) or face no signs. If there is a sign, the intersection is "controlled" and the sign must be obeyed.

- NZ Herald

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