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Ask Phoebe: Intersection flouters breaking law and liable for prosecution

By Phoebe Falconer

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

I travel along Mt Wellington Highway daily to get to work. When waiting at the lights to go under the motorway (heading towards Sylvia Park) it is not uncommon to see cars and trucks that have come off the Southern Motorway carry on straight across and back on the on-ramp. This cuts through a green light for the cars and trucks turning onto the on-ramp who aren't looking to their right for oncoming traffic. Is this legal and who is at fault if they collide? Alan Thompson, Auckland.

The NZ Transport Agency says that drivers who do carry on, straight across the intersection, are breaking the law. Arrows on the road indicate that they can only turn right onto the Mt Wellington Highway. Driving behaviour like this is referred by the NZTA to the police for increased surveillance and prosecution. The NZTA is investigating traffic flows to clarify the issues on this heavily congested section of the Auckland motorway network before introducing improvements to make the interchange operate more efficiently and safely.

I have lived at this address over 32 years and have seen it change from Main North Rd to State Highway 1 to State Highway 17 to Dairy Flat Highway. We were informed that SH17 no longer existed as it is no longer a state highway. However the signage for SH17 still exists and most media still refer to SH17 when referring to accidents etc. To make matters worse some online sites such as Google, GPS and government departments refer to SH17.

What is the situation? Norman Biss, somewhere near Dairy Flat.

The NZ Transport Agency says SH17 continues to exist - for now. However, with the opening three and a half years ago of the Northern Gateway Toll Road as part of SH1, the NZTA says there is now no need to maintain two state highways so close to each other. It has agreed in principle with Auckland Transport to revoke, or withdraw, SH17's status as a state highway. This process is expected to be completed later this year, when it will become a local road and Auckland Transport will be responsible for its maintenance and operation. SH17 runs between Albany, Orewa and Puhoi and is also known as the Dairy Flat Highway south of the Silverdale interchange and Hibiscus Coast Highway to the north.

On SH1 alongside Wellsford Golf Club there are quite a lot of roadworks happening. Will it be an extra lane or a widening of the present roadway? Mary Mackenzie, Wellsford.

The NZ Transport Agency (what a helpful bunch they are) says the roadworks are designed to improve safety for drivers on this section of SH1. In the past 18 months, there have been a number of serious head-on crashes that have left three people dead. The highway is being widened to provide room for a flush median - a safety zone painted down the centre of the highway to provide greater separation between oncoming traffic. The improvements are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

- NZ Herald

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