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Ask Phoebe: Arrows prove confusing for many drivers

By Phoebe Falconer

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

On the route along Broadway Newmarket to bear left into Great South Rd at the St Marks Rd/Great South Rd/Manukau Rd/Alpers Ave traffic lights, there is an arrow indicating red or green for a left turn. Does this arrow apply to traffic going into St Marks Rd or into Great South Rd as well? When the no turn left red arrow comes up, the pedestrians crossing St Marks Rd get a cross signal, but there are no pedestrians crossing Great South Rd. Some drivers assume Great South Rd is fine to turn into and other drivers wait. The arrow signal is pointing hard left whereas Great South Rd is a diagonal left. Noel Thompson, Epsom.

At this intersection, there are two sets of traffic lights, one on the corner of St Marks Rd and the other on the Great South Rd corner. Each has its own set of arrows, though they are co-ordinated. Thus, when the green left turn arrow appears, it is set at a sharp angle for St Marks Rd, and at a more obtuse angle for Great South Rd, and both arrows appear at the same time. The same applies for the red arrows.

What is the rule when turning right at an intersection controlled by a right turn arrow which changes from green to red to off? I was turning right from Great South Rd (travelling south) into Market Rd, Epsom which is controlled by traffic lights including a right turn arrow (green to red to off). Once the right turn arrow changed to off (lights still green) I moved to the centre to do a right turn once the lights turned red or there was no oncoming traffic. Is this correct? Garry Bryant, Auckland.

Once the turning arrows are off, but the signal remains green, you may turn right if there are no vehicles coming towards you and going straight ahead, and no vehicles turning left. Once the signal turns red, you may not proceed under any circumstances.

- NZ Herald

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