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Ask Phoebe: Humps cut speed for pedestrian safety

By Phoebe Falconer

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Speed humps are traffic claming measures. Photo / APN
Speed humps are traffic claming measures. Photo / APN

Q: Why is there an epidemic of humps on West Auckland roads? Great North Rd in the heart of New Lynn is covered in them.

Titirangi village has speed humps on entering and leaving the village.

- Neil White, West Auckland.

A: These speed humps or bumps or sleeping policemen or whatever one wishes to call them are traffic calming measures. They reduce traffic speeds at points where pedestrian safety might be compromised.

For example, along Atkinson Rd there is access to three schools (Kaurilands, Titirangi and Glen Eden Intermediate).

Great North Rd in New Lynn has a large shopping precinct as well as small businesses with access on to this busy road.

The speed humps are installed by contractors employed by Auckland Transport after consultation with local bodies and other parties.

Q: In the area in which I live it is common for drivers to form informal lanes at traffic lights where there are no official lanes marked.

A friend recently had an accident at one of these light-controlled intersections and from the outcome of her insurance claim it seems that the commonplace action of forming two lanes where none are marked is illegal.

What is legal in this situation?

- Marion Mikkelsen, Kohimarama.

A: According to the road code, passing at an intersection with one lane on your side of the road is permitted as long as several conditions are taken into consideration.

In this situation, you may pass on the left if there is enough room in your lane for you to pass and the vehicle you are passing has stopped, or is signalling a right turn, or is turning right.

Similarly, you may pass on the right as long as there is room for you to do so without going over the centre line, and the vehicle on your left is turning left or has indicated the desire to do so.

At all times, the traffic lights take priority i.e. you may not turn left if there is a red arrow forbidding this, and similarly when turning right.

Q: If someone is wanting to do a u-turn and another vehicle is at a give-way or stop sign, then who has right of way?

- Sandy Coombes, Auckland.

A: According to the road code, you are normally allowed to make u-turns, as long as the road is clear in both directions and it is safe to do so.

Make sure you have enough room to complete the turn and don't create a hazard for oncoming vehicles.

You aren't allowed to make u-turns if a "No u-turn" sign is displayed.

- NZ Herald

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