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Ask Phoebe: On-ramp danger can be avoided

By Phoebe Falconer

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Transport Agency works to make merging safer

Care is needed when merging with motorway traffic in Auckland, especially at Wellington St. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Care is needed when merging with motorway traffic in Auckland, especially at Wellington St. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Q: Are there any plans to adjust how traffic merges onto the Northern Motorway from the Wellington St on-ramp? My wife and I enter the motorway daily using this on-ramp at around 3.30pm, and at least once a week we are nearly rammed into the concrete wall by speeding traffic not allowing us to merge. We've even had a police car overtake us at about 100km/h (with no warning lights or siren, and the speed limit there is 80km/h) while we were only metres from the carriageway, forcing my wife to have to brake hard to avoid a collision. But by far the worse instance was when a truck and trailer did the same, forcing us to have to come to a complete stop just inches from the wall while the rig took forever to complete the passing manoeuvre because of its size. This intersection is an accident waiting to happen and some signs reminding motorway traffic to "merge like a zip" are a must.
Mark Bradman, North Shore

A: Care is needed at all times when merging with motorway traffic in Auckland, particularly at Wellington St. The on-ramp joins one of the busiest sections of motorway, just before the Victoria Park Tunnel.

The Transport Agency recently rebuilt the on-ramp to international standards, and there are no immediate plans to make additional changes. Ramp signals are used at Wellington St to help traffic merge safely. The Transport Agency also suggests drivers consider choosing the Fanshawe St on-ramp, where two-lane access to the motorway during the afternoon peak reduces delays experienced at other central city northbound ramps, including Wellington St.


Q: Recently, my wife and I bought a car from a franchise dealership. I was told the car could not be registered in joint names as this is no longer legal. Is this correct? If so, can you tell me why this is? Does this mean that a vehicle cannot be registered in a company name or that of a trust?
Grant Kui, Auckland

A: The franchisee is correct. Law changes that came into effect on May 1, 2011, restrict the number of persons who can be registered in respect of a vehicle at any given time to one only. Any persons jointly registered up to May 1 will remain recorded on the Motor Vehicle Register.

I surmise that the law allowing ownership in one name came into effect only to prevent disputes over ownership of a vehicle in the event of a partnership breakdown.

A vehicle may be registered in the name of a private individual aged 15 or over, a limited liability company, a government department, local authority or official board, or an incorporated society or club.

The party required to be "registered in respect of a vehicle" is the person or company that is entitled to lawful possession of the vehicle.

However, this is not legal title for the vehicle — it is a record of who is responsible for the vehicle and who is liable for licensing fees.

- NZ Herald

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