Drivers entering from an on-ramp do not have the right of way.

Please could you tell me who is in the right when you are on the motorway in the left hand lane and traffic is joining from an on-ramp and coming into your lane. I believe I have right of way and they should slow down and merge in between traffic, but no, I often have people who push towards me and let me know they are not pleased. It has got so bad I now make sure I am never in that lane. Barb Litherland, North Shore.

Where the car entering the motorway system has to cross a dotted line the implication is that it is changing lanes and should give the same respect to vehicles already using the motorway lane as is due to other users in any lane-changing manoeuvre.

Basically, the on-ramp vehicle has no rights to claim space in the motorway lane if it in any way affects the safety of other road users. This would include entering the safe stopping distance in front of any other car.

Of course, it is good if the motorway driver can be courteous and adjust his speed to enable on-ramp traffic to enter conveniently but there are times, particularly in dense fast traffic, where this is not safe and may also initiate flow irregularity and tailbacks.


That is the general reading of the situation, but a spokesman for the Transport Agency is even more emphatic. He says that a vehicle joining the motorway from an on-ramp is changing lanes when it crosses the dotted continuity line. It is therefore obliged (must, not should) to give way to traffic on the motorway.

And in regard to courtesy, all drivers are required to drive safely and with consideration for other road users. In a merging situation, it places an obligation on drivers on the motorway to adjust their speed and position, if necessary, to allow on-ramp traffic to merge. So it is really a bit more than a matter of courtesy, but this has to be weighed against the duty of drivers on the on-ramp to give way if it is not feasible for the motorway traffic to make space.

In regard to Milford Terrace, David Verran, team leader at the Central Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, says according to street directories Robert Sloan lived at Seaview Rd in Milford and not Milford Terrace, from at least 1924. In fact, Mr Verran can't find a Milford Terrace at that time. Seaview Rd is just a short walk on the rise from the Milford shops, where the steam tram called from 1910 to 1927. And Gavin Sheehan suggests that the location of Milford Terrace is possibly Frater Rd, off Milford Rd. It was formerly known as Milford Avenue, but was renamed some time between 1916 and 1920. And Tony Marshall wonders if Papanui Rd might have been renamed after the end of WWI? Might it have become Lake Rd, Hurstmere Rd or Kitchener Rd? And therefore, might Milford Terrace have been one of the streets running from one or other of these roads to the beach?

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