Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004

Schedule 1 Objective of rule

r 1.3

1 Objective of rule


This rule establishes the rules under which traffic operates on roads. Most of the existing legal requirements are contained in regulations in Parts 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the Traffic Regulations 1976. The rule applies to all road users, whether they are drivers, riders, passengers, pedestrians, or leading or droving animals.


The rule covers the requirements road users must adhere to when using the road network that are broadly encompassed by the term “traffic law”. It does not cover driver and vehicle licensing, roadworthiness, vehicle standards, licence carriage, driver hours or logbooks, or major offences such as drink driving. These matters are addressed in the Transport Act 1962, the Land Transport Act 1998, or in other Land Transport Rules.


Traffic law promotes the safe and efficient operation of roads by providing a legal framework to support consistent and predictable responses by road users. Traffic law can be characterised as fulfilling the following functions:


resolving conflicts (for example, giving way):


prescribing behaviour (for example, keeping left):


prohibiting detrimental behaviour (for example, driving on a footpath):


defining the meaning of, and required response to, traffic control devices (for example, stopping for red traffic signals).


This rule largely consolidates requirements relating to road users in the Traffic Regulations 1976, removing ambiguities and clarifying provisions where necessary. Several areas were identified where the New Zealand Transport Agency considered changed or new traffic provisions would contribute to improved road safety or efficiency outcomes. These are covered in clauses 2 to 5.

Schedule 1 clause 1(4): amended, on 1 August 2008, by section 50(2) of the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 47).

2 Indicating when entering or leaving a roundabout

The rule specifies ways in which drivers must approach and signal at roundabouts and specifically addresses a driver’s obligations at multi-lane roundabouts. This will encourage more predictable driver behaviour. More consistent vehicle approach and exit behaviour and signalling on entry should reduce the incidence of vehicles entering a roundabout colliding with circulating vehicles.

3 Pedestrian crossings

The rule removes the driver’s right to pass in front of pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing with a centre line. A pedestrian crossing is considered to be 2 separate crossings only if a pedestrian refuge (traffic island) interrupts it.

4 Special vehicle lanes

This rule establishes provisions for special vehicle lanes that include prohibiting driving along a special vehicle lane, permitting drivers to cross a special vehicle lane when proceeding to turn or in the process of parking, and prohibiting parking or standing on a special vehicle lane.

5 Wheeled recreational devices and mobility devices


The Traffic Regulations 1976 have been silent on where non-motorised vehicles such as scooters, skateboards, and in-line roller skates can be operated (when being used by an adult). This rule introduces a number of new requirements.


The rule includes vehicles such as scooters, skateboards, in-line roller skates within a category of traffic called a wheeled recreational device, defined as a wheeled conveyance, other than a cycle that has a wheel diameter exceeding 355 mm, and that is propelled by human power or gravity. Devices that have an auxiliary propulsion motor or motors with a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 W are also included.


The rule also introduces a definition of a mobility device. A mobility device is a vehicle with a maximum power output not exceeding 1 500 W that is principally designed and constructed for use by persons who require mobility assistance due to a physical or neurological impairment. Mobility devices are restricted to the footpath, where this is practicable and where they must be operated in a careful and considerate manner.