Give-way rules: AA, NZTA at odds

The New Zealand Transport Agency has weighed in on a confusing 'Give Way' rule, contradicting the Automobile Association (AA).

Confusion began when a Reddit user pointed out that two online driving tests had given different answers to the same question about who gives way at an intersection.

An NZTA spokesperson told Newshub that a car turning right at a four-way intersection should expect to give way to a car travelling straight.

That would override the rule for drivers to give way to their right.

AA driving school general manager Roger Venn told Newshub that AA staff members thought the car travelling straight should give way to its right.

"We applied it to a real-life situation - when the traffic lights went out in Auckland recently - and in that case, a similar scenario to this, you would give way to your right," he said.

"The rules are designed to have a degree of flexibility, so you can apply the best one to your situation. Sometimes, it means we end up with grey areas like this one, but in situations like these, it's best to apply common sense alongside your knowledge of the rules."

The NZTA spokesperson said the following give-way rules should be applied when the intersection is uncontrolled, or when the drivers are facing the same signs or signals.


  • When you're turning, you must give way to vehicles going straight.
  • When you're turning right, you must give way to all vehicles coming the other way if they're going straight ahead or turning left.
  • All vehicles on the bottom of the T must give way to vehicles on the top of the T.
  • In all other situations, you must give way to vehicles coming from your right.

"So the first give-way rule [above] would apply," the spokespeson said.

"However, while the driver of the blue car would expect to have right of way, they should be prepared to stop if the red car doesn't see them or does not give way."