Auckland driver caught reversing on motorway after missing Westgate off-ramp

The driver was caught on camera reversing back to the off-ramp using the motorway's shoulder.
The driver was caught on camera reversing back to the off-ramp using the motorway's shoulder. Photo credit: _ahhjayy / TikTok

A motorist who sneakily reversed on an Auckland motorway after missing their off-ramp did not get away scot-free, with a nearby driver catching the dangerous maneuver on camera and sharing it to social media.

A driver sitting in traffic on the opposite on-ramp managed to capture the blunder, uploading it to the popular video-sharing platform TikTok on Wednesday.

"If you miss the off-ramp, just pull over and reverse back," the TikToker, username _ahhjayy, captioned the footage, followed by the hashtag "#OnlyInNewZealand".

The video shows the driver of a silver car pulling over into the hard shoulder of a motorway after appearing to miss their intended off-ramp.

The driver slowly begins reversing towards the exit and waits for a gap in the traffic, before pulling out and speeding down the off-ramp.

In a comment, the TikTok user said the dangerous maneuver occurred on the motorway near the West Auckland suburb of Westgate on Tuesday morning.

A police spokesperson told Newshub the motorist's maneuver could have had dangerous consequences.

"Any time a motorists parks, or makes a wrong turn on the motorway, they put themselves, those in the vehicle, and other motorists at risk," the spokesperson said.

"With drivers travelling at high speeds, any distraction can have dangerous consequences.

"In this instance, despite the motorist remaining on the shoulder of the motorway it would have been safer for them to continue on to the next exit instead."

At the time of writing, the TikTok video has been liked more than 700 times and attracted almost 100 comments.

"Wow bruh go to the next exit," one woman commented.

"That's not what the road code said," joked another.

Others admitted they would do the same in the right circumstances - or had even performed the dangerous maneuver before.

"God that is dangerous, although I'd probably do the same if it was super quiet," said one.

"I've done that [before], it was embarrassing," shared another.

A number of viewers recognised the strip of road as the motorway exit into Westgate, and couldn't understand why the driver didn't take the following Brigham Creek Road off-ramp.

One woman acknowledged that she always misses the same exit.

"I be [doing] the same," she wrote.

Other viewers noted that they'd seen motorists perform the same maneuver before, with one joking: "I bet everyone would do it if no one's watching."

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) specifically states that if an exit is missed, "don't stop and reverse".

"Instead, drive on to the next exit," the agency advises.