Excited for a get-away weekend at New Zealand? I’m sure you already packed all your essentials and planned your destinations. But before you start your adventure, are you aware that New Zealand has a few road rules that are quite different from most countries?
Here are a few reminders about how driving works in New Zealand:
Reminder 1: Bring Your Driver’s License
You should not forget to bring your unexpired driver’s license issued by your home country OR an International Driving Permit (IDP). Every motorist in New Zealand is required to bring their driver’s license every time they drive. In case your license is not written fully in English, you should get it fully translated to English by an approved translating agency.
Reminder 2: They Drive on the Left Side of the Road
As early as now try to orient yourself on how to drive on the left side of the road. Obviously, failure to stick with this rule will cause you terrible inconveniences!
Reminder 3: Mobile Use While Driving is Illegal
Due to high cases of mobile use related traffic accidents, the use of mobile phones and other telecommunications devices while driving was made illegal in 2009. You may not call, text, compose an email, view a video, or do any activities that takes your attention off driving. Violation will cost you $80 NZD, 20 demerit points, and eventually even your life.
Reminder 4: Road Signs and Traffic Lights
There are various road signs, traffic lights, and “give-way” rules on NZ roads that you should carefully study. At first you may find them a bit confusing, but practice makes perfect. For example, traffic signals combine traffic lights and traffic arrows to signify which lane turning to what direction should stop or go.
Reminder 5: Safety Belts for EVERY Passenger
Every car passenger should wear protective seat belts whether they are in the front or back seats. Children under age seven should be secured by an approved child restraint. This should be observed at all times. If seat belts are not available, eight to fourteen-year old children should ride in the back seat. Violating these policies may result to being fined.