Intersections

At any intersection, slow down and take a good look in all directions. Look for other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, before you turn or cross at an intersection.

Roundabouts

A roundabout is a central island in the middle of an intersection, where all vehicles must travel to the left of the island. Roundabouts can be small, large, single-laned or multi-laned. The number of roads that come into a roundabout can range from three to five or even more.

Single-laned roundabouts

When you come up to a roundabout that has only one lane in each direction:

  • slow down as you come up to the roundabout and be prepared to give way
  • give way to all vehicles that will cross your path from your right as you enter the roundabout.
Single-laned roundabout






Multi-laned roundabouts

Most roundabouts that have more than one lane in each direction are marked with lanes and arrows, which help you enter and leave the roundabout. The lane markings and arrows will tell you which lane to use.

Not all roundabouts are marked the same way, so take extra care – especially at the exits. If you need to cross from one lane to another near an exit, give way to any vehicles in the lane that you want to enter.

When coming up to a multi-laned roundabout:

  • slow down as you come up to the roundabout and be prepared to give way
  • be in the correct lane for where you want to go
  • give way to all vehicles that will cross your path from your right as you enter the roundabout.
Multi-laned roundabout


Signal use at roundabouts

If you are turning left at the first exit of a roundabout:

  • signal left as you come up to the roundabout.
Single-laned roundabout
Multi-laned roundabout

If you are travelling more than halfway around a roundabout:

  • signal right as you come up to the roundabout
  • signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take.
Single-laned roundabout
Multi-laned roundabout

Look out for cyclists who may find it difficult to maintain a turn signal on a roundabout and are exempt from this requirement.

Important

At roundabout, look out for vehicles that:

  • may have to change lanes to exit
  • may not be able to stay in their lane because they are:
  • large (for example, buses)
  • travelling too fast.

Roundabout signs

Some of the signs you may see at a roundabout are shown below.

This sign tells you that you are coming up to a roundabout. You should be ready to give way.
This one tells you to keep to the left of the traffic island as you come up to the roundabout.
This sign tells you that you must apply the roundabout give way rules.
The picture to the left shows you where you can expect to see these signs at a roundabout.

Intersections

What is an intersection?

An intersection is where two or more streets or roads join or cross. Intersections can include where a public entrance or exit joins a street or road.

Intersections can include entrances to and exits from supermarkets, petrol stations and other public parking areas, such as airports and hospitals. There are a number of different types of intersections, depending on how many roads meet at the intersection.

Different kinds of intersections

Driving up to an intersection

If any other vehicle is approaching or crossing an intersection, do not speed up when approaching. As you drive up to an intersection, use the system of car control. This method helps you deal with hazards safely.

  • Course (look ahead for a safe and legal path).
  • Mirrors (look behind and in your blind spots).
  • Signal for at least three seconds.
  • Brakes (slow down so that you can give way if required).
  • Gears (change if necessary).

When it is safe:

  • Accelerate up to traffic speed.

The red shading in the diagram below shows you which areas to check carefully before entering an intersection.

Approaching an intersection

As you ride up to an intersection:

  • slow down and look in all directions: ahead, behind and to both sides
  • be ready to stop if you have to.

The red shading in the diagram below shows you which areas to check carefully before entering an intersection.

Where to check at an intersection

What are the give way rules?

  • Road users must stop or give way as necessary at Stop signs, Give Way signs and traffic signals.
  • If you are turning, give way to vehicles not turning. Note: if you are leaving the path of a marked centre line, you are deemed to be turning and must give way to vehicles that are following the centre line.
  • If you are turning right, give way to all vehicles coming towards you including those turning left. Note: this applies if both vehicles are facing no signs or signals or the same signs or signals.
  • At a T-intersection or driveway, traffic on a terminating road or driveway (bottom of the T) must give way to all traffic on a continuing road (top of the T).
  • In all other situations, give way to all vehicles coming from your right, eg at a crossroad controlled by traffic signals, when the signals have failed and all approaches have flashing yellow lights.

Two vehicles coming towards each other and turning right

When two vehicles are coming towards each other and both are turning right, no one should have to give way.

This is because normally neither will cross the other's path, so both vehicles can turn safely. However, be careful if the other vehicle is a large truck or bus, as they may need more room to make the turn.

Remember to check for traffic coming towards you that is going straight through the intersection (see The give way rules). Your view might be blocked by the turning vehicle.

Important

Giving way means that the road user you're giving way to (whether they are a driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other kind of road user) doesn't need to stop, brake or slow down, swerve or take any other evasive action to avoid you.

At many intersections traffic is controlled by Stop signs, Give Way signs and traffic signals. See below for when to use the give way rules at these intersections. If a police officer is directing traffic you must obey his/her directions as they overrule the give way rules.

Stop sign

At an intersection controlled by a Stop sign:

  • come to a complete stop (do not just slow down)
  • stop where you can see vehicles coming from all directions
  • stay stopped until you have given way to all other vehicles (this includes cycles and motorcycles, etc)
  • if you and another vehicle are both facing Stop signs, use the give way rules (see The give way rules)
  • you must not go until it is safe.

The word STOP and a single yellow line will be painted on the road.

Intersection with a Stop sign

Helpful hint

If you are are turning right, give way to all vehicles coming towards you who are turning left.

Give Way sign

At an intersection controlled by a Give Way sign:

  • slow down and be ready to stop
  • give way to all other vehicles, except those facing a Stop sign
  • if you and another vehicle are both facing a Give Way sign, use the give way rules (see The give way rules)
  • you must not go until it is safe.

A triangle give way marking and a white line will be painted on a sealed road.

A car facing a Stop sign gives way to a car facing a Give Way sign.