Frequently Asked Questions

Question

Is my street is too narrow for traffic to pass safely?

Answer

Many people have raised this issue. The reality is that it may seem to be narrow, but in fact it's wide enough. For example: An urban residential street like Hillview Crescent, Timaru. The road with is over 11 metres wide at the moment. Construction has started to reduce it to 10.5 metres when the new kerb and channelling will be installed. But is it too narrow? People do not want vehicles to go fast in residential areas where kids may be playing on footpaths etc. The only way to reduce the speed is to narrow the lanes so that we get the "side friction" that naturally make drivers go slower because the space seem to be tight. Below is a diagram of such a road.

As shown, there are still plenty of space for even large vehicles to come through with ease.

The width of a car is about 1.8 m and maybe 1.9 m for a large SUV. A bus and truck is about 2.4m to 2.5m wide.

Question

What is the purpose and meaning of the yellow diamond road marking?

Answer

It indicates a 'clear zone' where vehicles should not stop. If there is no space for your vehicle on the other side of the marking, you should not drive onto the yellow block. This marking is used at intersections where a side entrance or road is very close to the main intersection. There may be vehicles wanting to turn right from the side road and if vehicles stop on the yellow block, would impede traffic flow.

Question

Do all school zones in South Canterbury have a 40km/h speed limit?

Answer

No - the only school zone sign that has an 40km/h speed limit, is on Craigie Avenue (SH1) past Timaru South School. 

All other school zones have a maximum speed limit of 50km/h but the only difference is that the speed enforcement tollerance is less - 4km/h. So you could be ticketed if your speed is above 54km/h.

Question

I have some concerns about road safety issues in my neighbourhood. Who should I speak to about it?

Answer

For Timaru-, Waimate-, or Mackenzie Districts call Daniel Naudé 687 7235.

For Ashburton District call Jeremy Lambert 307 9628

Question

What does merge like a zip mean?

Answer

It means that drivers on either lane must merge by using the following rules:

The signs mean the same thing - merge like a zip
The reason for showing different layouts it to show what the road layout is ahead
  1. The vehicle that is the furthest ahead in the queue goes first - regardless of the sign or lane position
  2. The driver who is second should adjust speed to let the first vehicle in
  3. Then all vehicles behind must do the same to let one vehicle in each lane get in.
  4. When merging with trucks, give them enough space to get in