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Being Travel Smart

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Whether we are biking, walking, skating, or using some form of low-powered vehicle, we all need to be travel smart. Traveling safely means knowing how to use our roads and shared paths and what the dangers are.


Easy, cheap, and fun - walking is a great way to get around! When walking alone or with others you need to know how to cross roads safely and keep clear of cars leaving or entering driveways.


  • walk on the footpath, close to the houses and away from the road
  • look and listen for traffic at driveways (some driveways are difficult to see). Look for a driver and make eye-contact so they know you are there. Wait for them to give way
  • use crossings or cross at traffic signals, wherever possible
  • take care in car parks, school drop-off and pick-up points or busy shopping areas with lots of traffic
  • walk facing oncoming traffic on roads where there are no footpaths
  • share the footpath with others, including skaters, scooters, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters
  • use the kerb drill.

On rural roads:

  • walk facing cars coming towards you.
  • keep as far off the road as possible.
  • walk in single file, shortest person at the front, so everyone can see oncoming traffic.
  • if there’s a narrow bridge, stop in a safe place and listen carefully and scan the distance to make sure there are no vehicles coming before going onto the bridge and walking quickly across, facing traffic.
  • keep looking and listening for any vehicles that come from behind or in front.

Image: Auckland Transport


More people are cycling than ever in New Zealand. It is great fun and an excellent way to get around. Here are a few simple tips to stay safe when cycling:

  • Keep left.
  • Check over your shoulder for traffic.
  • Use the correct lane.
  • Pass other road users safely.
  • Use hand signals.
  • Be safe and show respect when cycling in groups.
  • Share the road and paths.
  • Expect hazards and ride to avoid them.

Image: Public Domain.

Other ways of getting around

There is an increasing range of low-powered vehicles being used in New Zealand for travel or recreation, such as e-scooters and e-bikes. There are also unpowered devices such as skateboards, scooters, and skates.

While these vehicles and devices provide other fun ways of getting around, there can also be an increased safety risk on and around the road or shared path if they are not used in a safe and considerate manner.

If you use scooters, skateboards or skates on the footpath or shared path, you still need to follow the safety tips for walkers and cyclists. Be courteous whenever you’re travelling faster than those around you. When passing others on a shared path, leave enough room so you don’t scare them or put them in danger.

Ready for a Quiz? Try the Being Travel Smart interactive activity.

Click on the following links for more safety information about these other ways of getting around:

Audio Māori keywords: