If you're driving at night with your headlights on high beam,
when must you dip them? If you have a rear tyre blowout what
will your vehicle do?
If you're not sure of the answers, you're not alone. They're
among the 10 Road Code questions that teen drivers and others
sitting learner licence theory tests get wrong most often.
The NZ Transport Agency has for the first time revealed the
10 toughest questions from the class 1 learner licence theory
test, and is encouraging all new drivers to learn the code
before sitting the test.
"The good news is that the pass rate for the driver licence
theory test is increasing and is now sitting at around 70 per
cent - and even the toughest questions on the theory test are
still being answered correctly more often than people are
getting them wrong," said agency road safety director Ernst
Test data shows that nearly all applicants know what to do
when approaching a one-lane bridge, how to respond to
flashing lights and sirens, and what to do when someone in
another vehicle begins to pass - with questions on all of
those topics answered correctly by more than 99 per cent of
The agency introduced computerised theory testing for learner
driver licence tests in November 2009. The test asks 25
general and 10 class-specific questions randomly selected
from a databank of over 200 questions, but unlike the old
paper 'scratchie' tests which the computerised test replaced,
it presents them as a random string of 35 questions.
Nationwide the pass rate for the class 1 (car) theory test
reached 70 per cent in July, and while a slight drop to 67
per cent was recorded in August, the national pass rate is up
significantly from 60 per cent at the same time last year and
under 50 per cent in 2009.
"We've seen the pass rate for computerised theory testing
steadily increase as young drivers have gotten the message
that they really need to learn the road code before sitting
the test," said Mr Zollner.
"That's great news for everyone who uses the road, because we
need our newest drivers to be safe drivers who understand the
The agency encourages young drivers who have passed the
theory test and gained a learner licence to put in plenty of
supervised practice and use the free resources at www.practice.co.nz to prepare for
the more challenging restricted licence practical test which
was introduced in February last year.
Mr Zollner said the number of fatal and serious injury
crashes involving teenage drivers had dropped from 475 in
2008 to 257 last year, and while the downward trend was
encouraging, road crashes were still the single biggest
killer of teenagers in New Zealand.
With an average of one teenager killed on New Zealand roads
every week in recent years our teen crash rates were still
among the worst in the developed world.
"That's a situation no-one should accept, and New Zealanders
are looking for decisive action to reduce this needless waste
of young life and young potential," Mr Zollner said. "Raising
the standard of driving required to gain a licence with more
challenging tests is an essential part of the solution."
Mr Zollner said more challenging driver tests were a key
element of the Government's Safer Journeys action plan to
improve the safety of young drivers, and other changes
introduced as part of the same package have included
increasing the minimum driving age to 16, lowering the youth
alcohol limit for teen drivers to zero, and encouraging teen
drivers and their parents to buy the safest vehicles they can
Road Code stumpers - top 10 incorrectly answered learner
licence theory test questions
1) When driving at night on a road with lanes you must be
able to stop in half the length of clear road you can see in
front of you. True or false?
The Road Code advises that at night, just as during the
daytime, you must drive at a safe speed. This means that:
A. On a road with lanes, you must be able to stop in the
length of clear road you can see in front of you
B. On a road with no lanes, you must be able to stop in half
the length of clear road you can see in front of you
41% answered incorrectly (4719 incorrect responses from
2) On a Transit Lane sign, what does T2 mean?
A. Vehicles that use the lane must have at least two people
B. Vehicles that use the lane must have two passengers
C. Only two vehicles are permitted on the transit lane at any
D. There are two transit lanes ahead
37% answered incorrectly (5116 incorrect responses from
3) If you have a rear tyre blowout, the vehicle will:
A. Pull to the side with the blowout
B. Pull away from the side with the blowout
C. Sway from side to side
D. Increase speed
32% answered incorrectly (8820 incorrect responses from
4) You have a restricted licence. A condition for driving at
night without a supervisor is that you must not drive
A: 8pm to 6am
B: 10pm to 5am
C: 10pm to 6am
D: 11pm and 7am
28% answered incorrectly (7709 incorrect responses from
5) If you have a front tyre blowout, the vehicle will:
A: Pull to the side with the blowout
B: Pull away from the side with the blowout
C: Sway from side to side
D: Slow down
26% answered incorrectly (7165 incorrect responses from
6) When turning right from a two-laned road into a one-way
street that has two lanes, which lane must you turn into?
A: The right-hand lane
B: The left-hand lane
C: The lane that has the least vehicles
D: The lane that gives you the most direct route
26% answered incorrectly (2773 incorrect responses from
7) If you are driving at night with your vehicle headlights
on high beam, when must you dip them?
A: At an intersection
B: In a one-way street
C: Approaching a police officer on point duty
D: In a town or city
25% answered incorrectly (2734 incorrect responses from
8) If you have a restricted licence you can carry a passenger
if they are your spouse.
True or false
25% answered incorrectly (6864 incorrect responses from
9)This sign tells you that you are coming up to a railway
level crossing. What should you do?
A: Slow down so that you can look both ways to check that the
crossing is clear
B: Speed up to drive over the crossing as quickly as possible
C: Stop to check whether the crossing is clear
D: Turn your vehicle indicators on before driving over the
24% answered incorrectly (3394 incorrect responses from
10) What is the maximum distance a load may extend in front
of a car?
A: 2 metres from the front edge of the front seat
B: 3 metres from the front edge of the front seat
C: 4 metres from the front edge of the front seat
D: 5 metres from the front edge of the front seat
24% answered incorrectly (6684 incorrect responses from
The road rules (almost) everyone knows - top 10 correctly
answered learner licence theory test questions
1. What should you do if an ambulance comes up behind you,
flashing red lights or sounding its siren?
A. Speed up to avoid delay
B. Put your vehicle hazard lights on and drive on at the same
C. Slow down, pull over and allow the ambulance to pass
D. Flash your vehicle headlights to warn oncoming traffic
99.92% answered correctly (9 incorrect responses from 10,863
2. If you are the driver and hurt somebody in a crash, who
must you report it to?
A. A clerk of the court
B. A police officer
C. A Justice of the Peace
D. A lawyer
99.91% answered correctly (10 incorrect responses from 11,018
3. What must you do when you hear a siren or see red flashing
lights from an ambulance or fire engine?
A. Speed up to get out of the way
B. Drive up onto the footpath
C. Pull over and allow it to pass
D. Keep driving as you were
99.90% answered correctly (23 incorrect responses from 11,694
4. You are the driver of the blue car. What must you do?
A. Keep driving as the cyclist has to stop
B. Stop and give way to the cyclist
C. Keep driving as the cyclist has to give way to larger
D. Sound the warning device to warn the cyclist
99.85% answered correctly (19 incorrect responses from 12,197
5. Who can require you to undergo a breath screening test?
A. An ambulance officer
B. A doctor
C. A member of the public
D. A police officer
99.70% answered correctly (35 incorrect responses out of
6. What must you do when you come up to a red light showing
at traffic signals?
A. Stop and then go on carefully
B. Go on slowly if no other traffic is coming
C. Stop only if other vehicles are coming from the right
D. Stop and wait until it changes to a green light
99.67% answered correctly (46 incorrect responses out of
7. What should you do if the vehicle behind you starts to
A. Move over to the right so that they cannot pass
B. Speed up so that they will not need to pass
C. Signal for them to stay behind you because you think they
are going too fast
D. Move as far to the left side of the road as is safe and do
not speed up
99.61% answered correctly (42 incorrect responses out of
8. If you miss your exit on a motorway, you should:
A. use the flush median strip and reverse back to the exit
B. make a U-turn back to the exit
C. drive on to the next exit
D. slowly stop and reverse back to the exit
99.59% answered correctly (44 incorrect responses out of 10,
9. As the holder of any class of driver licence you must
carry your licence with you at all times when driving
True or false?
99.54% answered correctly (54 incorrect responses out of
10. What should you do when you come up to a one-lane bridge?
A. Sound your vehicle horn and drive slowly over the bridge
B. Turn your vehicle headlights on and drive quickly over the
C. Slow down and check for any oncoming vehicles before
D. Drive on and make sure any oncoming vehicles reverse off
99.51% answered correctly (57 incorrect responses out of