When can flush medians be used? When can flush medians be used?

  • A. To overtake a slower vehicle

  • B. To park while loading and unloading goods

  • C. To wait for a gap in the traffic while turning

  • D. To reverse back up the road if you missed your turn

  •  
    The correct answer is C
     
    You can use a flush median to wait to move into a gap in the traffic flow after you've turned right onto the road, or to slow down and wait before turning right from the road. You can also use them when overtaking cyclists, but not other motorists.
     
 
 
 

What are flush medians?

Flush medians can be used to wait to move into a gap in the traffic flow after you've turned right onto the road, and to slow down and wait before turning right from the road.

They are painted 'flush' to the road rather than being raised, hence the name. There are sometimes right turning bays within flush medians called 'right turn pockets'. They differ from that of an isolated right turn bay. They will only be marked if the side road has high turning volumes. If not, then the flush median will be marked all the way through the intersection.

If there is a right turn pocket, the terminal of the pocket is marked with a white line at right angles to the median where the vehicle should stop, and a single white arrow signals the direction of the turn.

The following diagrams show T-intersections where a flush median can be used to turn into the side road (the bottom of the T). In the first diagram the flush median indicates that there's likely to be light traffic flow turning into the road.

T-intersection flush median low flow

In this image there is more of a moderate traffic flow into the side road and the median strip and right turn pocket have more explicit markings.

T-intersection flush median moderate flow

There are other variations of this for staggered intersections and crossroads. Images are from NZTA.

Who can use flush medians?

Any road user can use a flush median for the purpose of either:

Flush medians vary in width. The minimum width is about the width of a car, or two metres, but on busy dual carriageways, the flush median could be much wider.

How far can you drive in a flush median?

You can only drive onto the flush median to:

Technically this means that you should not be driving along the flush median to reach a turning bay, although this is not specifically prohibited in legislation.