Overseas travel agents are being offered free training to help them explain New Zealand’s road rules and conditions to tourists.
It’s the latest road safety initiative in response to a spate of accidents earlier this year involving foreign drivers.
Publicity around the accidents led to some ugly incidents and in several cases irate locals seized keys from visitors. Read more »
I can’t stand road maggots, gay fricken Prius cars and slow cars holding everyone up.
I don’t really mind tailgaters, mainly because I drive a truck with a bloody big strong towbar and a tailgater runs a massive risk following closely behind me.
But clearly they annoy other road users.
Drivers that follow closely behind the car in front are the most likely to be annoying their fellow motorists, according to a national poll.
A Colmar Brunton poll of 1000 New Zealand drivers asked what habits were found to be the most annoying in other drivers, with tailgaters the most common cause of road rage.
Tailgaters, drivers that don’t use indicators and texting drivers were the three most annoying habits.
Crawlers, or people who drive slowly, were also considered annoying, and people who use their cellphone for calls rounded out the top five most annoying.
Colmar Brunton chief executive Jacqueline Farman said the survey results indicated drivers found it a lot easier to identify shortcomings in other drivers than in themselves.
The police are back with their pre-holiday road warnings, but the fire and brimstone and parental attitude appears to have changed to one of advice and resignation.
Police have made a plea to drivers to keep cold conditions and changing weather in mind and to ensure they aren’t tired during long drives.
They also issued standard reminders that the speed limit tolerance would be dropping to 4km over the limit, patrol car numbers would be up and breath-test stations would be running at all hours around the country.
“Please take plenty of rest breaks or look to share the driving so that you stay fresh,” national manager of road policing Steve Greally said.
The road toll for the year to date yesterday was 134, up from 123 at the same time in 2014 and 100 in 2013.
If I were to be unkind, I could suggest there is a link between the increased road toll and the police’s single minded attempts to blame speed.
But I appreciate the fact we’ve gone from hyperbole to sound advice. Read more »
The Police have maintained an incredible focus on road safety and speeding with their zero tolerance policy.
They deploy speed cameras on motorways where there is a dual carraige-way, with a median barrier and in some places in Auckland they are there every day.
And the result?
A 20% increase in road deaths.
The number of people killed on New Zealand roads so far this year is 20 per cent higher than at the same time last year.
The Ministry of Transport reported 95 people have been killed on the roads from January 1 to April 16 this year. In the same period last year, 79 people died on the roads. Read more »
More Kiwi drivers are taking the law into their own hands, with yet another tourist driver having their car keys snatched off them over the weekend.
The incident happened on the Otago Peninsula when two tourists stopped on the side of a narrow road to take a photo, holding up eight cars behind them, the Otago Daily Timesreports.
Dunedin man Robert Penman, who was travelling with his son, told the paper he was moved to act because he had “been in a head-on crash before and I don’t want to be in another one”.
He said he did not believe it was safe to overtake the car, and tried tooting at the couple several times to get them to move on.
When they finally continued driving they were travelling around 20km/h, he said.
Mr Penman called the police and blocked the couple’s exit when they turned into a driveway, at which point an altercation occurred.
“When he started to push me, I went around to the driver’s side and grabbed the keys, and I said ‘you are not going anywhere’,” Mr Penman said.
Southern District acting road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking told theOtago Daily Times he spoke to both Mr Penman and the tourists, with the foreign drivers being given information about where to park safely and Mr Penman told to “calm down”. Read more »
Auckland Transport has stuffed up again, rooting up one of the simplest jobs they have, providing adequate and readable signage for motorists.
New signs peppering streets around Auckland’s Dominion Rd may have to be “re-skinned” to make them easier for motorists to read, the city’s transport authority admits.
Auckland Transport said yesterday that some drivers had complained lettering on the dark blue “way-finding” signs is not large enough for them to make out.
“Initial feedback is that the typeface … is too small, particularly if you are driving,” said marketing general manager Mike Loftus. “This is certainly something we will be reviewing.”
But he said the signs were designed so they could be re-skinned with larger type if necessary, rather than replaced at greater cost.
Although they were introduced primarily to point to a 12km network of routes developed for $5.9 million as safer cycling alternatives to busy Dominion Rd, they have replaced larger street signs in a number of locations. Those include four intersections along Dominion Rd.
The larger – more legible – versions will remain in storage during a trial by Auckland Transport and other council organisations to develop a standard wayfaring sign to point to community facilities throughout the Super City.
Mr Loftus said the budget covered about 100 signs and route maps installed along the Grafton Gully cycleway as well as two sets of routes parallel to Dominion Rd, for which contractors have also installed speed bumps, pathways and boardwalks, leaving only a bridge to be erected in Mt Roskill’s War Memorial Park.
Duncan Garner talks about the focus on foriegn drivers and the silly ideas to force them to sit tests upon arrival.
Another horror holiday road toll, another round of national angst about foreign drivers.
It must be every motorist’s worst nightmare – rounding a corner to see more than 1000kg of metal hurtling towards you on your side of the road (regardless of the other driver’s ethnicity).
Are we being racist when it comes to foreign drivers? At first glance the numbers suggest there’s good reason for concern.
In 2013 overseas drivers were involved in at least 558 crashes resulting in death or injury. It may have been as high as 800 crashes according to the Transport Agency but they don’t collect data from every crash.
In three-quarters of the incidents, the foreigners were found at fault. Eleven of the crashes were fatal.
Grim reading. But it’s pretty clear the Government isn’t going to buckle and force visitors to sit some sort of driving test before they grab the keys to a rental car and set off on the open road.
Some safety advocates want travellers banned from renting cars unless they pass an online driving test. Some have called for drivers to sit a practical test. But that’s just not “practical” is it?
Where are these people meant to do it? Drive a car around a busy airport car park? And really, how effective would it be.
I’m starting to wonder about the Police communications strategy.
In just three hours at three different locations in the CBD last night, a team led by Sergeant Chris Painter issued 12 tickets for using cellphones while driving; 22 to “at risk drivers” breaching their licence conditions; 15 to drivers exceeding the speed limit, including 12 doing 11km or more over it; and 14 to drivers for intersection offences such as running red lights or ignoring stop signs.
As well, said Mr Painter, one driver was over the legal alcohol limit, and a “shocking” 34 were just under it.
Why is it “shocking” that people were under the limit…if their blitz was a month ago they would have ben well under the limit…now the limit has dropped and these drivers are still under it…and that is “shocking”?
What drugs are these cops taking? Read more »
Karl du Fresne thinks the Police have well over stepped the mark with their zero tolerance scam run these past holidays.
In fact he says it failed.
Human nature is a perverse thing. It consistently thwarts all attempts to coerce us into behaving the way bureaucrats, politicians and assorted control freaks think we should.
Take the road toll. Since early December New Zealanders have been subjected to a ceaseless barrage of police propaganda about the futility of trying to defy speed and alcohol limits.
Stern-looking police officers have been in our faces almost daily, warning that zero tolerance would be shown to lawbreakers. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found their lecturing increasingly tiresome and patronising.
Of course the police can claim the best possible justification for all this finger-wagging: it’s about saving lives. But what was the result? The road toll for the holiday period was more than double those of the previous two years. For the full year, the toll was up by 44 on the record low of 2013.
The figures suggest that people crash for all manner of reasons, and that the emphasis on speed and alcohol is therefore simplistic. The police focus on speed and booze because these are easy targets, and when the road toll comes down they can take the credit.
In the ideal world envisaged by ever-hopeful bureaucrats, wayward citizens can be managed much as sheep are controlled by heading dogs. But people will never be harangued into driving safely; human nature is just too contrary.
Besides, police crackdowns are only one factor in achieving a lower road toll.
Improved road design, safer cars, better-equipped emergency services and more immediate medical attention all contribute too. It would be interesting to know, for example, how many lives have been saved because of the use of helicopters to get victims promptly to hospital.
Given that their heavy-handed propaganda campaign appears to have had minimal effect, I wonder if the police will now be humble enough to sit down and review their tactics.
The AA has called for Police to stop targeting soft speeding on relatively safe roads.
Almost half of all tickets from speeding cameras are given out in Auckland, prompting the Automobile Association to urge the police to ease up on targeting low-level speedsters on Auckland motorways and instead focus on higher-risk roads around the country.
The cameras and a decision to lower, over holiday breaks, the usual 4km/h tolerance – and this season even to scrap it – have resulted in a boom in tickets. Twenty-six thousand more were issued each month last year on average than in 2009. That is despite police saying average speeds have dropped.
Last year, an average of 82,000 speeding tickets were issued each month, compared to 56,000 five years before. Much of the increase is down to the crackdown on low-level speeding over holiday periods.
The Police say it isn’t revenue gathering but it is. And Auckland with its extensive motorway network is being targeted as an easy get.
AA spokesman Mike Noon questioned whether focusing on drivers doing just over the limit on relatively safe urban motorways was the best strategy.
“Focusing on low-level speeding on the motorways, we think, is maybe not very beneficial. We’d prefer more focus on higher-risk areas, such as people speeding on State Highway 27 or between Turangi and Taupo.
“We get a bit concerned if there’s too much focus on low-speed tolerances on motorways, particularly since some of those motorways, we think, may move to 110km/h, to reflect the safety of them.”