Road safety

Cry Babies of the Week

CRY BAIES: Tukituki Lhome-wrecker Anna Lorck with students Emily Pattullo (left), Kyle Brittin, Chris Hicks, Felix Ellis Jones and Brittney Lorck

CRY BABIES: Tukituki home-wrecker Anna Lorck with students Emily Pattullo (left), Kyle Brittin, Chris Hicks, Felix Ellis Jones and Brittney Lorck

This week’s cry babies are being promoted and enabled by Tukituki home-wrecker Anna Lorck, and one is her own daughter.

For young people trying to get their driver’s licence it appears the cost is standing between them and a little independence.

School student Emily Pattullo is 16 years old and still on her learner’s licence. She has attempted the test to get her restricted licence twice.

Twice she has failed.

“It has cost me $600 so far and I haven’t passed,” she said.    Read more »

People who speed already proving some roads are safe

Unintended consequences of speeding on safe roads is that we know it is safe

The Waikato region has the highest road toll in the country, with 55 deaths so far this year.

Factoring in loss of life, loss of output medical, property damage, legal and court costs, those deaths came at an estimated social cost of $219 million.

The region’s transport committee chair, Hugh Vercoe, said some country roads were not safe at 100 kilometres an hour – while sections of the new expressway, which will link Auckland to Cambridge, could be suitable for a higher speed limit.

“We’re saying what is appropriate, and if the Waikato Expressway, with its four lanes, with separation in the middle, is 100km/h, is that the safe speed limit?

“That may be part of the discussion and we may well say that could go to 110.”

Automobile Association motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon agreed the expressway was being built to a very high standard and could operate safely at 110km/h.

“Many of those roads will be running pretty much at 110km at the moment when they’re uncongested, they’ll be running very close to that,” he said. “But, of course, those people are currently speeding.”

The way we seem to be going is that the very clear 50 /70 / 100 zones are slowly being diluted to make sure that hot spots have the speed limit reduced.  But at least there is some honesty about lifting it where it is safe to do so as well.   Read more »

Is it time to acknowledge there is a “background road toll”?


The holiday weekend road toll has ended at five – two more than last year.

It’s the highest Labour Weekend road toll since 2012, with three people dying on the roads yesterday alone.

Police have described the toll as “disappointing”. …

“We are disappointed with this, we’re disappointed every time we lose somebody on our roads of course,” national road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said on Radio New Zealand this morning. Read more »


Speed tolerance down to 4 km/h this long weekend


The road toll is already terrible compared to previous years, so the police are trying to get your attention and make drivers be more aware of road safety.   This time, education, rather than a stick   Read more »

Speed campaign shown to be a fallacy

A tainted reporter at a newspaper has a big story about NZTA staff being recorded speeding numerous times by their own GPS systems

Staff at the agency charged with making our roads safer have been caught illegally hooning in work cars at least 8500 times in nine months – twice at 145km/h – and not one will get a ticket.

The speeding staff at the NZ Transport Agency include a member of the senior leadership team and a handful of managers.

In a three-month sample of the data, at least 45 of NZTA’s 139 cars were found to have been driven “consistently at speeds over 110km/h and sustained high speed over a number of kilometres”.

A NZ Herald analysis of data obtained through the Official Information Act found 8500 occasions on which NZTA cars were driven faster than 110 km/h – well over any unofficial tolerance applied to speed enforcement. There were 910 instances where the cars were driven at speeds greater than 120km/h – and 130 instances of speeds more than 130km/h.

Of those, eight people exceeded 140km/h, with at least one going more than 145km/h.

Read more »

Credit where it’s due: at least this has the potential to be useful

Paula Bennett

Paula Bennett

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 »


Are tailgaters YOUR biggest road rage trigger?


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.

Read more »

Drive to survive

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 »

So about that zero tolerance policy huh?

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 »

Are we turning into a nation of traffic vigilantes?

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 »