Road toll double last year despite Police crackdown and perfect weather conditions

It hasn’t really rained in most of the country for damn near two weeks.

The weather forecasters got it wrong over New Year, and basically the roads have been dry for the whole holiday period.

The police have focussed on speeding, so much so that the average holiday speed on the open road is adding hours to trips.

And yet the road toll is now double what it was last year and will likely be more than that with one day left.

The holiday road toll now stands at 14 – double last year’s – with the latest fatality occurring after a car hit a tree in Canterbury last night, killing its male driver.

The Toyota saloon ran off on Lake Road at Leeston, near Lake Ellesmere, and struck a tree at around 11.20pm. The driver, who is expected to be named later today, was found dead at the scene, police said.

With many holiday-makers preparing to head home, the nation’s road policing chief, Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff, issued a plea for drivers to be vigilant. “Families have enjoyed time away and now they should give themselves plenty of time to reach their destination,” he said.

They’ll need plenty of time because the cops have parked themselves at the end of every passing lane, frightened drivers so much they drive between 80-95km/h…and all for nothing.

Last year’s Christmas-New Year road toll was seven, from a total of 193 reported injury crashes. But the official holiday period was three days shorter than this year’s – which ends at 6am on Monday.

Excuses already…

Yesterday, police dealt with holiday road fatality No 13 – a male passenger killed in a three-car crash in Hamilton.

The crash happened at the Dinsdale roundabout in Hamilton shortly after 2pm.

Two people, including a female driver, were critically injured. They and two others were taken to Waikato Hospital.

Senior Sergeant Kevin Anderson, of the Waikato road policing group, said the accident was a tragedy and it was not yet clear how it occurred.

A round about eh? 3 cars? Bet speed wasn’t a factor…it was a roundabout…in brad daylight…on a fine day, at 2pm.

Mr Cliff urged holiday-makers returning home this weekend to remember that tired drivers are unsafe drivers.

“Families have enjoyed time away and now they should give themselves plenty of time to reach their destination. Keep your focus on the road, and factor in some all important rest stops for everyone in your care.”

“High-risk and dangerous overtaking is not worth the lives of you the driver, any of your passengers or any other road user.”

Well you can’t overtake can you…if slow coach holding up 50 cars is doing 95km/h, in order to safely overtake him you risk going over 100km/h into the dread zone where crashes happen of 101km/k…so everyone just gets stuck…and coupled with the fact that the cops are likely sitting at the end of each overtaking lane preventing even those being used then people return best get used to a long slow ride home courtesy of police action.

You’d have to say the Police campaign this year was a big fat fail, and caused them the loss of a great deal of goodwill.

 

– NZ Herald

 


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  • Curious

    I agree and with questions like yours and ours being asked in the media already I think this policy will be quietly dropped. What is a shame is the fact the rocket scientist who came up with this will never be known and will probably still have a job for years to come when in reality they should be fired.

    • sheppy

      Not only that but they’ll try it again next holiday weekend. The revenue will be too tempting. I think they made around $6 million extra last Xmas so with with the zero tolerance it will be much greater

    • cows4me

      The rocket scientist will be a group politicians and some imported cop that has made it to the top by filling the coffers and now it’s our turn.

      • Curious

        I do suspect that is the case.

  • The Whinging Pom

    If the road toll had fallen under their new rules we’d have been deluged with soundbites about how effective their tactics had been and how they were considering introducing them year-wide.

    They’ve been shown to be entirely ineffective (dare we even say counter-productive). So when will we hear them admitting this publicly, and confirming that they’re not going to try this nonsense again?

    • MAWG

      I would say it’s been badly counter productive. Ron Mark nailed it on the news last night. A driver should be concentrating on the road, not the speedometer.

      • The Whinging Pom

        I think part of the problem is that we’ve got a ‘Road Safety Industry’ which provides a lucrative sinecure for people like Mr Cliff. And each year they need to come up with new measures to justify their high-fallutin job titles and huge salaries.

        Similar to the Child Poverty and Climate Alarmist industries.

    • albungy

      I admire what the police have been trying to do but the deaths are on the whole this holiday period not been about speed (unless linked with alcohol.), so wrong target. It damages the perception of what the police are there for (to save lives) and adds fuel to the perception that it is just for revenue collection..

  • andrewo

    Time to start asking questions in parliament?

  • armotur

    This speed bullying by Police is an epic fail! There seems to be a rising resentment toward Police as a result of the stupid zero tolerance campaign this year. The idiot responsible for it needs to recognise the damage done to Police reputation by this threatening approach. It clearly has not worked and demonstrates very clearly that Police are incapable of tackling road deaths in any meaningful way.

    • Skydog

      I just hope people realise there is a difference between the Police who target law abiding citizens driving too fast and the Police who chase rapists, murderers and kiddie abusers.

      • Rick H

        None of them are chasing rapists, murderers etc.
        They’re all out on the roads.
        That’s why less then 5% of rapists etc actually get done for it.

      • cows4me

        Yes there is a difference, there are a bloody site less chasing real evildoers.

      • Albert Lane

        And that’s why we need dedicated traffic cops who work for a separate entity.

    • Albert Lane

      I would be interested to see the statistics for those applying to become police. Have applications dropped substantially over the past few years? If so, would they like to know why?

  • Skydog

    The other day I rode from Kaikoura to Christchurch. Through the Hunterlees there was a modern SUV holding up about a dozen vehicles. There were crazy maneuvers to over take this vehicle, but due to the roads it’s not possible to get up to 100kph.

    Moving along to the straights before Parnassus, there was a cop sitting on the side of the road. If his job was about road safety why wasn’t he parked mid way on the Hunterlees, waiting for the slow drivers who hold everyone up. Where he was parked was only to target speeding driver nothing more or less. Most drivers could travel that straight 120 kph with no issue. The issue was 20 kms up the road.

    • The Whinging Pom

      But that would have required judgement on his part, and if he decided to prosecute anyone for poor driving, a court case to fight and win.

      Much more simple to sit there pushing a button on a piece of technology that would guarantee a penalty for any transgressor.

      • Skydog

        I couldn’t have replied to myself any better.

      • a3catlady

        Well said, I drive between Auckland and Warkworth daily and see exactly the same police policy, sit and catch the “speedsters” on the dual carriageway, median barriered motorway but why bother with the dangerous driving on the non median barriered balance of the roadway. Yes the later part is the one where the accidents happen too!
        Time for the police to stop being so damn lazy!

        • Albert Lane

          What surprises me on that stretch of motorway is the number of drivers who drive slowly in the “fast” lane, and we have to under-take them to get past them. The only time you see a cop on that whole stretch of road is when they’re parked with their radars on (or off). Cops used to drive in the traffic with unmarked cars. You never see them now. Are unmarked cars unfair?

          • johcar

            Unmarked cars are still around…

    • Albert Lane

      I often wonder if the cops actually don’t want to stop such cars. They know that they need good PR, and they don’t want to face angry, drunk, violent and abusive motorists. In some ways I don’t blame them.

  • Chris EM

    Big fat fail alright. The traffic police are staffed by those too inept or lazy to do proper police work. The same goes for their management who cannot see far enough past their fogged up spectacles to make any meaningful policies towards road safety. I don’t know how far into the government this inane policy making goes, but some people need a good kick up the bum. A hard enough kick to dislocate them from their job.
    It is long past the time to go back to basics and create a licensing system that ensures new drivers know how to handle a car properly when something goes wrong. Then, eventually, the road toll will start to come down.

    • Albert Lane

      Do learner drivers have to drive any distance on highways and motorways as part of their test? Do they have to drive through rain or high winds? Do they have to sit their test whilst chomping on a burger or sucking on a can? Do they sit their test with the car stereo booming out? Do they sit their test at night with and without street lights? There’s a lot more to driving than simply driving down your street.

  • Clutch Cargo

    According to police, of the 12 fatal accidents over the holiday period, 5 involved alcohol and/or speed. This strikes me as odd when no mention of alcohol and speed was made when reporting on individual events. Sounds like a retrospective justification of a campaign that has failed and they know they have lost the goodwill of the public on this one. Unfortunately, like Lance Armstrong, they have chosen a position and will continue with that position despite overwhelming evidence (and common sense) to the contrary

    • Warren Murray

      Of those 5, how many were over the new alcohol limit but under the old alcohol limit, and how many were going less than 9km/hr above the speed limit?

      • Albert Lane

        Don’t be silly, they’re not going to tell you that. We all know that the combination of alcohol and speed can be fatal, but we won’t be told the true circumstances of such crashes. For instance, could we add to the alcohol and speed list, the following: seatbelts. fatigue. distraction. mobile phones etc. eating food whilst driving. driving with one hand out of the window. no licence. no registration/wof. Nah. They don’t tell us all these. They think we’re too thick to ask.

  • Imogen B

    Does anyone have a clue how Police could gather revenue from the trees and lampposts that collide with motorists and cause fatalities?

  • CheesyEarWax

    Yep, under these rules good drivers get penalised whilst stupid drivers are still stupid and probably get away with it.

  • One refrain I keep hearing is about how about crap our drivers are here in New Zealand. I do a lot of driving because of my work arrangements, and I have to say that the vast majority of (like almost all) drivers I see on the open road are pretty good. They stay on their side of the road, pass sensibly, pull over if they are slower than the traffic behind them etc. There are the numpties I see every trip of course, but they wouldn’t be a few percent of the numbers of other drivers that I successfully interact with on my trips. The only place I think a lot of NZ drivers could do with some remedial work is when it comes to merging.

  • NotLen

    I’m out on a sailing holiday in the Hauraki Golf in perfect weather. No traffic cops out here.

    • dgrogan

      But I’ve gotta ask. Is the lure of WOBH so powerful?

      • Wallace Westland

        No wind.

        • gambler

          ahhhhh the 2 words that kills the day for a kitesurfer or any other wind powered vechicle
          and on a positive side for the police.. i was let off 2 minor offences pre-xmas with 1 of them speeding

          • Albert Lane

            Are you an attractive young lady?

  • Igotta Numbum

    Want to reduce the road toll? Give us decent bloody roads!

    As if a strip of paint is going to do the job.

    How many head-on fatalities (or even serious injuries) have there been in New Zealand, between 2 cars traveling in opposite direction, on a road that has either an a) wide grass section, or b) median barrier, between the opposing lanes?

  • Max

    Unbelievable ,all the bush lawyers and others who just don’t get the basic premise is drive to the conditions.
    The present condition is that it is holiday time in New Zealand so the roads are going to have vehicles towing boats ,caravans and trailers and are going to slow things down. It is the same every year folks.
    If you have a licence then you must know your obligations and responsibilities to observe the rules.
    That dosent give anyone an excuse to break the law as it stands.
    The fact that it might take a little longer to reach a chosen destination is lost on the self important who feel personally inconvenienced, how dare anyone hold them up. They should get over themselves.

    • twr

      Yeah, those fools. What hubris to think they want to use their brains rather than a speed limit sign to tell them what’s safe.

      • Max

        This is just like shooting fish in a barrel .

    • LabTested

      I passed a speed camera van yesterday. It was parked in a 50km zone on the Muriwai Rd in a non-built up area. It was just around a very tight corner, so not easily spotted. No one would be coming around that corner at more than 55kmph even if they wanted to. so it was there to catch the people 1-5k over. Now you say my 1st obligation is to observe the rules.

      Coming into a corner on my bike I have to be heads up & look through the corner. I can not look down at my speedo – I will crash, I have to apply increasing power throughout the corner. I can not coast through the corner – I will crash, I can not apply breaks through the corner – it is very dangerous & I could crash.

      .and when I have the bike sat up straight I see the Camera van got me. I checked my speedo & I can’t have been doing more than 52. But here is another thing, my speedo only reads 40 & 60. There is no marking for 50. So I do not even have quick micro second way of knowing if I am doing 50 without taking my eyes off the road – & then I will crash.

      • Albert Lane

        Yes, my car is 2 years old. The speedo shows 40 and 60 but not 50. I bet the person who collects all those speeding fines is still laughing.

    • old dad

      The road code specifically states that if you are travelling below the speed limit you are obliged to travel as far to the left as possible and to pull over when safely possible. It caveats that with a caution not to speed up on straight stretches thus preventing impeded drivers from passing. I know, kinda counter to the “it’s a limit, not a target” mantra…the people driving slowly have obviously made a conscious or compliant decision to do so and accept the consequence of a longer trip. That does not mean they are entitled to inflict that on to the rest of the road users.

      • Albert Lane

        The Road Code used to be freely available at no cost. Now it’s $25 I believe, and is the most borrowed book from our public libraries. So who made the decision to make a profit out of selling it? It should be free. And tourists should also be issued with one without cost. So, would the person who made the decision like to own up here? No. Of course they wouldn’t want to embarrass themselves. and look like fools.

        • old dad

          It’s available on line. (well a reasonable facsimile at least…)

    • Hedgehog

      Max, I appreciate you blindly obeying the law and expecting all others to do so as well. However in some cases the law is an ass, devoid of common sense and completely irrational. While it’s still the law and I will suffer the consequences of breaking it if caught, I will continue do so.

      An example: I travel through Grays road in Wellington regularly, I have done so for 20+ years with out incident. It was LSZ – ie: drive to the conditions, but 100K max. 2 years ago the speed was dropped to 60K. Why? because incompetent drivers couldn’t negotiate some of the bends. We are dumbing down our rules to compensate for incompetent drivers, rather than making the incompetent drivers competent. Therefore all I see is the police icing over a really doggy cake, because they have lost the recipe.

      • johcar

        This is also the case with the “undertaking” rule (overtaking on the left). Idiots on the motorway who sit at their own designated maximum speed with no regard for traffic coming up behind them, forcing the following traffic to overtake on the left. Rather than try to get drivers to obey the fundamental “Keep Left” rule, they decided to allow “undertaking”.

        In Europe, what we know as the “Fast Lane” is known as the “Overtaking Lane” – and woe betide anyone who just sits in that lane without moving back after overtaking!!!

      • Albert Lane

        And we in the Auckland province have to put up with stupid reductions in highway speeds on the roads to Wellsford and towards Thames. Why? Are they worried about the drunk and drug-addicted drivers who may misjudge a corner and hit a tree?

  • JC

    The police have got blood on their hands. They deliberately set out to take money off sober drivers traveling at safe speeds and gave away the respect of middle New Zealand.. all to make money from the law abiding.. that vast group that has evaded their clutches for decades.

    So they criminalised us, they created fear and just as we knew more people have died because there’s no point in being lawful and naturally safe anymore.

    We went to Hamilton and back last Monday and my wife who has sat beside me for half a million K simply said “You’re not driving as smoothly and not watching the traffic like you normally do”.. and she was right.. I was watching the speedo too much and not letting that little computer in my head do its instinctive thing of reacting to *everything* that was going on.

    JC

    • Albert Lane

      Spot on. And how often do you see them pull over the tail-gaters, the ones that pass on double yellow lines, the people holding up the traffic etc etc etc? Nope. They like the simple life like sitting alongside the motorway, waiting for somebody driving absolutely safely to do a couple of kmh over the limit. Pathetic.

  • peterwn

    The Key government is accused of third term hubris and arrogance by its distractors. One way of helping to counter this would be to restore speeding tolerances and amend low level drink drive legislation so the infringement fee and demerit points is proportional to the amount consumed (to a maximum of 32 demerits – so disqualification occurs on the fourth rather than the second occasion). No doubt the road safety fanatics would call this ‘dirty politics’ but then the overarching objective of any political party is to get into power and if in power to stay in power.

    • Albert Lane

      And the question has still not been answered. Here it is again. Why did politicians from both sides of the House vote to retain the drinking age at 18 instead of 20? Was the decision based on their fear of any loss of financial support? Was the decision based on something else that we don’t know about? So why was the decision made? We all know that it was a dreadful decision and without any basis for safety, decency and common-sense. So, MPs, here’s your chance to tell us why you voted to keep the drinking age at 18.

  • Joe_Bloggs

    Alcohol? Speed? And no mention that a quarter to a third of all traffic accidents involve overseas drivers…

    Of 124 crashes involving death or injury in the Mackenzie in the past five years, 34 involved overseas drivers. And most of these were the fault of the overseas driver.

    Meanwhile the police blame game ignores the facts

    • Albert Lane

      Yes, they’re even reluctant to tell us whether the victims in crashes (they are not accidents) have been wearing seat belts. Could it be that they don’t want to upset the relatives and friends of the victims?

  • jay

    When the police first lowered the speed tolerance from twenty kilometres to fifteen, and then ten (ie 111kph gets you a ticket), there was a significant drop in the road toll

    Trouble is, that was probably “low hanging fruit”, and they are finding that doing the same thing (lowering speed tolerances even further), isn’t seeing the same remarkable results.

    As roads, vehicles, and medical care improve the toll will slowly come down, for the time being though the police are out of fresh ideas. And re-hashing old ideas is achieving nothing aside from pissing kiwis off.

    • Albert Lane

      Do you ever hear the Police asking for ideas on how they could help to reduce the road toll? We need to move the traffic policing duties away from the Police, and return to the good old days where we had traffic cops who were controlled by a separate government department. At least we should try it out, and if it doesn’t work, at least we gave it a fair go.

  • albungy

    Most of us don’t intend to speed but just going down a hill, overtaking etc you might just edge over now you are so busy looking at the speedometer you are terrified and eyes not concentrating the actual driving. Another thing is that all around NZ the speed signs can change up to 5 or 6 times within a few kilometres. . Do we really need it to go from 100 km to 70 then 60 then 50 all in the space of a few km. It is very confusing. You only have to be looking in your rear vision mirror and you can miss the next sign then you aren’t quite sure what speed you should be driving at. Maybe more painted on the road speed limits would remind us what zone we are travelling in.

    • Albert Lane

      In Australia, radar cops are not permitted to sit at the bottom of hills so that they can catch drivers whose cars gain some speed on the downhill stretch. But in NZ it appears that such drivers are fair game. The NZ police need to urgently revise how they look after traffic control, because at the moment they haven’t got a clue in the world.

      • albungy

        Redoubt road in Manukau a prime example. 1 lane to go across major intersection (the right hand lane being right turn only) then a dip and the police sit at the top of the rise catching people who are probably doing between 50-maybe 60) not caring that all the cars have to fan out into several lanes at the top to get onto both north and south motorways and straight ahead to Manukau. There is only a few hundred metres to get into the correct lanes so very hard to stay at 50 going downhill and changing lanes on an extremely busy road. Roll on the major highway that will be installed in the next 8 years. .

  • Simon P

    Yesterday I travelled from Auckland to the Coromandel and after been stuck behind a camper van traveling at 70 kph with 50 other cars along came a passing land and with the passing lane the speed camera half way along. What ensued were cars slamming on their breaks and near nose to tail accidents insead of relief that the passing lane was designed to provide. Well done NZ police.

    Time to start a photo shaming campaign showing these dangerous locations. With stories attached. Send these to the Minister of Police describing the frustration and problems that you saw.

    • Will Travers

      The classic I saw was a camera van on Ti Irirangi drive. It was parked on the hard shoulder in the gap between the lane turning into a side road and the road coming on. Very effectively blocking the view of anyone trying to turn onto the 80 kph stretch of road. I’m not sure in what universe they were where they actually believed they were making the roads safer for anyone.

  • Richard

    We travelled from Auckland to Whangarei day after Boxing Day. Distance 160Km approx. in 3.5 hours. Average speed 45.7km. Speeding? Impossible! Cops should have been clearing intersections and bottlenecks to keep traffic moving faster rather than sitting being absolutely useless waiting for a speeder who would never be coming.

    • Albert Lane

      But they don’t. We live within walking distance of possibly the worst intersection on SH1. It is so badly designed, that even when traffic from one direction gets a green light, the drivers are too conscious that they also have to drive through a give-way sign to cross the intersection, that they are too afraid to move, and they wait and wait and wait, to the consternation and anger of those “parked” behind them. And do you ever see a cop even observing what’s going on? Nah. After all, it’s a good two-minute walk from the police station. There have been times when I’ve interrupted my walk, and have directed traffic myself, in order to get the traffic going across that stupid intersection. I used to respect the cops. Not any more though. And I have no time for those who sit on their bums and do the planning for intersections without any knowledge whatsoever of what they’re doing.

  • Johnny Smear

    Heading home today and not looking forward to the lay ways between Kaikoura and the clarence river. If your traveling this stretch of road for the first time please be careful. Best bit of advice I could give would be follow appropriate speed signs at the bends (rubber neckers, Surfers, and freedom campers pulling out of lay ways on the other side of the bends)

  • Whitey

    The sad thing is that this was probably inevitable. Tired, frustrated people don’t always make good decisions. This holiday period we’ve spent more hours on the road than we should have, been stuck behind far more morons doing 80 than usual, watched our speedos when we should have been watching the road, and been paranoid about the cops hiding at the ends of passing lanes. These conditions are guaranteed to lead to more accidents.

  • MrBarrington

    Add to this the AA call a couple of days ago for the cops to stop putting speed cameras on Auckland’s motorways and to focus on dangerous roads… motorways are designed for speed and 110km in a car less than 10 years old on the motorway is very safe driving…

    The Police have completely over-reached these holidays and have burnt up a lot of goodwill in the process… passing lanes are there for safety reasons to allow faster vehicles to overtake slower vehicles safely… but by parking their arses at the end of passing lanes the cops have removed that safety feature from road users…

    By focusing on speed alone and forgetting about traffic management they have significantly increased the risk for all drivers… way to go PC Plod…

  • Bruce S

    Way back in 1973 during the “oil shock days” – the speed limit was lowered from 100 Km/h down to 80 Km/h. And in 1973 NZ had the worst road toll ever. But these days, we have imbeciles running the “policing revenue” industry – they can’t see the facts for the dollars.

  • RobT

    When I observe a good 50% of drivers failing to signal appropriately at roundabouts, running orange lights, and generally driving on autopilot. It suggests that the police need to do more than maintain speed limits.
    It’s time for whole new approach to re educating the population as to what is in fact correct attitude and that is now required if you want the privilege of holding on to your licence in this modern busy roading environment.

    • johcar

      Don’t get me started on roundabout signalling!!

      If you can’t tell what another vehicle intends to do at a single lane roundabout without the driver of said other vehicle operating his indicators, then you should not be driving a motor vehicle !!

      This is another example of dumbed-down rules.

      There are (usually) only four options at a single lane roundabout:

      Turn left (first exit), go straight (second exit), turn right (third exit) and u-turn (fourth exit).

      Turn left option is simple – indicate as you approach the intersection.

      Straight ahead option (IMHO) is also simple – I’m not changing direction, so no indication necessary,

      Turn right option – indicate right as you pass the first exit.

      U-turn option – indicate right as you pass the first exit and don’t turn off the indicator until you pass the third exit.

      For all these options, vehicle speed should give other drivers a clue IF THEY ARE THINKING.

      Which is a big ask for many drivers.

      Indicating left while on a roundabout should be only necessary on multi-lane roundabouts.

      ( Oops – too late – you got me started!! :) )

      • Bob D

        OK, except you got one wrong: “Turn right option – indicate right as you pass the first exit.”
        You indicate right before you enter the roundabout. Consider the roundabout as an intersection, and ask yourself “Which direction am I going to go in this intersection?”
        It allows other motorists to see that you will be turning right across them, and they can give way. If you wait until the last moment to indicate right, everyone must stop to wait and see what you’re going to do.

        • johcar

          I concede that you have a valid point (especially as regards to treating it as an intersection).

          However the purpose behind roundabouts is to keep traffic flowing.

          Speed of entry to a roundabout (single lane) should be enough to start giving other drivers an inkling of intentions – indicators should be used to firm up these inklings. And I guess if you’re a considerate driver then early intentions are better.

          Point taken – I will change my behaviour in this regard, because I consider myself a generally considerate driver. :)

          However I won’t change my left indicating (or lack thereof) behaviour on single lane roundabouts because the law is an ass on this one.

          • Albert Lane

            The prime requirement when you are driving is to ensure that other drivers on the road are fully aware of your intentions. Indicating lane changes, direction changes and on roundabouts is a major contributor towards road safety.

          • johcar

            How many deaths or serious injuries have occurred at roundabouts being negotiated at 20km/h or less? (Not including cyclists, who should know better)

          • Albert Lane

            Ever driven on a multi-lane roundabout? If you get into bad habits driving around single-lane roundabouts, and then you encounter a multi-lane one, you are going to be a very frightened person by the time you reach your exit point.

          • johcar

            I have negotiated the Hemel Hempstead roundabout (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_%28Hemel_Hempstead%29) many times. It doesn’t get more complicated than that!!

            I have sufficient skill and common sense to be able to utilise different skills/rules in different situations while driving (and I expect other *licensed* drivers to be able to do the same) so multi-lane roundabouts (such as Panmure and many others around Auckland) hold no fears for me

          • Bob D

            Yes, you’re right on that one. My son was failed on his test because he didn’t indicate out of a tiny little roundabout that was little more than a post in the ground. He hardly had time to check, negotiate the curve and exit, let alone indicate as well.
            Next time he took it he slowed down to an exaggerated crawl and made sure the instructor noticed him indicating.

      • RobT

        I disagree on one point: going straight thru…no indication entering…but LH indication exiting? Sure that’s what the rule says…no difference whether single lane or double lane roundabout.

        • johcar

          Yes, that’s what the law says, but it is an ass in this situation. By the time you’ve entered the roundabout (single lane – different story for a multi-lane, mostly), you are just about through it, and, if used, the indicator may flick once before you’re exiting…

          If you were to turn the indicator on too early for Exit #2, this could cause more confusion, further slowing the traffic flow, for the vehicles entering the roundabout from Exit/Entry # 1.

          As stated above, if a driver can’t deduce intentions (by using common sense) from speed and eye direction, then perhaps he should turn in his license…

          • RobT

            So you are saying that we should be mind readers, and that direction indicators are OK but not really necessary and can be employed on ad hoc basis now and then..if it suits the driver.. This is where my original reply came in. Too many drivers in dream mode and on autopilot.

          • johcar

            We agree on the auto-pilot part. My point is that that if all licensed drivers had similar skill levels, coupled with that rarest of commodities, common sense, many of the idiotic road rules we have would not be required.

            Indicators at roundabouts would be a tool ADDITIONAL to skill and common sense. Instead, we have a ridiculous situation where the powers that be have decided to put upskilling motorists into the too hard basket and have just dumbed down the rules to cater to those who shouldn’t actually be on the road.

          • RobT

            Sorry Johcar I hear what you are saying….but you and I know only too well that it’s not a utopian world. Sadly there are way too many dumb clucks driving around and we can’t account for them. Hence we need to have everybody singing from the same song sheet and following the rules for safety sake.

  • ken

    Dave Cliff said on a news clip on Yahoo nz news that ALL the fatalities were caused by speed and alcohol,,Id like him to substantiate this comment which is totally false.He sadly is one of those in high places who never back down.

    • Michael_l_c

      Any car travelling on a road is travelling at some speed therefore the pious police can be correct.
      It would be far more useful if they bothered to analyse where & why the crashes occurred. There was one on Ak S motorway but most of the others seem to be ‘rural’ which is far to hard to bother to police.
      What is the effect of frustration on driving? The frustration caused by people travelling in 100km/h zones but travelling at 80, 90km/h. Naah, too hard to police.

    • old dad

      The causal factors in a majority of accidents include speed or alcohol whether that be high or low, impaired or significantly impaired. It’s an easy line therefore to trot out. They are not the only causes and the police fail to either understand or articulate that.
      The issue with the lower tolerance (or the limit) is that it fails to account to basic human factors influences such as distraction, and associated slips and lapses that result in a momentary ‘blip’ in ones speed. It is unfortunately around this time that Mr Plod will catch you. You need a tolerance to account for human factors error and it would be fairly easy for police to determine this as an involuntary lapse would see a vehicle slow when the error is realised. if a vehicle continues to travel above, say 5-10kmh, the limit then it is fairly obvious that it is intentional and those pers should be pinged. Unfortunately the cameras don;t allow for the normal errors and nor do the car units as the officer generally only reacts to the highest recorded speed not the corrective actions. Back in the day, before the govt realised the revenue potential, a police officer would simply flash their headlights by way of warning. I believe we should get a warning first and second time if the speed is within a margin of error and thereafter be pinged for repetitive behaviour -they have the systems available to record this and act accordingly. Those obviously flouting should be pinged each time…MTCW

  • Tom

    Cars don’t run off the road, people drive them off the dam road. Start blaming the driver and stop making it sound like the car has a mind of its own.

    • Albert Lane

      Yes, and we should stop calling them accidents. They’re crashes. They’re avoidable. If the crash had been unavoidable, due to the failure of a component or something similar, that’s an accident. The rest are crashes.

      • johcar

        The cops in the UK had a slightly different take on traffic accidents (when I was driving for a living there some 30 years ago). They maintained that there was no such thing as an accident – every crash was avoidable…

  • Backdoor

    If a slow coach is doing 95 kph then why the need to pass him. If you follow him for 100kms it will cost you less than 5 minutes of time.

    Surely it is the attitude that we need to travel everywhere on the open road at 100kph that contributes to the crash statistics.

    • johcar

      Because more often than not, the 95km/h driver will slow down even further on hills (and speed up at passing lanes).

      I for one do not want to be stuck behind a nervous (being charitable) or potentially incompetent (being less charitable) driver….

      If you want to travel at 95 (or your perception of 95km/h, according to your speedo), all power to you.

      But pull over and let people pass you.

    • Albert Lane

      People get used to driving at a certain speed. For instance, Backdoor, I guarantee that you drive on any road at the same speed every time. Driving becomes a habit. You like to maintain the speed you’re used to. When anybody comes up quickly behind me on the road, even though I’m just under the limit or driving at the limit, as soon as the road is clear ahead, I pull over to allow them to pass. We are creatures of habit, and driving is no different.

      • Backdoor

        I agree whole heartedly Albert. And if there are any cars behind me when I reach passing lanes I slow down to about 80kph to allow as many vehicles past as I can. We have to help these Type A people from having heart attacks otherwise we end up funding their medical interventions,

    • jcpry

      My biggest beef is that while I’m quite happy to toddle along behind someone who travels at just below 100 kph on a good piece of road I’m not happy behind a driver who brakes heavily at each corner, squares the corner off and then slowly accelerates out of it.
      Basically these people have no idea how to drive a car properly.Cars are not like the old ones that were like bricks on wheels. They by and large handle very well and it takes excessive speed, total inattention or absolute incompetence to get into handling difficulties.

  • oldmanNZ

    This parallel the global warming issue.
    They say the cause of bad weather and melting ice is due to global warming, get a hurricane and quickly it is blamed on global warming.

    Last year they had a reduced tolerance and low road toll, they label the reduced speed a success and speed equal increase road toll.

    And now, like global warming, its not adding up, could they be wrong?

    No, they never wrong, the low road toll just gone on a glitch.

  • mommadog

    From what the witnesses are reporting it seems that speed was a factor for the Dinsdale roundabout accident in Hamilton http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/64629367/Red-lightning-roundabout-crash-kills-man. I know the roundabout well as its notorious locally with 5 roads leading onto and off it – one being the main road out of town to Raglan for the beach travellers. Last time I travelled that way there was a drink/drive check point just outside of the town speed limit to catch people coming back from having a few while at the beach or out fishing.

    • Albert Lane

      Yes, but what other factors were there? Alcohol? Drugs? Inattention? Showing off? Inexperience? No licence? You can’t just blame all crashes that involve speed as being due to speed, as there could be a combination of reasons that culminated in excessive speed. We have to get to the real causes of each crash that involves speed or loss of control.

  • Albert Lane

    Here is my suggestion for an immediate change to intersection rules. All traffic lights to use the amber light when changing from green to red (as they do now), and from red to green (as they don’t do now). Drive in the UK and you’ll see how effective and time-saving this can be.

    • johcar

      And the boy-racers here will love it!! Almost like being at Meremere!! :)

    • ex-JAFA

      In Auckland, that’d just give people a head start on being the first to be killed by someone going through a red light. I think there’s a bylaw in Auckland that red lights don’t mean ‘stop’ unless they’ve been on for >10 seconds.

      • Albert Lane

        No. That doesn’t follow. In the UK, the amber light does not go on until a couple of seconds after the intersection is clear. You don’t programme the lights to immediately turn to orange on the split second that the lights in the opposite direction turn to red. You will find that already happens here. Our lights turn green a couple of seconds after the other traffic lights turn red, which hopefully gets rid of the red-light runners.

      • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

        Its true. Its not red until the lamp fillament is up to operating temperature

      • Steve (North Shore)

        Amber means get ready to stop, and red means stop if you can do safely. Green means get out of my road you moron

        • Sunshine

          I thought red meant STOP!!!!!

  • Graeme

    With all the traffic it is almost impossible to speed and everyone usualy just sits in the traffic queue interresting to know hw many tickets were issued for speeding and how much over the limit those speeders were going . Some years

  • Graeme

    Some years ago on labour weekend got a ticket for doing 107 up the bombay hill from pokeno instead of stiking to no more than 104 at 7 p.m with very litte traffic. What a villan i was

  • letrec
    • johcar

      Damn good video!!

  • Chris W

    Right… because a car spinning off the road and into a tree couldn’t possibly have been going too fast…

  • Bryan

    the 100 k is the LIMIT so real speed they want us to go is 95 MY son and wife told me they drove from waikari to Kaiapoi coming into christchurch behind a driver doing 70 k on an 100 k road and even when suggested by a passing other motorist, they took NO action to pull over and let others pass, and this is becoming quite common, and also how many of those killed where tourists ? 5 from what i can see and often they are arriving off planes after long flights and stepping into a car and driving on open country roads that many have never driven on in there lives,and killing themselves and others, like we used to see south of rotorua until a smart teacher realized what was happening and setup a Playstation simulator and taught the kids how to drive a speed with smaller turns and stopped the carnage.

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