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  Reply # 1637039 21-Sep-2016 09:20
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I don't see much benefit in changing sides of the road. There is ample choice in new RHD vehicles.  Cars in Australia seem to be significantly cheaper yet they have also RHD.  That says to me that factors other than (LHD/RHD) are more important.

 

There is a very likely high human cost in accidents - I'm thinking mainly of head-on open road accidents here.

 

The costs of such a changeover would be vast.  Signs, road markings, angle parks, every motorway ramp, some traffic lights, traffic islands, some level crossings the list goes on.

 

It would seem impossible to avoid a long and messy transition.  After we made such a transition we would end up with a fleet of vehicles with the driving position on the wrong side.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1637044 21-Sep-2016 09:25
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MikeAqua:

 

I don't see much benefit in changing sides of the road. There is ample choice in new RHD vehicles.  Cars in Australia seem to be significantly cheaper yet they have also RHD.  That says to me that factors other than (LHD/RHD) are more important.

 

There is a very likely high human cost in accidents - I'm thinking mainly of head-on open road accidents here.

 

The costs of such a changeover would be vast.  Signs, road markings, angle parks, every motorway ramp, some traffic lights, traffic islands, some level crossings the list goes on.

 

It would seem impossible to avoid a long and messy transition.  After we made such a transition we would end up with a fleet of vehicles with the driving position on the wrong side.

 

 

I don't think it would be that bad. Most of the signs could simply be moved. 

 

Most motorway ramps don't need to be re-done at all. The banking / camber is the same no matter which direction. You just go up and down ramp and down an up ramp. Roundabouts are already 95% ready - just move a few signs and do some road markings. For motorway entries with traffic lights, the lights move from out on the cross street to the top of the ramp....like on Market Rd, northbound.  





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  Reply # 1637046 21-Sep-2016 09:29
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Market road would end up all wrong wouldn't it - both the current Off-Ramps would become On-Ramps. Same at Gillies Ave, and the Grafton Gully motorways would be a real mess (massive on ramps, and tiny off-ramps going to the wrong places).


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  Reply # 1637047 21-Sep-2016 09:30
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No.

 

 

 

If we ever need to to keep our supply of cars, electric / self driving cars will be so prevalent that it wont matter if they are left hand drive because they will drive themselves.  Hopefully.


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  Reply # 1637061 21-Sep-2016 09:41
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For people who own a LHD car in NZ, what's it like to use parking ticket dispensers, drive through etc?

 

I see plenty of people have trouble with parking machines from the correct side of the vehicle.





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  Reply # 1638091 21-Sep-2016 10:36
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MikeAqua:

 

For people who own a LHD car in NZ, what's it like to use parking ticket dispensers, drive through etc?

 

I see plenty of people have trouble with parking machines from the correct side of the vehicle.

 

 

Pain in the ass. That is why I do not own one. I use drive thrus too often to have to deal with it. Ok if you have a passanger but a friend got rid of his 67 mustang because of the drivethru issue.





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  Reply # 1638093 21-Sep-2016 10:45
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Linuxluver:

 

I don't think it would be that bad. Most of the signs could simply be moved. 

 

Most motorway ramps don't need to be re-done at all. The banking / camber is the same no matter which direction. You just go up and down ramp and down an up ramp.

 

 

No, they are not the same no matter the direction. Off ramps are designed to be nice with deceleration, onramps with acceleration. The length given to merge is larger than the length for an offramp.

 

 

Roundabouts are already 95% ready - just move a few signs and do some road markings. For motorway entries with traffic lights, the lights move from out on the cross street to the top of the ramp....like on Market Rd, northbound.  

 

 

Roundabouts are so not symmetrical that it is not funny. Many of them have 2 lanes in and one out on the main roads. Also the change in flows may mean that there is no longer a need for a roundabout, or that one is no longer suitable at all.

 

Perhaps if this was 1960 and the roads were not made with the same optimisations they are now and the results of many studies about vehicle roll and other behaviours under accelleration being applied to the design the it would be possible, but now that the direction and loads on the road are so well designed into it then no, not possible.

 

Compare the drive on the motorway between silverdale and up thru the toll road to the rest of the motorway. That is the good design there that lets you sit at speeds well over the limit and be totally comfortable even in a junk car with useless suspension. If you were to drive that the other way the design would have the car rocking and rolling all over the place and very hard to control even at only 90ks.





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  Reply # 1638104 21-Sep-2016 11:05
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evilengineer:

 

 

 

Japan, Aus, NZ and the various SE Asian countries that drive on the left gives a pretty sizeable regional market for right hand drive cars. 

 

 

Yes those various SE Asian countries include India 1.3B people 160M vehicles and Indonesia 260M people 104M vehicles both with low vehicles per 1000 compared with Aus & NZ who combined only have 20M vehicles. If India ever changed that might tip the balance.


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  Reply # 1638105 21-Sep-2016 11:22
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I'm not keen, as another has mentioned, I feel driving a RHD manual is more suited to my being right handed, as I've got my right hand on the wheel.

As for the 'greater selection of cars' claim, I don't really believe it. The Chinese manufacturers will move vehicles here when they believe we'll want them, as some have already started doing. The cost of producing one or other would be negligible, many manufacturers already do it. I definitely don't think there's a lack of range available in the NZ market, new or imported. Sure. As others have mentioned, if the Japanese or Indian market jumps across we might have to, otherwise, don't fix what isn't broken.

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  Reply # 1638153 21-Sep-2016 11:58
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I had a couple of weeks LH driving earlier this year. The first few hours were a bit hairy, then took a few days to fully adjust, but then all good. Actually, on return to NZ, I reckon I prefer LHD, Don't know why, just do.


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  Reply # 1638159 21-Sep-2016 12:02
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I did some LHD earlier this year (pacific Coast Highway in California).  After few days to adjust it was OK. Bit even after week it didn't feel natural.  I had to think hard at every intersection.  It certainly made me a conservative driver.

 

 





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  Reply # 1638161 21-Sep-2016 12:04
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The people from the US I know who have driven here say that the problem isnt the cities, its when they were pulling out of places onto small roads, leaving one lane bridges and taking corners on windy roads that they had to really remember to keep to the left. If those are solved then the problem of tourists crashing would be reduced. NZ's glorified goat tracks of roads and embarrising bridge situations should get sorted.





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  Reply # 1638164 21-Sep-2016 12:19
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I have driven both ways extensively and never had any trouble making the adjustment in terms of feeling comfortable with it. But more than once I 'instinctively' pulled out of a lay-by into the wrong lane without thinking about it. That is a devious and dangerous mistake as it can happen almost automatically. If there is other traffic around that alerts you and acts as a reminder, but if the road is clear it is easy to carry on without realising it. Maybe this has something to do with the accidents that happen.

 

 





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  Reply # 1638190 21-Sep-2016 12:40
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What about the second hand Japanese car market? Are we going to import second hand Fords from the USA instead?   


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  Reply # 1638193 21-Sep-2016 12:44
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Linuxluver:

 

MikeAqua:

 

I don't see much benefit in changing sides of the road. There is ample choice in new RHD vehicles.  Cars in Australia seem to be significantly cheaper yet they have also RHD.  That says to me that factors other than (LHD/RHD) are more important.

 

There is a very likely high human cost in accidents - I'm thinking mainly of head-on open road accidents here.

 

The costs of such a changeover would be vast.  Signs, road markings, angle parks, every motorway ramp, some traffic lights, traffic islands, some level crossings the list goes on.

 

It would seem impossible to avoid a long and messy transition.  After we made such a transition we would end up with a fleet of vehicles with the driving position on the wrong side.

 

 

I don't think it would be that bad. Most of the signs could simply be moved. 

 

Most motorway ramps don't need to be re-done at all. The banking / camber is the same no matter which direction. You just go up and down ramp and down an up ramp. Roundabouts are already 95% ready - just move a few signs and do some road markings. For motorway entries with traffic lights, the lights move from out on the cross street to the top of the ramp....like on Market Rd, northbound.  

 

 

I don't want to pour cold water on your idea as you are free to raise discussion points like this.  But I think your use of words like "simply" and "easily" are in no way representative of the scale of the work that would be required.

 

How many times do you drive past the same road works month after month and wonder why it takes them so long to complete the work that you perceive would take weeks?  I'd hate to think how long it would take them to "simply" change every single road sign and every single road marking to comply with this change.  And that isn't touching on complete road/intersection redesigns that others have already mentioned, as well as the numerous other things that currently support RHD vehicles in this country.

 

This would be a mammoth and extremely expensive task to complete, especially in the very short time frame it would need to be completed in.  Good thought provoking topic though!


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