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3998 posts

Uber Geek

#224202 7-Nov-2017 12:48
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I was driving by Clifton Terrace Model School, in Wellington, at 3:07 pm.

I saw a little girl trying to cross at a speed hump, next to the school.

I stopped, and a car going the other direction stopped.

We had just stopped for less than 5 seconds, when a Silver Toyota Wagon came up behind me.

He didn't stop and passed between our two stopped cars.

I filed a formal complaint at the police, for driving without due care.

However a co-worker said I was just holding up traffic, and causing confusion, because it wasn't a zebra stop.

What do you think?

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676 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1896750 7-Nov-2017 12:52
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Yup I agree with your coworker. Its not a crossing, so you shouldn't stop, pedestrians shouldn't expect you to stop, other motorists shouldn't expect you to stop. If there was no other traffic around, then fine, stop, but otherwise nope. 


We had a similar situation in Titirangi Village, where people were doing exactly what you did (at the speed bumps letting people cross), so the council formalized it, and made them crossings :P

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Ultimate Geek

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  #1896757 7-Nov-2017 13:02
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Yep, it's not a pedestrian crossing so you shouldn't stop and by you stopping I believe you are actually creating a hazard by encouraging the girl to cross where she shouldn't.


3998 posts

Uber Geek

  #1896766 7-Nov-2017 13:17
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The school really needs to get some crossing guards, as there is a lot across the street.

I and the other car coming in the opposite direction both stopped at roughly the same time.

The passing car could have tooted his horn, to give me, and more importantly the pedestrian, an indication of what he was doing.

He passed at a good speed, without indicating.

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Ultimate Geek

  #1896767 7-Nov-2017 13:18
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You were stopping to let a child cross the road outside a school.  That's OK in my book.  If the law says otherwise, the law is an ass.


The other car passed you, in a 50km/h area, outside a school, at a normal "end of school" time, presumably going onto the opposing lane to do so, and with clearly limited visibility of the road in front of you.  That's very poor judgement in my opinion.  They'd better have a bloody good excuse.

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Ultimate Geek


  #1896812 7-Nov-2017 13:36
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As there is no pedestrian crossing there, the driver probably thought you were just another parent stopping in the middle of nowhere to pick up their child.



4451 posts

Uber Geek

  #1896813 7-Nov-2017 13:39
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The car that passed you was being a D*(khead


Driving is not simply about what the law says, or doesn't say


Because if that was the case in Wellington everyone would be tearling round narrow streets doing 50km/h when it is neither safe nor practical....




Stopping to allow a child to cross the road (crossing or not) is the most practicle solution,


The counterfactual, is that if you don't stop, and no one else stops, those crossing the road will likely dart out to cross the road and become a greater hazard....




The road code notes


Pedestrian safety for drivers


  • Always be ready to stop near schools, bus stops and pedestrian crossings
Courtesy crossings


Courtesy crossings are usually made of bricks or paving and are often raised above the level of the road.


Although not official pedestrian crossings, they do provide a place for pedestrians to cross. Drivers should be courteous to pedestrians using a courtesy crossing.



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Uber Geek

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  #1896814 7-Nov-2017 13:40
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You did the right thing for the kid but in doing so also did the wrong thing, I would of stopped as well and let the child cross




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Ultimate Geek

  #1896819 7-Nov-2017 13:46
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I would have stopped to let the child cross as well. Yes it's not a proper crossing but I would rather give them a safe amount of time and space to cross rather than let them try and find a gap in moving traffic.

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Ultimate Geek

  #1896820 7-Nov-2017 13:47
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You're lucky that she didn't cross.


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Uber Geek

  #1896826 7-Nov-2017 13:57
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It's not a courtesy crossing, they are flush with the footpath.  It's a speed bump with a visible taper down to the gutter.


I think this is a situation where an act of kindness, actually creates an ambiguous situation.


You stop.  Kid crosses road (actually didn't cross in this case).  But have other drivers realised why you stopped and reacted accordingly?


I'd like to think if I was in the silver station wagon I would have recognised the situation, behaved defensively and not passed you.


Driving is easiest and safest when other road users behave predictably.   Although as people we want to be kind, other road users find us most predictable for other road users if we just follow the rules.


I think the kid (by not crossing) proved the most astute road user in the interaction.


3998 posts

Uber Geek

  #1896853 7-Nov-2017 14:33
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I've driven all over the world, for too many decades.

I find Auckland and Wellington drivers on par with Mexico, Italy and France for aggressive drivers.

US drivers are a mixed bag: Northeast and Texan drivers are super aggressive, while middle America is super polite.

The difference between Auckland and Wellington is Auckland drivers tend to beep, and Wellington drivers tend to jump into the passing lane, and stay there ad nauseum.

Every day I see situations where a driver has two choices:

- stop / slow down / match the traffic speed

- or floor it / use a car like spear against crossing traffic / jump the queue.

I'd say 95% of the time Kiwis will floor it.

Almost every time, I wind up within a few meters behind them eventually.

It does make me wish for the day self-driving cars arrive.


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Ultimate Geek
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  #1896857 7-Nov-2017 14:42
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There is no crossing there and it is always better to stick to the road rules. You have right of way so keep going and the road will be clear to cross quickly without anyone being held up. It might feel like a nice thing to do but this isn't a small country town with nil traffic. It is the capital and holding people up for no good reason is viewed as rude.

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Uber Geek

  #1896858 7-Nov-2017 14:43
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I've driven all over the world, for too many decades.


It's OK. Even experienced people make mistakes.


The important thing is to learn from it - rather than trying to deflect criticism onto kiwi drivers in general
(several of whom have just provided you helpful feedback).




2552 posts

Uber Geek

  #1896865 7-Nov-2017 15:10
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I think both parties are to a degree at fault. Party A has stopped unnecessarily, in a no stopping area, holding up traffic. However, Party B should not be immediately deciding to cross the centre line to dangerously pass. The latter is the more dangerous action, of course, but both unnecessarily increase risk of accident.

3998 posts

Uber Geek

  #1896866 7-Nov-2017 15:10
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Tis True. But it seems like there's about 20% of the population that will go to extreme lengths to gain a few seconds.

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