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Lock him up!
10795 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2255807 11-Jun-2019 10:12
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There are many tangents to this discussion, and different approaches that might or might not improve things, but one thing that stands out to me is almost total lack of enforcement of existing traffic laws. I don't know what it is like in the big cities, but here in Hawke's Bay you have an excellent chance of getting away with not having a license at all. There is some enforcement of speed limits and we have the odd camera van that pops up here and there in addition to the usual patrol cars, and every now and then there is even an alcohol control, but I actually notice very little police presence here, especially on the many country roads. There are supposed to be some red light cameras but I don't see any evidence of people being ticketed on the spot. So lights get run, stop signs don't get stopped at, roundabout rules are ignored, and everyone pretty much merrily carries on as usual. 


The problem is that successive governments try to do things on the cheap. There is very little police presence on the roads, and almost zero enforcement. If you want to change bad behaviour, there have to be immediate painful consequences to doing the wrong thing. At the moment that is not the case, and the occasional blitz won't change that. If there are traffic patrols everywhere, and near-certain penalties for breaking the rules, things will change. Otherwise not.



I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney

14307 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2255808 11-Jun-2019 10:13
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Is population density increasing in the cities? It appears to me that cities are spreading, so population density remains about the same. I think cycling has decreased over the last few decades, perhaps because of the increased size of cities. But yes, scootering is on the up. Maybe ebikes will see people returning to cycling?







Higher density housing is increasing considerably in response to the need for more affordable housing. As for bikes??? really there maybe less kids biking but there is sure as heck more and more adults using bikes hence the growth is bike shops etc and the obvious greater number of bikes on the arterial routes.

Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.


There is no planet B




699 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2255814 11-Jun-2019 10:24
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Lower the speed limits on all two-lane, non-divded highways.....and then enforce the hell out of it. That's the only way the slow learners among us can be "educated".



How about leave the speed limits alone and "enforce the hell out of" ALL the road rules.

That doesn't address the technical speed limit on a road like the one between Coromandel Town and Whitianga being 100kph.....when actually attempting to drive at the speed would be classed as suicide.



Ok, I'll modify my answer slightly in that a global change to ALL speed limits isn't appropriate, but I agree that some roads have an optimistic "limit" applied to them and should be considered on a case by case basis.




Speed is not and never has been the problem (except in a small number of people who just don't care about the rules).  It's just a soft target.

Speed is a contributor to EVERY driving mishap, as Dr Kirsty Wild points out in this article about speed myths. "Four Speeding Myths Debunked"



Contributor sure, but not necessarily the cause.  If there was no speed (0kmh) then you'd be hard pressed to crash, though I'm sure some would still somehow manage it (I was stationary with engine off last time I was involved in a crash).  But 0kmh is not practical as we actually need to get ourselves and things to and from places.  Driving at 100kmh doesn't mean you will crash.  Driving at 200kmh doesn't either.  If you do, there will be a sizable mess though (been on scene of a 200kmh+ impact with a bridge, bits of car spread a very long way down the road and river).
I'll say again, speed, in and of itself, isn't the cause of the problem in most cases, it just has a lot to contribute to the resulting mess.  It's a multitude of other factors that lead to confidence or enthusiasm exceeding talent and/or judgement.




Driver training, driver training, driver training.  Test and retest regularly.

I recently did a full practical driving test in order to get a P Endorsement on my license. New drivers are expected to do the speed limit. A bit hard when al most no one else does. The first lesson they learn is it's OK to speed because "everyone does it". That needs to change. I totally agree sped limits should be enforced....even if that means speed governors mandatory in vehicles to prevent exceeding the speed limit.


Driving is not a right.  It's a privilege that needs to be earned and maintained.


I am due to renew my license this year.  And what do I have to do?  Fill out a form, get my eyes tested on a flawed machine and pay money. 
Do I know that the roundabout rules changed since I sat my license some 20ish years ago?  Do they even care if I do or not?  Who knows?


Good point. We agree on a lot. :-)



I'd be quite comfortable being retested each time I need to renew my license.  I'd like to treat it as an opportunity to refresh my knowledge and make sure I'm still up to date.

517 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2255864 11-Jun-2019 10:48
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For a long time I lived in the central plateau and as a member of the local fire brigade, I was acutely aware of how many crashes there were on the Desert Rd.

During that period, there was an increased risk of lahar due to the crater lake being rather full. Rather than counter this with a controlled release, it was decided that a small group of police would be stationed in Waiouru with their sole job being to close the roads if and when the crater wall finally let go.

As it didn't let go for quite some time, and the police found themselves on huge allowances with very little to occupy their time, they took to patrolling the Desert Rd. There would be two of them at any one time on the road, issuing tickets and generally enforcing the road rules. Within a short space of time, we as volunteers noticed a sharp decline in the road crash callouts we were receiving. It became common knowledge that if you sped on the Desert, you would be punished for it.

So what changed? The road conditions didn't. There was no reduction of the speed limit. It was simply that drivers knew if they broke the rules, they'd be caught - so adjusted their driving accordingly.

After the lahar eventually let go, and the police closed the road for couple of hours, they all packed up and headed home. Slowly but surely, over the subsequent months, road crash calls began to steadily increase as word got around about the cops not being there any more.

Talk of reducing the speed limit to reduce crashes will achieve absolutely nothing unless there is also the enforcement to go with it - and if the enforcement is properly implemented, then there really is no need to reduce the majority of limits.

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