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Thread: Is New Zealand driving as bad as they say it is?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default Is New Zealand driving as bad as they say it is?

    Having read many articles and stories of people who have moved to new zealand I have noticed that alot of them complain about the terrible driving of new zealanders, is this really true are they that bad??

    One of the reasons for getting away from england is the traffic and the bad driving of people fighting for space on the roads,, so you would asssume that a country with only 4 million people would be much better and a pleasure to drive in, but not what ive heard - apparently its dangerous to go out!
    I was also shocked to learn that the driving age is 15 so they allow children to drive - crazy, is there any chance that this will be overturned in the near future? maybe by a change of government?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2004
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    Inland Canterbury, NZ
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    After driving from Welly to Whanganui and back last week I am going to have to retract anything I've said about bad driving in our area of Canterbury - I had kittens (several litters) on that drive up and down - the amount of cars was amazing, big traffic jams on Sunday in the middle of town (Welly) and the driving on the "motorway" (SH1) had me embedding my nails in the dashboard..... hoons weaving in and out of traffic, undertaking, disregard on on-ramps for us pottering in the "slow" lane... god help us if we ever have to tackle the M25 again!!

    It's a numbers game I guess... and I'm quite happy with our S.Island numbers and hoons now!

  3. #3
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    Great we are thinking of moving to canterbury , so driving there is not as bad as in essex

  4. #4
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    I'm used to driving a lot in southern England, including countryside, motorways and town centres. Last year on our five-week visit, we stayed in the west of Auckland, and drove all over the city and surrounding area, as well as into the north of North Island. City streets, residential roads, mountain roads, motorways, gravel roads - the lot. It was fine. As in England, there are plenty of people around who don't watch their mirrors and don't realize there are any other vehicles around, particularly behind them, so you have to watch out for yourself in self-defence, and be prepared to react when they manoeuvre as if you weren't there. But like I said, that's nothing new. (The undertaking Moorf mentioned is surprising at first, but it's legal in NZ.)

    One novel thing I noticed - even young male drivers aren't nearly as prompt to move when traffic lights change as we're used to in the UK.

    Many of the roads, particularly in the mountains and out in the bush areas, have deep gulleys at the side of the tarmac, to take care of water from the sub-tropical rainstorms. You seriously wouldn't want to drop a wheel in one.

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    Rolleston, Canterbury
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    I miss the thanks you's we got in the UK when letting cars in and out,the smile or nod . Here its every driver for himself,ok we don't have the traffic jams as bad or the road rage, not in Canterbury that we have noticed but they do need to slow down around schools.
    We live on the school road where two of my daughters go to school and i would not let them walk to school alone and Georgia is eleven and does the road patrol once a week. Leoni is five and wears a high viz so she is clearly seen.
    Steve is a truck driver and mainly moans about the fog lights in his mirrors or the cars driving so close to his truck he can't see them and there will be open road in front of him. He lets them know its clear in front but they still seem to sit back and keep weaving out to have a look at the road ahead and dazzling him . Ste works nights by choice cos the roads are clearer.
    The give way rule is abit strange but got used to that pretty quick.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post

    One novel thing I noticed - even young male drivers aren't nearly as prompt to move when traffic lights change as we're used to in the UK.
    But have you noticed how many people at the front of the lights "creep" while waiting for the lights to turn green?They can be halfway across the intersection sometimes before it changes. Then when it changes to green they dont rush off!! Whats with that!???

    Tanya

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    ...

    One novel thing I noticed - even young male drivers aren't nearly as prompt to move when traffic lights change as we're used to in the UK.

    ....
    Its funny you mention this because here in auckland I was amazed at how quickly you are beeped if you dont move AS SOON AS THE GREEN LIGHT IS ON!!!

    It really is a matter of if the green light is on for a nano second and you havent moved then you get beeped!

    I also miss the wave/nod or light flash thank-yous that I was used to in england

  8. #8
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    I'm used to driving a lot in southern England, including countryside, motorways and town centres.
    .. and we were used to Perthshire roads!! Even when we visited folks in Sussex we'd be total wusses in the traffic after living in Scotland for 6 yrs. These days I can't imagine how I ever coped driving in to central London every day for work for 4 years!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
    But have you noticed how many people at the front of the lights "creep" while waiting for the lights to turn green?They can be halfway across the intersection sometimes before it changes. Then when it changes to green they dont rush off!! Whats with that!???

    Tanya
    Maybe it has something to do with warming up their "fake" vroom-vroom k-chssss fake turbo thingys!!

    We laugh ourselves silly as they rev their "beefy" cars, make meaty sounds with their "dustbins for exhausts" and then they hardly move off when they lights change

  10. #10
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    Aug 2004
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    Auckland; Milwaukee, Surabaya
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    In my honest opinion, driving in NZ just somewhat requires you to be more aware with the whole situation. The etiquette is somewhat people needs to be aware more often...i.e. saying/waving to show "thanks" to other driver would be much appreciated.
    AS many of you miss that gesture...it is one of the simplest way to improve your social skill as well.

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