Hastings Leader - 2021-05-05


How not to be an egg while driving


The official New Zealand Road Code, described as the user-friendly guide to New Zealand’s traffic law, is an all-in-one guide we look to when preparing ourselves for a lifetime behind the wheel. All the legal obligations are laid out before us, but none of the moral ones. Which is why, after a week of holiday towing a dinghy up and down the country, I feel it’s time for the unwritten laws of the road to be written down in a book to accompany the road code before testing time, titled, “How not to be an egg while driving.” It began because I found myself pondering how many cars piled up behind me as I drove at the legal trailer-towing limit of 90km/h was enough for my guilt to get the better of me, and decide it was time to pull safely to the side. Which brings to light another of the unwritten rules, the courtesy beep. As you pass a pulled-over car, it’s common knowledge a short, sharp, beep beep is thank you. The slow to the passing lane, racer once we get there. You know the type — 85km/h on every straight until the elusive passing lane comes along, then it’s 120 to the end in some sort of display of road dominance. Another rule should be that if you change your mind midroundabout regarding the direction you are headed, one quick tick on the indicator is not enough time to signal to other road users that you’ll be jumping across two lanes of traffic. And lastly, the traffic light reminder beep. If someone is briefly distracted at the front of the lights, a quick toot is enough to remind them of their obligation, a three-second blast will send fear into their hearts. Happy driving!


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