Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: When "common sense" isn't

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  • Moz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    deleted discussion of moderation

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Just saw this. Sadly a not-atypical attitude, but rather a higher profile on the part of the utterer. I hope it costs his company some business.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Maz, in reply to Islander,

    "I’m sick of the bitching and moaning about NZ’s driving culture. You’re basically saying that most people in NZ are uneducated, uncaring fuckwits. And we aren’t."

    "Me too.
    There is a road problem and there is - big fat elephant- people from overseas wreaking mayhem (O! not mentioned much eh?) but actually, ANZ drivers are not all that bad-"




    Kiwis are very good people, and settling here 12 years ago was easy because of the open and friendly attitude.
    But driving here is actually atrocious, and not just from a cyclists point of view. For example, try sitting down at a roundabout for ten minutes and count how many people indicate correctly, and I guarantee it'll be less than 20%. How many people tailgate, change lanes without indicating, drive slowly then speed up once there's a passing lane? The list goes on.
    Having driven and or cycled in Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Australia and NZ I can safely say that standards here are the worst I've seen. And it puzzles me :o(
    Maybe one reason is that you don't have to take driving lessons from a professional. If your dad/mum/uncle Ted/friend don't know how to drive, how can they teach you?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Maz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Just saw this. Sadly a not-atypical attitude, but rather a higher profile on the part of the utterer. I hope it costs his company some business.

    He now says it's a joke, and that cyclists need to have a better sense of humour.
    We all need a better sense of humour, that's true, but it was hard to spot the humour in his rant, I thought.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Maz,

    Maybe one reason is that you don’t have to take driving lessons from a professional

    But you’d be stupid not to – my driving instructor -waaay back in 1962 – was a retired traffic cop. This has been the pattern in my family, from my generation on-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    To all those with angry anecdotes who are making angry generalisations about drivers, or cyclists: we've all had bad experiences on the road. But getting angry at a whole group of people because a few of them pissed you off? That just makes everybody madder.

    Isn't agression one of the major dangers on the road? Perhaps if we could get past being so angry and bitter and reactive, the roads would be safer for us all.

    Let's try and get along, ay?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Maz,

    Maybe one reason is that you don’t have to take driving lessons from a professional. If your dad/mum/uncle Ted/friend don’t know how to drive, how can they teach you?

    But they do know how to drive. They learned from their Uncle Ted, who learned from his Uncle Ted, and his Uncle Ted was the first person in New Zealand to own a car. Don't know how to drive? Don't be so bloody stupid, any muppet can drive!

    I've ranted on this topic before. Our standard of driver education is woeful. It's finally, finally being addressed with the latest changes to the requirements for progressing through the gradations of the licensing system, but it'll take at least 60 years before everyone who came through under the earlier systems has shuffled off. People only a very few years older than me (I'm early 30s) could get a licence by driving to the end of the road, doing a three-point turn, and then safely depositing the testing officer back at the office. Not too much before those onerous requirements came into force people pretty much could get their licence from a cornflakes packet, and those people will be driving for at least another 20 years before they start to get to the point of having to be reassessed in order to keep hold of their licence. In the interim they frequently have no fucking idea what the road rules are, and they've got the generations of bad habits that they learned from the friends and family from whom they learned to drive; they've often taught those same bad habits to their children, many of whom have passed those habits on to their children. Until it's mandatory to learn from a professional, and only a professional, the bad driving will continue. It'll be muted somewhat by the requirements of the stricter testing, but it will still be haphazard indication, treating following distances as a suggestion, and not really acknowledging that others have an equal right to be on the road.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Islander,

    But you’d be stupid not to

    You said it, not us. And the vast majority of people who learned to drive prior to National's first round of licensing changes are, according to you, stupid, because as I just said above there's a predominate attitude in this country that driving is easy, any muppet can do it, ergo any muppet can teach another muppet to drive. There's no acknowledgement that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that includes some of the commenters in this forum based on previous occasions where this topic has arisen. Until drivers accept that they're behind the wheel because society has granted them the privilege, our driving behaviour will remain on the south side of globally average.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Maz,

    He now says it’s a joke, and that cyclists need to have a better sense of humour.

    Because it's just totally hilarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrious when a cager call for open warfare on people whose protection is their lightweight clothing and hopefully a helmet, especially when those people have been killed so often that the Chief Coroner has taken note. My sides are splitting from laughing so hard at his joke.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    And I also said that *my* family have employed trained driving instructors since the 1960s-
    because we were well aware that some of the older generations werent all that flash when it came to driving.

    We also pay trained people to assess our driving when we get to 65, 70, 75, 80 ,85....
    The person I employed picked up on the fact that I rely on my brakes overly (OK, fair enough, but my Mitsubishi Delica Spacegear is maintained beyond WoF requirements) and sudden brake-failure can occur. I heard him. I now drive with this in mind. As I drive with the knowledge that a cattle-beast can lurch out unexpectedly at night, or I can come round a tight bend on Mount Herc and find 5 cyclists riding abreast - 2 of them on the other side of the road.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Our standard of driver education is woeful.

    Our driver education could be better sure. But most of what I see on the roads is just people who either are so impatient they won't obey the rules or just don't care. They do actually know what a no U-turn sign means, but it would inconvenience them if they didn't do the U-turn where ever they liked. They know that going straight from the turn only lane is wrong, but they got in the wrong lane and if they obeyed the rules they would have to drive out of their way for ... what ... maybe 2 minutes tops before they could turn around and come back.

    It really seems to me that most of the poor driving is people being impatient ... with the rules ... with everyone else on the road ... with themselves even.

    And most times it doesn't matter, the police just don't bother enforcing minor infringements even if they do see them. If they have a close call then giving the other driver the finger works just fine. If they have a little accident well it's just another ding on the car, either they leave it or the insurance pays for it.

    What they never consider is that sometimes those little accidents involve a bicycle or a pedestrian ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to James,

    the driver responded by accelerating out into the oncoming lane to pass me, then braking to a halt while fishtailing me into the kerb.

    Police. Do it. And complain to the boss.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Also, I think I should tell a balancing anecdote from a few weeks ago.

    I was biking along Greers Road in Christchurch, heading towards Harewood Road, and ahead of me at a side street to my left, a car full of dodgy looking youths was looking for a gap to pull out and make a right turn. I was going to turn down that side street anyway, and I know how hard it is to get that kind of gap on that road, so I conscientiously made a left hand signal. As they pull out and around the driver and a rear passenger both leaned out the window... and shouted "indicating! Yay!" with massive grins. I gave them a cheery wave and fun was had by all.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Police. Do it. And complain to the boss.

    Tautoko.

    That is one angry-as-in-unthinking driver who needs to be taken off the road-

    Just incidentally, I frequently travel between the West Coast & Canterbury/Otago sides of the island. There are mind-numbinglyBAD instances
    of driving - most frequently by rental-car users (I wont say 'overseas' because I cant know that) almost every trip I make...doesnt matter if I go Haast or Arthur's, you get some idiot risking their (&your!) life-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    People only a very few years older than me (I'm early 30s) could get a licence by driving to the end of the road, doing a three-point turn, and then safely depositing the testing officer back at the office. Not too much before those onerous requirements came into force people pretty much could get their licence from a cornflakes packet, and those people will be driving for at least another 20 years before they start to get to the point of having to be reassessed in order to keep hold of their licence. In the interim they frequently have no fucking idea what the road rules are, and they've got the generations of bad habits that they learned from the friends and family from whom they learned to drive;

    Oh, the arrogance of youth!

    Cornflakes packet, eh? Bet you can't find a link to support that gem.
    I'm happy to admit there's plenty of crap old drivers, but there's also all that youthful risk-taking, lack of experience and sheer ignorance to balance some of it out.
    Try to accept that there are some older drivers who are good drivers and go easy on the rush for people to 'shuffle off'.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stewart,

    Cornflakes packet, eh? Bet you can’t find a link to support that gem.

    Link? I don't need a link. I know people who got their licences then. If they had to do more than drive around the block the testing officer was having a bad day. And that was all the testing they were ever likely to go through in their whole lives.
    It's not arrogance, it's the truth. First-hand stories from people who did it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Maz, in reply to Stewart,

    The point was surely that it was ridiculously easy to get a license, not that all older drivers are bad. Come on!
    When I converted my Danish license 12 years ago, I had to sit a written test. The very friendly AA lady pointed out the 4 sheets of test questions AND ANSWERS, that I could buy for a few bucks. I.e. I didn't have to know a thing if my memory was even half alright. And it's multiple choice, for goodness' sake. Not quite like sitting an oral exam with a police officer asking tricky questions.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    And that was all the testing they were ever likely to go through in their whole lives.

    Wrongo.
    Age-related and medical certification AND driving tests have been around for quite a long time here in ANZ.

    Interesting. Moz now = Maz....

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Maz,

    The assumption is that, coming from a country with a comparable system of driver testing like Denmark, a driver has already demonstrated competence and just needs to understand what's different about NZ.

    I didn't get the question:
    Most NZ roadusers, whatever the vehicle are:
    1. Dicks
    2. Anally retentive dicks
    3. Agressive anally retentive dicks
    4. Agressive anally retentive dicks with an entitlement complex

    but I'm sure it must be on there as essential data.

    In any case, I'm sure the roads would be much safer if we had aviation standards of driver and vehicle licencing. 100 hours with an observed instructor, all cars to be dual controlled with a more experienced driver in command for the first ten or so years, retests every year or less, etc.

    Also, we'd starve for lack of food deliveries.

    In any case, you might think driving is a privilege to be conferred ona grateful subject, but I suspect that a majority of NZers consider it a right, and until you replace the voting system by some system with votes proportionate to the amount of lycra you own, it'll stay that way.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Maz, in reply to Islander,

    Nope Islander, I'm very much just one person. So just for the record, I have nothing to do with Moz, nor have I any clue who he/she is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    In any case, you might think driving is a privilege to be conferred ona grateful subject, but I suspect that a majority of NZers consider it a right, and until you replace the voting system by some system with votes proportionate to the amount of lycra you own, it’ll stay that way.

    YEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Maz,

    Interesting....

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Islander,

    And that was all the testing they were ever likely to go through in their whole lives.

    Wrongo.
    Age-related and medical certification AND driving tests have been around for quite a long time here in ANZ.

    At the time that was the level of testing, they weren't.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    In any case, you might think driving is a privilege to be conferred ona grateful subject, but I suspect that a majority of NZers consider it a right

    Whether they consider it a right or not is irrelevant, it is clearly a privilege because the state confers, by way of the licensing scheme, permission for one to drive. One can be denied permission to drive due to medical incapability, or have permission revoked for misdeeds or medical incapability. With the exception of freedom of movement and association being denied as a punishment, the state has no power to revoke the rights of any citizen, and it certainly cannot deny those rights on the basis of medical incapability.

    That you say that most people consider it a right is exactly the kind of confirmation of a misguided attitude to driving that I expected; and you were exactly the person I had in mind when I said we'd been down this path before.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    the time that was the level of testing, they weren’t.

    An e.g = if you'd had a stroke, you certainly were

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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