Monday, January 5, 2015


The road toll these last two weeks is sad.   Even more sad is the reaction of populist politicians like NZ First's Ron Mark who lambasted the police for their enforcement of the 'no tolerance' rule over holiday season.  

If anything I agree wholeheartedly with the Automobile Association in their call for zero tolerance at all times.    There is an old military saying ... order, counter order, disorder.   Chopping and changing the rules can only be confusing to the average motorist.

100k, 70k, 50k whatever.   The speed limit is the limit and should be enforced as such.    There's no tolerance in the law for anyone caught drink driving 'just' over the limit and the same should apply to the speeding motorist. Driving attitudes have to change.   I have driven in many developed countries around the world and can confidently say that I feel safer driving outside NZL than I do here.   If it takes a blanket zero tolerance policy to help change attitudes then I'm all for it.

BTW ... I drive a late model sedan equipped with a GPS.    The difference between the speeds as recorded on the GPS and the speedometer is about 4k at 100k.    I take it the GPS is more accurate.



Anonymous said...

Where is the police association in all of this???

Only to happy to come out guns blazing when there's a pay rise to be had

Quiet as a mouse when it comes to enforcing ridiculous laws that don't save lives

Anonymous said...

"There's no tolerance in the law for anyone caught drink driving 'just' over the limit" The Veteran

"A doctor living in Blenheim has been discharged without conviction after she was caught drink-driving at more than four times the legal limit"


The Veteran said...

Anon ... speeding kills. End of story. Driving attitudes need to change. End of story.

Re your comment concerning the Dr. One would need to read the whole case file including the Judges sentencing notes to make an informed comment but what I can say is that in the jurisdiction I am involved in we have never exercised 'discretion' in dealing with someone caught driving EBA .,.. and we won't.

Paranormal said...

Vet - speeding doesn't kill, it's having accidents that kills.

" I feel safer driving outside NZL than I do here" And therein lies the problem. We do not teach our youth how to drive defensively and how to handle a vehicle.

The police and muppets at LTNZ myopic focus on booze and speed continues to ignore the underlying cause of crashes.

As a result they will never solve the problem until there is a change of direction amongst the blue flamers at police HQ. But then that would take the balls to man up and say the focus has been wrong for years.

JC said...

The zero tolerance is simply soft domestic terrorism designed to trap the 80% of drivers who rarely or never have accidents and who act responsibly on the roads. Its a revenue gatherer and one designed to put fear of our police to the forefront of the driving experience.

Driving Rotorua/Hamilton and back last week my wife who has sat beside me for half a million km simply said "You're not driving as smoothly as normal and you aren't watching the traffic as much".. and she was right.. I was watching the speedo too much.

On Sunday my daughter drove Hamilton/Tauranga and complained that old people were doing just 80km in the 100k zones and every time they saw a cop they dropped down to 70km.. you can imagine the frustration building up behind them.

In Canada they have good evidence that whenever you increase speed limits the road toll goes down and when they reduce speed limits the toll goes up.

In NZ the cops are considering to put the speed limit *up* on some roads whilst at the same time demanding everyone drive 5km below the bloody limit.. its unscientific and conflicting nonsense.

As for tighter alcohol limits.. there's *some* rationale behind that but again the MoT statistics are damning.. there's precious little increase in the overall death rate between 50 and 80mgs blood readings *except* its tightly skewed towards exactly towards who you would expect.. as the BAC goes up between 50-80 the deaths occur mainly with the young and Maori.

For Christsakes! 40 odd years ago the road toll was near 1000 per year and the speed limit was 80kph. They put the speed up to 100k and the road toll steadily dropped to a third the rate even though twice as many cars were on the road.

We all know why this happened.. better cars, better roads, better driver education and the really big factor.. the median age of NZers rose from mid/late 20s to age 37 today.. we are older and not so bloody silly as a direct result of increased maturity and many fewer young people as a percentage of the population.

How important is driver education and ability?.. look at the steadily rising numbers of foreigners who take out themselves and others over the last several decades yet these folk come usually from much safer driving countries than here but they are simply unable to handle the local conditions as well as the locals.. education counts.


Anonymous said...

Every time Police attend car crashes that involve injury/death the incident is analysed to try and determine the factors which lead to the crash.

These are recorded all around the country and the results are collated so that the worst causes of crashes can be determined.

It is pretty obvious that alcohol, speed, driver inattention, driver error are the main factors behind most crashes. This is why they are pushed in the media.

The trouble is kiwi motorists are stubborn and a fair number think they are bullet proof and know better than anyone.

As someone who has helped clean up the dead bodies and has had to inform the next of kin about the deaths it would be nice if motorists just decided en-mass to heed the warning given them.

Probably not gonna happen though.


The Veteran said...

Anon 12.37 ... you've nailed it in spades. Attitudes need to change and enforcement of the speed limits is one of the tools available to help rid the mindset that it's OK to speed (just a little).

The speed limits are proscribed in law. It's not the job of the police and it's wrong (if not illegal) for the police to take it upon themselves not to prosecute if a person is caught (just) over the limit. The Courts have the discretion to judge the case on it's merits and that's where it should start and finish.

Anonymous said...

How many high speed high alcohol solo-male deaths are suicide???

Anonymous said...

What about the auto-bahn???

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Indeed Anonymous.

What about the autobahn?

Anonymous said...

Kinda puts paid to the speed kills argument

Ghost Of Greenwood said...

I got done between Paeroa and Ngatea on the 27th. I had the cruise control set on 99 and I got done doing 103 - it fell on deaf ears with the revenue agent though. Surely my speedo can't be that inaccurate, my Ute is only three months old.

It's all about coffer filling with this pathetic government. . . gee, I thought the revenue collecting under Labour was over the top.

The Veteran said...

Hmmmm Ghost ... caught breaking the law and now whinging. Pathetic. Do the crime and pay the fine (and get your speedo checked out).

Shane Ponting said...

Anyone that goes around saying that "speed kills" has never actually bothered to give even a cursory glance at some basic road engineering materials.

Nor have they run it logically through their mind.

The idea that at 100 you are safe and then at 101 you are a bad criminal is absurd.

The truth is at 100 you are already traveling at a speed that if met with an opposing object of sufficient mass would see your demise.

The reason this does not happen relates to the condition of the road, the condition and capability of the car, the other road rules (and prevailing adherence to them), the environmental factors, etc - all the variables that *still work* in your favour at 101, 105, and yes even 110.

The only definition of excessive speed that I will ever accept is traveling too fast for the conditions (weather, specific road type) or traveling too fast relative to the cars you are sharing the road with at that time (requires there to actually be cars on the road with you).

The 85th percentile speed is the block of intuitive/instinctual sense and the safest place to be on *any* road. Painted signs should submit and encourage to this always.

Anonymous said...

Stupid laws deserve to be broken!!!

The Veteran said...

To close ... thank you for your comments. I admit to doing the post slightly tongue in cheek in order to provoke responses.

I hold firmly to the view that there needs to be a paradigm shift in our driving culture if we are to further reduce road accidents. NZL drivers are like something out of the 'wild west' compared with those from other developed countries. I have an open mind as to how you achieve that.

I agree you can make a case for increasing the speed limit on roads/highways which are statistically
proven to be low accident areas.

Unfortunately there will always be the hoons out there who are an accident waiting to happen (like the idiot clocked at 240k on the Waikato Expressway). They deserve to have the book thrown at them ... jail time and extensive bans for starters (but only after their execution).

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes Vet, it is the culture.
Fortyfive years ago a Shell Company exectutive from Sydney visited NZ and on his return he exclaimed "Jeesuz - they all drive like Stirling Moss!"

Here, residential areas speed limit is 50, graduating in 10 k brackets to $110 on good quality open roads. There are numerous mobile radar screens which tell you your speed. No need to get your speedo checked when these are around.

You can be booked but rarely at one km over but 3 kms over will guarantee a ticket.

Very few people indeed speed. They don't bother to overtake trucks because these now are sufficiently powerful to cruise at 100 km and maintain speed up most hills.

I say wake up Kiwis and learn to drive properly.