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Napier Courier - 2021-05-05

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How not to be an egg while you’re driving

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— Adam Green

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 of freedom 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 trailertowing 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. Five was the beginning of the guilt, but 10 was a certain sign it was time to head to the verge and allow the speedier and trailerless to pass. 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. And should beep beep not happen, then consider your car marked. “Oh there’s red Nissan,” you’ll think as you pass the bakery they’ve stopped at, “a non-beep beeper, for shame”. 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 midround-about regarding the direction you are headed, one quick tick on the indicator, not even a ticktock, is not enough time to signal to other road users that you’ll be jumping across two lanes of traffic to head to your new destination. We need at least three ticktocks for the turn signal to process and to adjust speed accordingly! 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 and send them zooming from the spot in fright. Toot not blast! Happy driving!

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