With many tourists here for our summer, there is one factor to consider before we start critiquing their driving. We need to lead by example.
Having spent many kilometres on our roads in the past 10 days – with BMW’s 7 Series launch from Auckland to the Far North, then Audi’s A4 event around Lake Taupo – I’ve noticed a plethora of rental vehicles.
Sure, I’ve seen some dodgy behaviour — rental cars doing U-turns on busy roads, driving way below the speed limit on open roads, and the ‘I’m lost’ driving style.
But when I was stuck behind a rental SUV on SH1, I realised one thing. We Kiwis are pretty poor examples for overseas drivers to follow.
Take, for example, driving on the motorway. When I’m overseas I follow the rule on the freeway or autobahn of driving like the cars around me. On motorways with multiple lanes, I usually stick to the middle lane and maintain the same speed as most of the cars ahead.
But driving on the Northern Motorway this week, where there were more cars in the overtaking lane than in the left lane, – I realised that the poor rental SUV ahead, sitting second in line in the overtaking lane, was only following our example.
A ute driver had been hogging the right lane for kilometres. Hey, why overtake, then pull into the middle or left lane, when you can just cruise along at 90km/h without looking into your rearview mirror?
Come on, Kiwi drivers. Let’s show what good role-models we can be.