Play it safe in red-light districts
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If you think that red-light runners in New Zealand are bad, you ain’t seen anything until you’ve spend a few hours driving around Los Angeles.
Here for the Los Angeles motor show and the first drive of Mazda’s all-new CX-9 medium SUV, I’ve spent quite a bit of time driving and being driven around the City of Angels.
Well, the drivers aren’t so much angels but devils.
It pays to pause a few seconds before you drive through a green light in case a car decides to make a last-ditch dash through an intersection.
You can’t blame them for running red lights because vehicles are often stuck in the middle of a six-lane intersection with no chance to turn left in congested traffic.
But that doesn’t happen until the light turns red and traffic stops.
Then the vehicles make a dash through the intersection.
Hey, Auckland drivers, this doesn’t make it right to do it through New Zealand traffic signals!
There is one road rule in Los Angeles that we don’t want see adapted in New Zealand — and that’s a four-way intersection controlled by Stop signs.
In LA’s residential areas, crossroads are controlled by four Stop signs.
To the uninitiated, it’s daunting.
If you don’t know the rule, you could be stuck for a long time until you get the courage to hit the gas.
The rule is: the first vehicle at the intersection has the right to go. Then the next arrival, and so on.
So it’s all about taking turns and being polite.
Can you image an intersection in New Zealand controlled by four Stop signs?
The only people who’d benefit would be the panelbeaters.