Fifty years ago, when I obtained my driver's licence, the rules were you must stop at the stop sign, and give way at the give way sign, you must not drive on the wrong side of the road, and you must park legally, not endangering public safety or hindering other traffic.
Back then people could easily abide by these rules, and we had fewer accidents and fewer road deaths. But during my time driving the length and breadth of our amazing country as a heavy vehicle operator, I have seen all types of craziness on our roads.
But during the last 10-15 years I have noticed an increase of people parking, and therefore driving, on the wrong side of the road, parking at random, especially at a dairy in our town, located at a busy corner (especially at the time school buses are trying to drop our kids off) causing difficulties for legally-driving people to avoid oncoming traffic, etc.
Illegal parking is a serious problem. I almost crashed one night because I was blinded by a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the road, with its lights on full beam. As I had been approaching what I had to assume was an oncoming vehicle I had flashed my lights at him to get him to dip his lights so I could see, which didn't happen. Luckily I slowed right down and found that in order to pass him on the left, I was almost off the road.
Whew! That was a close one.
I asked a cop once why they don't police this rule. His reply was, "In England, where I worked before coming here, they didn't really mind people parking on the wrong side, so, nah, not when we have other stuff to do."
I'm seeing today's drivers not stopping at stop signs, but stopping at give way signs. And randomly driving into oncoming traffic to park on the wrong side of the road. Very bad.
Your vehicle has to have red rear reflectors. That's so at night other traffic is aware of your vehicle parked at the roadside.
Makes sense. If you come to a stop at the stop sign, what happens? A, it creates a gap for other road users, and B, other drivers don't have to guess whether it's safe for them to take the gap. To 'merge like a zip' at give way signs, you mustn't stop if it is safe to proceed.
Now is it only in Kaitaia or do we have a nationwide epidemic of people driving randomly on our, and our children's, roads?
Traffic cameras at hot spots would not only reduce and deter this thoughtless behaviour, but provide badly needed revenue for our hard-working police to assist them in upholding the law and driver education.
To echo Boy Yates (letters April 12), surely public safety is worth the effort. Is money the problem, or plain common sense?