Driving in Tauranga takes me back to holidays in India and Mexico, when I would close my eyes tightly in the back of a rickshaw weaving through traffic, or dodging 1950s yellow school buses laden with animals, vegetables and people which would pull out suddenly blinding you with fumes.
These days my trips to and from work are no less life threatening.
From the seemingly mild offences of not indicating - leaving those behind to guess where the car is going, to more serious offences of tailgating, passing on the inside, U-turning and pulling out without looking. It's a jungle out there. And that is just in the Avenues. I never venture on to the highway because I am too afraid of who I might meet there.
Earlier this month a French man died on State Highway 2 after the car he was driving crashed into a truck.
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Last night a man died in another truck and car crash in the same area.
Given some Kiwis' bad driving, the current backlash against tourist drivers seems hypocritical and xenophobic. How would some bad Tauranga drivers fare on Germany's autobahns or London's multi-lane crawling traffic?
Yes, there has been a spate of crashes involving tourists. Twelve people died in crashes caused by overseas licence holders last year, according to provisional New Zealand Transport Agency data. There have already been several fatal crashes this year.
In response, some New Zealanders have been taking the law into their own hands. In the latest incident, a Dunedin man snatched the keys from a tourist who had stopped to take photos, causing vehicles to back up on a narrow road. If keys were taken off all bad Tauranga drivers I wonder how many cars that would be?
People who are now acting like 'vigilantes' towards tourists on the road could use their time better to dob in bad drivers who might cause injury and death by contacting police using *555 or 111.
And these bad drivers would include New Zealanders as well as some tourists.
Before pointing the finger at tourists, we should address our own driving behaviours.