Monday, 3 December 2007


Motoring in New Zealand is, generally speaking, a real joy. There are a few motorways round Auckland and Wellington and there can be real congestion getting in and out of the latter. But everything is relative. I have no idea of the statistics but I suspect more people drive on the M25 each day than get into cars in the whole of this Country.

There are two sorts of motorists in New Zealand: drivers and hoons. The hoons are the amateur Clarksons of this Country causing a nuisance, doing donuts in the road and generally being a pain. On the other hand the majority of the drivers around Napier at least are far more considerate than drivers in the UK. Speed limits are, on the whole, adhered to much more than they are in the UK. That's not to suggest that there isn't speeding it's just that it's much less obvious. Drive into Napier on one of the main roads and anyone who exceeds 50 (kph) is very much out of step. Mind you the Police make a fortune out of motorists who don't stop at Stop signs.

Rather oddly I've noticed that when I'm here I don't try and translate anything into miles or gallons. When I drive in France I translate all the time. How many mph is 50kph? How many mpg is 10kpl? Here there are, generally, three speed limits 50, 70 and 100. The latter is the fastest speed one is permitted to travel on any road in the Country.

We drive on the left and many of the rules of the road are the same as in the UK. However there are some very significant differences and the one which catches visitors from the UK all the time is the one which states that when a vehicle is turning left at an intersection it must give way to all vehicles coming towards it and turning right.

No comments:

Post a Comment