READER REPORT:

'Police refuse to deal with idiot drivers'

CHARLIE CALLCUT
Last updated 13:47 01/01/2016
Martin de Ruyter/Fairfax NZ

Police have started a summer crackdown on speed and risky driving to try to keep the roads safer.

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Police focus on speed because it's easy. Easy to spot, easy to capture, quick and easy ticketing, next please.

Excess speed will, of course, increase risk, and increase the chances of injury, but where do you draw the line?

A stream of vehicles all travelling at 120kph down SH1 are little risk to themselves or anyone else. Everyone's happy, traffic is moving at a brisk pace with proper following distances, people are getting to where they are going, no-one is inclined to overtake because everyone is just getting on with it.

A long queue of vehicles sitting behind an idiot travelling at 80kph are frustrated, angry and far more likely to make bad overtaking decisions.

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Said idiots speed up at passing lanes and slow down again afterwards, and I see this almost every day. I've seen drivers reach licence-losing speeds to pass these fools, pull in front them and slow down, and even force them to almost a stop to let streams of frustrated drivers go by. Idiots who drive slowly and try and force that on other drivers are in my mind a large part of the reason for road deaths.

Our police refuse to deal with it. All they see is the rash overtaking, the excess speeds, the too-close following distances, because, you know, better too slow than too fast.

This laziness on the part of the police has to stop. They should be focusing on all aspects of driving, but especially on behaviour that frustrates other motorists. Refusal to move over on multi-lane roads; travelling slowly and not allowing others to pass; speeding up at passing lanes; speeding up when others try to pass; failure to indicate intentions.

Most of these actions are very deliberate, you can see the offending drivers watching in their mirrors. Some may be oblivious regarding overtaking lanes (some psychologist was recently waxing lyrical about how it's an unconscious response to a 'safe' instinct when the road opens up) but if they're so oblivious that they don't know how fast they are travelling they shouldn't be driving at all. Seriously, who is worse, the aware driver at 120kph or the oblivious at 80kph?

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New Zealand police, seriously, get it together and start focusing on poor driver behaviour. Targeting the guy who overtook the clown who sped up to try and prevent the pass is not only picking on the wrong driver, but is reinforcing and encouraging a truly dangerous individual. The sooner you focus on poor behaviour instead of speed, the sooner the road toll will come down.

What is particularly galling about this is that I learned about this sort of action/reaction behaviour as a child. Children understand this stuff but our police don't.


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