Editorial: Stars of the highways

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014

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OPINION: We must have some pretty shocking drivers in our district. Either that, or we're just a bunch of moaners.

Twenty-five people a day complained about the behaviour of fellow motorists via the *555 dob-in phone service over the Christmas/New Year period.

That's quite a few isn't it, even if it includes both Mid and South Canterbury, which is our police district?

After all, this is the time when we're all supposed to be relaxed and displaying goodwill to all mankind.

Yeah right.

It's also the time when we're desperate to get to our holiday destination, or home again, and when more of us are on the roads. Including tourists.

Still, for most people it would take some pretty bad driving to prompt a complaint, meaning 25 is probably the tip of the iceberg.

Think about the effort it takes to make a *555 call. First, you have to get riled enough to want to bother, and for most Kiwis that takes a bit.

It's going to take time to lodge the complaint, and later you may be required to make some sort of statement. And unless you have a hands-free phone, or there's a passenger with a cellphone, you're going to have to pull over to do it.

Easier just to curse a little and let the idiot driver go.

Until they do whatever it was again.

As more people get smart phones, and more of them are hands free within vehicles, the *555 system is going to become a powerful tool for police.

As they continue to drive down the road toll, they now have thousands of other eyes out there to help.

That hasn't prompted a general feeling of fear among errant motorists yet, but it could come.

Dobbing in each other hasn't traditionally been the Kiwi way, but if we're serious about making the roads safer for everyone, we should all be happy to become de facto coppers.

Twenty-five complaints a day would indicate we're on the way.

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- The Timaru Herald

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