Human hoardings cause a distraction

A New Zealand First supporter promotes the party from a Hamilton traffic island in an image captured by a disgruntled ...
Katrina Goodwin

A New Zealand First supporter promotes the party from a Hamilton traffic island in an image captured by a disgruntled motorist.

Katrina Goodwin never complains about roads and doesn't care about politics.

Luckily she and other motorists have only one more day of seeing them both annoyingly entwined.

The Hamilton woman was left infuriated after a supporter waving a NZ First election hoarding caused her to make a risky driving decision on Wednesday.

The mum was approaching the Hillcrest roundabout when her view of oncoming roundabout traffic was obstructed by a manwaving his party's sign. 

"He was standing in the middle of the north and south bound lanes coming off Cambridge Rd, and then there was another one off to the left of a slip lane heading towards Morrinsville," Goodwin said.

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Goodwin was turning right into heavy work and school traffic at about 8.30am.

"He was blocking the traffic view of three north and eastbound lanes."

That roundabout is like russian roulette at the best of times, Goodwin said.

Less than 10 minutes later Goodwin was following a driver who went straight through a pedestrian crossing because he was waving to people waving Labour hoardings.

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"A group of school kids were wanting to start their road patrol, but they couldn't get across the crossing despite having their giant fluro signs.

"The driver could have hit them."

"They shouldn't be doing it at this time, let alone standing in the middle of the road – for the sake of a bit of exposure, they're just asking for people to get hurt.

"I realise it will only be going on for a couple more days, but someone could die in that time."

In a statement NZ First leader Winston Peters said holding placards was standard practice and not illegal.

"Members of political parties stand near busy roads with placards – for example as seen in Christchurch this week with 20 or so National Party supporters," Peters said.

"If you go anywhere in New Zealand in the build-up to an election this happens.

"The concerns expressed are petty. The person can be assured we will reiterate to all members to be well clear of intersections when they do this."

The New Zealand Transport Agency said the only transport law offence which could potentially apply would be loitering on a roadway.

The maximum possible fine that can be imposed by a judge is $35.

"Police would be unlikely to enforce unless there was a clear danger to the public."

Road Policing Operations Manager Inspector Peter McKennie said if the man was standing somewhere pedestrians are legally entitled to be then there is nothing illegal about it.

"In an incident such as this, police could have a chat with the person concerned about the distraction he was causing and ask him to move from the median strip to a safer location.

People can report traffic offending by ringing *555.

Comments are now closed on this story.

 - Stuff


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