Friday, March 16, 2012

Saturday Reflection: Changing people's lives.

Imagine arriving at a country where in the whole wide world, they are the only country where they do things only they do it that way.
Imagine that it is a serious thing like a traffic rule.
Well, this is precisely what is happening in New Zealand. We have the right hand rule, since 1977. When you are on the road, and at an uncontrolled intersection, you have to give way to the right. Ne Zealand is the only country that has this. Tourists ho come find this ludicrous and dangerous.
So they are changing, but not is a good way.
I had driven in Borneo, Canada, Singapore, so I find the change a bit easier. But people have inertia, they need time, the authorities are not doing it right.
I was at the AA where I saw the rule change brochures. I took them to teach my adult ESOL students.
The new rule comes into effect on 25th March, and I hardly see any ads on TV to educate the people.

Road rules campaign 'too little, too late'
Sarah Robson, NZ Newswire March 17, 2012, 5:06 am

Road rules campaign too little, too late

The campaign to educate drivers about upcoming changes to the give way rules has fallen short, says a motoring commentator.

The changes to who has right of way when turning at intersections will take effect at 5am on March 25.

The tweaks to the rules will require vehicles turning right at intersections to give way to those turning left, while at uncontrolled T-intersections, vehicles from the terminating road will need to give way to traffic on the continuing road.

A $1.2 million publicity campaign by the New Zealand Transport Agency to educate drivers about the changes got underway this week, with television, newspaper and online advertisements, and an interactive website that tests drivers' knowledge of the new rules.

However, Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of car review website dogandlemon.com, says the campaign is too little, too late.

"They're trying to change the attitudes of a lifetime with a very short, couple of week, relatively low budget campaign," he told NZ Newswire.

"They haven't spent enough time thinking this through, nor is the campaign particularly impressive."

The likely result will be a lot of confusion for drivers on the day of the change, Mr Matthew-Wilson says.

"There are vast numbers of people that no longer read newspapers, turn off TV ads and throw away every leaflet that arrives in their letterbox.

"So a percentage of people will simply not know about it."

A survey last week by the Automobile Association (AA) found that a majority of drivers support the changes to the give way rules and most are confident they can follow them.

Right turning vehicles have had the right of way at intersections since 1977.
The changes will bring New Zealand's give way rules in line with the rest of the world.




Rune Eide said...

We drive on the right hand side of the road, so giving way to people coming from the right is the natural thing do do. I believe that is the common rule in any country which drives on the right hand side of the road (at least 60% of the world).

You story reminds of a joke from the time Sweden changed from left-hand to right-hand driving in the mid-60s: To ease the transition, the buses and lorries would start one week before the others ...

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

my 15 yr old son says, why don't they experiment in one place first. I tell him, New Zealand is too small, unlike USA.

Lew said...

Indeed confusion will reign for sometime! I hope people just drive slower until all adjust to the new rules. I see a lot of people here who do not seem to know they have the right to proceed first leaving the others wondering when to go.

The carillon is a musical instrument of bells, usually instaled in a tower. This one has 49 bells of different tones. They have concerts in Baker Park once a month.

Halcyon said...

THis looks quite complex!

Bridget Larsen said...

oh we have the right hand rule now too, not sure if its all over Australia but it certainly is in the capital Canberra, was very confusing.

Come join me in Foto Friday where the theme is open and link your blog

rainfield61 said...

Old habits hard to be changed.

Eden said...

This is confusing especially to new drivers like me.

Wayne said...

It's going to be a rough driving ahead!