I think most New Zealanders can agree that we have some of the worst drivers in the world, which is why I am so surprised that Kiwi dash cam videos aren’t nearly as abundant or popular as their Aussie or Russian counterparts. We give 15 year old kids licenses, the Police put all their eggs in the “speeding” basket instead of real dangers like red light running and we have practically zero effective driver training.
A good quote I read recently was “We are taught to pass a test, not to drive a car”. And that is spot on. Here is the 10 things Kiwi drivers do that piss me off:
People who slow down when they see a Police car… even when they’re not speeding
Nothing ruins traffic flow more than a police car joining in on the journey. As soon as the Holden with the blue and reds pull onto the motorway (highway for all you international readers) everyone slows down to a crawl.
The worst part is even if nobody was speeding, they will all slam on the brakes so hard you’d be excused for thinking they are trying to squash a fly on the inside of the windscreen with G-forces alone.
This also happens when driving past a police officer on the side of the road who have only just pulled another driver over. Everyone freaks out, hits the breaks, and I am left wondering why. Does anyone actually think the officer is going to spot someone driving past and think “fuck it, I’ll let this guy go and get that lunatic doing the speed limit instead!”
Drivers who hog the fast lane, and refuse to move over and let you pass
Since I have written about this before in a previous article, I will keep this entry brief. People who hog the passing lane (right hand lane here in NZ) yet refuse to let faster cars pass is my #1 rage inducing gripe on my daily commute. I especially love the ones that get angry at ME when I am forced to pass them in the slow lane.
Slow drivers who speed up when they get to passing lanes
Traveling between towns and cities throughout New Zealand, you will spend the majority of your time on single lane country roads. Some are straighter than others, but regardless of the conditions of the road, you are 100% guaranteed to run into one of these lovely people.
They will drag along 20km/h under the speed limit with a massive train of cars behind them completely oblivious to the pain and suffering they are causing. But what’s this? A passing lane in 2km? Excellent!
Passing lane arrives eventually… But wait! Something’s wrong… Why is this person suddenly doing 10km over the speed limit? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Yep, now everyone is left with a choice: Seriously break the speed limit to get past them, or accept your fate of becoming a tortoise for the next couple of hours.
This is the #1 reason I drive in the middle of the night. Less cars on the road means less of these people, and more overtaking opportunities.
Selfish drivers who use a left or right turn only lane to push in front of traffic
I used to see this every day when I lived in Auckland. One road between home and the office annoyed me in particular. It had two lanes, one being a left turn only, and the other for turning right. Every afternoon without fail, the left hand lane would fill up with vehicles, as everyone leaves work for the day.
You can see where this is going… of course, every asshole who thinks they are more important that everyone else, sits in the right hand lane till the very end, then push their way into the left hand lane. And that brings me to…
Idiots who let the selfish pricks above in
… these idiots. They all drive down the same road every day, they see the same right hand lane wankers push in day after day, yet for some reason they sit in the left hand lane while leaving more than enough space in front of their vehicle to fit Pinocchio’s car in if he’s been a politician all his wooden life (Note: I’m implying his car is really, really long).
The right hand lane assholes know these drivers will let them in, and that is exactly why they take advantage of this inconsiderate maneuver in the first place. I genuinely think the most annoying drivers in this situation are the ones that enable the queue jumpers in the first place. If everyone refused to let them in, and forced them all the turn right instead, the problem will go away.
People who don’t indicate, or indicate too much
Time for the cliche of road rage: Indicators. So you finally made it through the brunt of traffic, flipped a few queue jumpers the bird, and after a sigh of relief you find yourself driving behind one other car down a relatively quiet street.
Suddenly, he stops without warning. As soon as you think to yourself “Oh sure, why not. I love stopping in the middle of the road for no god damn reason”, he turns into a driveway or a side street. Brilliant. Someone should let Mercedes know they missed a key feature present in even the cheapest vehicle on the road, namely a device that will let other drivers know when you’re turning.
The other side of the coin is equally annoying though: People who just indicate 3 years before their turn off, or my personal favourite, people who don’t know how to indicate at roundabouts. In New Zealand, when going straight at a roundabout, you do not indicate as you enter, only when you leave. The amount of time I have spent sitting at a roundabout waiting on cars indicating right only for them to go straight, is time I could have wasted on the couch watching Netflix instead.
People who are rocket ships on straight roads, but arthritic old ladies in the corners
You tend to run into these people pretty often. You’ll be on a country road, traveling at a relatively rapid pace then suddenly out of nowhere a late model SUV flies past you at speeds so incredible, the scientists at CERN are conCERNed (hah!) that light being the fastest thing in the universe may have been wrong all this time.
Eventually Mr. SUV will encounter the most fearsome adversary of all time: A corner. He freaks out at the thought of having to turn the steering wheel, and reacts by turning into a 90 year old woman.
Suddenly, you are right up this SUV’s arse, as he goes around the corners so slow, the snails riding shotgun under his car starts to think “Fuck this, we’ll walk. This is going to take all day.”
Drivers who queue across an intersection
Busses and trucks seem to be the worst offenders here, but cars are no exception. I can understand that sitting in traffic sucks, and having to sit through a green lights because there is no room on the other side is frustrating. But there is one thing worse, people that decide “to hell with everyone else, I’m going anyway!” Great, now nobody can go through the intersection, because Selfish-Twat McGee here has an over inflated sense of self worth.
When I was in the US, I saw signs at intersections telling drivers that there is a $250 fine if the queue across the intersection. Man, what I’d give to have the New Zealand police put down the radar guns and go camp out at intersections fining these muppets instead.
People who have no idea where they are going
You can easily spot these people by their signature move: Sudden left or right turn from across 3 lanes of traffic. Even in the days where we had nothing better than a physical map instead of GPS and smart phones, this was inexcusable.
If you don’t know where you’re going, then pull over and work that shit out. And if you do find yourself in the wrong lane, endangering every other road user should be so far down the “to do” list, it should even be below “give a starving tiger a surprise blowjob.”
Cyclists who treat road rules like a buffet, picking and choose which ones they feel like following
Ah cyclists. Nothing can cause a more heated debate among road users than someone that uses their own two legs to get to work instead of an internal combustion engine. Which side of the debate am I on you may ask? Neither.
There are definitely assholes on both sides, and I am happy to report that I try my very best to always be aware of, and give as much space to a cyclist as possible. Except the selfish ones.
There is a coastal road in Auckland, where the council did something wonderful. They build a nice, smooth and wide cycle lane, completely separate from the road, keeping them well out of the way of cars and trucks.
Now, one guess as to where they all cycle? If you guessed “the middle of the fucking road” then congratulations, you win. This is not the only road where this happens, but it is the best example since a while ago there was a massive news story about a cyclist that got run over by a truck on that very road. And no, the truck was not driving on the cycle lane.
I can go on about other issues like cyclists riding 3 abreast on a 100kh/m country road, ignoring traffic lights and other road rules, but we will be here all day, and this is starting to get a bit long already.
I guess all I am saying is, whether you drive a car or ride a bicycle, stop being so god damn selfish and think about everyone else who has to share the road with you.