Put eti­quette in the road code, AA says

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - BROOKE BATH

The road code should be up­dated to in­clude an eti­quette sec­tion to turn the tide on poor-man­nered driv­ers on our roads, the AA says.

‘‘Peo­ple should ask them­selves, why is their jour­ney more im­por­tant than oth­ers?’’ AA Driv­ing School gen­eral man­ager Roger Venn said.

It comes after a slew of road rage in­ci­dents including in Jan­uary when a young boy watched as his fa­ther was dragged from his car and punched in the face mul­ti­ple times and, in De­cem­ber, a 93-year-old man was ver­bally abused and in­jured in a road rage in­ci­dent, north of Auck­land.

Venn said an ag­i­tated per­son at the wheel had a rip­ple ef­fect.

‘‘If some­body cuts you off at the su­per­mar­ket do you start rant­ing and raving? No, you say ‘sorry’ or ‘that’s okay’. That’s the way we should op­er­ate on the road.

‘‘If we all just re­laxed a lit­tle bit, while main­tain­ing con­cen­tra­tion, I think the whole traf­fic sys­tem would flow a lot eas­ier.

‘‘There’d be more peo­ple let into queues, there’d be less harsh brak­ing and more gen­tle mov­ing of traf­fic rather than peo­ple cut­ting in or fail­ing to merge,’’ he said.

Gen­eral road eti­quette in­cluded merg­ing like a zip, in­di­cat­ing in time be­fore chang­ing lanes and keep­ing a good fol- low­ing dis­tance.

There were other things that made for a cour­te­ous driver, Venn said.

‘‘A sim­ple thank you by a wave of a hand or a flash of the lights is all that’s re­quired.

‘‘That just means peo­ple will pass it on and say, ‘Oh that was nice, some­body ac­tu­ally let me in and I’ll do the same next time,’ and it’s as sim­ple as that, just sim­ple man­ners.’’

Venn said good man­ners did not come nat­u­rally to all driv­ers and that is why he be­lieved it should be in­cluded in the road code.

‘‘There’s space for an ac­tual overt sec­tion on driv­ing eti­quette and how to con­trol emo­tions and how to re­spond to ag­gres­sive driv­ing,’’ Venn said.

‘‘I don’t think that’s par­tic­u­larly re­ferred to strongly in the road code.’’

Venn said it was a lot more than just a test.

‘‘It’s about be­ing a com­pe­tent, safe and de­fen­sive driver in all sit­u­a­tions and that in­cludes [hav­ing] eti­quette and be­ing a con­sid­er­ate road user.’’

Po­lice of­ten en­cour­aged driv­ers to keep a level head be­hind the wheel.

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