Tourists need warn­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA FEATURES -

Hav­ing wit­nessed many acts of ag­gres­sion on the roads here in Cen­tral Otago, I felt it pru­dent to help wage this war on tourist driv­ers in New Zealand at large. It seems most of New Zealand’s me­dia like TV3 and some of our very lo­cal news­pa­pers like to pro­mote good old fash­ioned war and xeno­pho­bia in one.

To help make our roads safer I was hop­ing to put to­gether the first edi­tion of the flyer that should go to all tourist driv­ers on their ar­rival: ‘‘While we are a laid back bunch of good bug­gers, we have never had much time for wait­ing in queues and there­fore are used to try­ing to drive with our front wheels in your car boot.

‘‘We are the same as any­one else in the world, and can­not drive un­der the in­flu­ence of mo­bile phones, so the safest ar­eas for you to drive are in cell phone re­cep­tion black ar­eas.

‘‘If you do ven­ture south, watch out for a Goron – the worst of our young male driv­ers. If you go north of here, you will en­ter the in­ter­na­tional home of boy racers – Christchurch.

‘‘While you are here in Cen­tral Otago the big­gest threat to you on the roads are young New Zealand male driv­ers. On your car ra­dio, you will hear that YOU are the big­gest threat to all of us.

‘‘Our roads are unique and dan­ger­ous to not only New Zealand driv­ers but es­pe­cially to any­one like you who has never ex­pe­ri­enced them prior’’.

We suf­fered more deaths on our roads by tourist driv­ers in 2012. The trend is low­er­ing, but this is lit­tle com­fort to those who have wit­nessed near ac­ci­dents or worse yet, have lost a fam­ily mem­ber to a tourist driver.

I like the words of one of our lo­cal judges with re­spects to poor driv­ing: ‘‘We al­ready have enough lo­cal idiots on our roads, and we don’t need to im­port any more.’’

My point is why does our me­dia use this is­sue to pro­mote its own form of ‘us and them’ now? ◗ Timbo Deaker lives in Gibb­ston, with his wife and two chil­dren. He is a con­sul­tant viti­cul­tur­ist and owns sev­eral businesses that ser­vice the lo­cal and do­mes­tic wine in­dus­try of New Zealand. The other Mon­day when we had snow in town I, like a lot of other lo­cals, had to rad­i­cally change my speed when ne­go­ti­at­ing the trip to work. It was quite a change tootling out to the air­port at 30kmh. It made me a lot more aware of my sur­round­ings. Other mo­torists smiled and waved.

It got me think­ing about the pace at which many of us live our lives – de­spite hav­ing moved here for ‘life­style’ rea­sons. Maybe we should all look to ‘slow down’ just a lit­tle bit.

A quick search for ‘‘slow move­ment‘‘ re­vealed this gem of a de­scrip­tion - ‘‘It’s a cul­tural revo­lu­tion against the no­tion that

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.