A TRUE KIWI CLASSIC
Iam amazed how often as a passenger I hear drivers bemoaning, (a) the presence of roadpolicing cars, and (b) speed cameras. They’re referred to, in a way that reverts to the vernacular, as revenue gatherers at best. I’m not usually given to using the language often employed to describe either the officers or the systems being used. Remember, the road-policing officer probably loves his mum just like you do.
At this time of the year, we at New Zealand Classic Car would like to wish you all happy and safe summer of motoring. The roads can be dangerous, so maybe there’s a few ways that we can all help to keep the wretched road toll from climbing ever higher.
Presumably, those of us reading this magazine enjoy cars and driving them, so hopefully we are also aware of how we can do our part to help on our roads.
Making sure that your car is ready to take on the holiday season is sensible. While you’re getting that fresh oil, remember to get your mechanic to have a good look over the car. Make sure that all those important parts of the car are in good nick; brakes and tyres, of course. Sunny days and dusty roads mean that you’ll need good wiper blades and a full washer reservoir — a bit of washing-up liquid and a dash of meths always helps in that as well. And, of course, a new warrant is a good way to get an overall picture of your car’s condition.
When it comes to driving, remember that it’s the holiday season. That annoying camper van with ‘Rollin’ Home’ or some other inanity written across the front actually has just as much right to the road as you, even if Ma and Pa Camper Van seem to want to drive like they are the only folks around. The camper van with a rental-company name affixed can be even more annoying. Its driver probably doesn’t know his way around and often may not understand our road rules at all. Treat that one with respect. Easier to avoid trouble than to be a part of it. Give those cyclists room as well.
So often, our human nature just wants to get the better of us. We want to get there earlier, get there while there’s still some parking places available, get there before they do, we just want to get there. The best way to do that is to take it easy, and get there. The difference over even long distances that a ‘press on’ driver will make over a patient driver is almost negligible. This from someone who, until recently, was driving about 100,000km each year. As well, you’ll use less fuel; there’ll be less wear and tear on your car; and, more important, there’ll be a whole lot less wear and tear on you.
Too often we read our papers or watch television to learn that an avoidable accident has killed or maimed. We’re quick to apportion blame and believe that we’d never find ourselves in such a position. Maybe that is the case, but let’s make sure of that this summer.
The roads will be busier, and there’ll still be plenty of big rigs — be patient and wait to pass safely. I do think some of them could slow down a bit as well. And, as for all those caravans, boats, and trailers being towed by drivers who only do that once a year, let’s all exercise a bit of patience. Wait until you can pass, smile and wish them a happy holiday, and wave with an open hand as you pass safely. A word to the drivers of those towing things too: don’t speed up once you reach passing lanes, let the queue behind go past.
If we all enter the summer spirit of motoring, we’ll all enjoy the trip more. Smile as you wait patiently, because, in the overall plan of life, it will make no difference at all whether you arrive at 3.23pm or 3.25pm.
Remember, the road-policing officer is just doing his job and that he isn’t actually an ogre, and those dodgy camper-van people are probably really kind as well.