Thursday, 16 December 2004 - 4:01pm |
National News

Road courtesy initiative launched

2 min read

Have you made a difference today?

The Canterbury Highway Patrol and the Waimakariri and Hurunui Road Safety Committees today launched a new road safety campaign being trialled in North Canterbury.

Sergeant John Robinson says that the campaign is based around the simple idea that little things can make a big difference.

"I first got the idea after watching the Christchurch Red bus drivers giving a courteous wave, acknowledging when a motorist has allowed them into the traffic," he says. "Together with Chris Neeson of the Waimakariri road safety committee, we developed the idea of recognising the positive, good courteous driving."

When John and Chris researched the idea they discovered that Courtesy campaigns are rather rare, the previous one was ten years ago.

"We decided to acknowledge the little things that make a difference, that make roads calmer as NZ drivers are not noted for their courtesy to others," John says. "The idea is to remember that driving isn’t a contest or the road a racetrack. The aim is to arrive at your destination with as little aggravation as possible."

Courteous drivers will be acknowledged with a Gold Star key ring saying; `I made a difference today.’

Some behaviours to be rewarded are:
• Slower drivers – pull over to let other vehicles past.
• When changing direction or lanes – indicate.
• Pull over and stop to take or make a phone call.
• Let other drivers in – help keep traffic flowing.
• Give them space- allow room around pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
• Re realistic- allow plenty of time for your trip.
• Don’t tailgate- keep your distance, remember the two second rule
• Be patient – courtesy is contagious.
• Don’t forget to wave and says thanks.

Note: By noon today three key rings had been handed out to courteous drivers.
 A woman driver with a car full of children who was seen to pull over to the road side and stop driving to use a cell phone.

 A Camper van pulled over to allow traffic to pass.

 A woman in the Main Street of Rangiora pulled back to allow a vehicle to back out safely.

"One woman thought she must be on candid camera," laughs John. "Another commented on how good it was to be pulled over for something positive."

Questions/Comments: Sergeant John Robinson 027 240 5293