Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: Carter The Unstoppable Dick Machine

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  • Michael Stevens,

    People do use thier indicators in Auckland - it's just that everyone seems to think they mean "I have turned"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    were probably boorish, arrogant and all those other traits that seem to attend people who have spent a bit of self-important time in the public eye.

    That accounts for Duff, Carter's spent most of his time as a dickhead in the public eye.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Frankly, I think both Duff and Carter over-reacted...

    Heh, I originally read that as "Frankly, I think both Duff and Carter are over-rated..." - which had me nodding in approval, and wanting to complement the author for his straight talking.

    Slightly more seriously, I've noticed the media can be all over Labour about "cutting out the dead wood" ... even providing long lists of MPs it thinks are past their use by date (if indeed they were ever any use at all) ... but FFS look at some of the time-servers on the National bench, starting with Hone here.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    While I reckon John "Hone" Carter is a drop-kick as well, I suspect this story wouldn't have caused anyone any concern had Carter been a middle-ranking accountant in a big accounting firm, rather than a middle-ranking MP for a big political party.

    Nice headline, too, Graeme. It reminds me of an issue of the NME about 20 years ago. Among the list of bands covered inside were "Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine" and, right below, "Straitjacket Fits". :)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 628 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    $150 a pop for not indicating. The driver of the little blue car in front of me northbound on the Harbour Bridge earlier this week must have been up for no less than $600 in fines between the top of the bridge and the Onewa Rd exit.....where I saw her execute her 4th unsignalled lane change when she shot out of the exiting lane back into the mainstream of traffic, apparently not having read any of the signs saying the lane she was in must exit.

    John Carter is an easy target. He only holds his seat because so many of the Labour voters in his area are on the Maori roll.

    Is he the best that the National Party in North can put up? That's a scary thought.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    <bigWhinge>
    What is it with Kiwis and highway lanes? In the UK (I'm sounding like a whining pom here) if you indicate from a freely moving lane into a full one, people generally let you in. They also slow up to let you pull out of side roads, turn right, etc.

    Here you're expected to get into lane several kilometres before the turning point and woe betide if you should realise too late that you actually need to turn left somewhere. As if the motorway was a Polish bread queue and you should find the back of the line and join it...

    </bigWhinge>

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    In the UK (notably much safer place to drive than NZ) you are taught specifically NOT to indicate unless there is a clear purpose in doing so. Never understood why it was mandatory here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    <Indonesia>indicate, ha ha; lanes..ha ha; give way..ha ha </Indonesia>

    you don't know how lucky you are........I dream of NZ's impolite drivers...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    What is it with Kiwis and highway lanes?

    My American husband has a theory that New Zealanders are, in general, so laid-back and easygoing in their daily lives that the pent-up aggression has to come out somewhere, and that place is on the roads. The amount of dickery when travelling at high speeds is just unconscionable. I mean, I *do* live in west Auckland, but someone looking daggers at me for 'only' travelling 5kms above the legal speed limit? Is nuts.

    My theory: imagine how long your trip would take you if you were in a horse and cart, and chillax.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    John Carter is an easy target. He only holds his seat because so many of the Labour voters in his area are on the Maori roll.

    This is something I often wonder about - the implications to existing electorates should the maori seats be canned. Otaki (and Darren Hughes) would be in the same boat as Hone.

    Has anyone done any research?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    imagine how long your trip would take you if you were in a horse and cart, and chillax.

    You might not need to imagine in the not so disant future.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    You might not need to imagine in the not so distant future.

    Yikes. Yes. I wonder if I could get my dogs to pull along some kind of charabanc?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Rich...

    if you sail past lots of stopped traffic in an exit only lane, and then suddenly realise you need to be in the stopped lane..... you might have made a geunine mistake, in which-case, fair enough we all do that from time to time.... but a much more common reason for that to happen is when you are too self-important to queue up and wait your turn like all the normal plebs... and typically those plebs resent the people who think they are too important to wait.

    I actually think Auckland traffic is more forgiving, and makes holes and lets people in far more than it did, say a decade ago...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 800 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    New Zealanders drive to fast, thats all. They need to be taught that you DON'T have to speed up until you catch that vehicle yonder in the distance. Also, I think that Aucklanders are by far the best drivers in New Zealand (not saying much I know). I think that the vehicle density of a big city or in a teeming place like the U.K. has a Darwinian influence on driving skills...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1822 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    My American husband has a theory that New Zealanders are, in general, so laid-back and easygoing in their daily lives that the pent-up aggression has to come out somewhere, and that place is on the roads. The amount of dickery when travelling at high speeds is just unconscionable. I mean, I *do* live in west Auckland, but someone looking daggers at me for 'only' travelling 5kms above the legal speed limit? Is nuts.

    As a proud West Aucklander, may I add ...

    A couple of weeks ago I was getting daggers in Vancouver (also regarded as a relatively laid-back place in various ways) for only travelling 20 kms above the legal speed limit. That's right, doing 70 in a 50 zone and getting in the way of all those wanting to do 80+.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Sorry, I did not mean to imply that Rich personally was one of these intentional queue jumpers...

    But the people waiting cant tell who's made a mistake and who's being a dick.... and while maybe its not being charitable, or having the best manners, to shut people out..... I find the psychology behind it entirely understandable.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 800 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm always bemused when new/amended traffic regulations are proposed, to allow the cops to punish some particular form of traffic miscreancy. They don't enforce a lot of the rules that are already there, many of which (such as the intersection blocking rule) would go a long way toward improving traffic flow during rush-hour.
    Look no further than the proposed strengthening of penalties for running red lights - 75 demerit points - which may or may not have come into effect yet. The police don't bloody enforce the red light laws now, so what's the point of giving them harsher penalties to not dish out? I fully support the move, as an aside, having been to more than one fatal car crash that resulted from someone failing to obey a red light. But my inner cynic (realist?) says that it's just bloody futile because we're already at a point where the police ignore cars that blaze through red/amber lights right in front of them, despite there supposedly being a push to crack down on such behaviour.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3925 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    People do use thier indicators in Auckland - it's just that everyone seems to think they mean "I have turned

    HaHa so very true. sometimes

    In the UK (notably much safer place to drive than NZ) you are taught specifically NOT to indicate unless there is a clear purpose in doing so. Never understood why it was mandatory here.

    really? isnt part of the point that YOU may not be 100% aware of what the guy two lanes over is planning? or the bike in your blindspot, or the guy up ahead who is also thinking of changing lanes, or the guy in the side street you cant even see.....

    I personally make a POINT of letting people in, but in some cases,southbound between the bridge and the viaduct fer example, if you haven't gotten in lane you are either not paying enough attention to the road [foresight is goood] OR are being a selfish pointy thing, both badbadbad.

    plus I don't think Auckland/New Zealand drivers are that bad.in general


    oh yeah, G-dawg, good post. i was thinking of Carter as wanker due to the incident, you cast the interaction in a different light for me. thanks.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Well after 20 years of driving freeways in California (without a single ticket I might add) I just have to laugh - coming from NZ those first few times were hard but people are mostly polite, understand about taking turns and letting people in and tend to have a finely honed idea of when someones cutting in line and being a dickhead - the traffic engineers have also learned about how to stripe stuff so that those spots seldom really happen.

    I've seen scary stuff happen, especially late at night (nothing quite pops the adrenaline than seeing the face of someone spinning out at 80k across in front of you, or the person running across in the dark, or ....) ... BUT for some reason I find Auckland really hard to drive in there seems to be an annoyed intensity that makes it much harder for me to judge what people are intending to do (so please do use that indicator, and get your brake lights fixed).

    Mind you here in Dunedin people gripe about the traffic all the time, all I can do is laugh, it's bad for 20 minutes in the evening - in CA if I tried my commute at peak times it was 2 hours each way (rather than 1), on a Friday, during ski season, before a long weekend it could be 4 (breaks into a rendition of Fred Dagg's "we don't know how lucky we are mate" and heads off for the weekend ....)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2188 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Look no further than the proposed strengthening of penalties for running red lights - 75 demerit points - which may or may not have come into effect yet. The police don't bloody enforce the red light laws now, so what's the point of giving them harsher penalties to not dish out?

    And before they run around cracking down, they could also consider installing turning arrows at some of the many, many intersections in Christchurch where, during peak traffic, it is functionally impossible to turn right without running a red for at least some of the turn.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    The police don't bloody enforce the red light laws now, so what's the point of giving them harsher penalties to not dish out?

    Actually, I've seen them (in Wellington Central, anyway) sit at problem intersections and pull person after person over on occasion; but really, it must be a bit of a "why bother" feeling for a $150 fine. Sure, that'll sting some people, but a lot will just laugh it off.

    I expect being able to do points on the license will make some plods a great deal keener.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Derham,

    they could also consider installing turning arrows at some of the many, many intersections in Christchurch where, during peak traffic, it is functionally impossible to turn right without running a red for at least some of the turn.

    This is entirely unscientific, but back when I first started driving in Christchurch (late 80s) people stopped when the light turned amber, so you could do a right turn then. Now though - people keep on going straight through until the lights on the cross street turn green.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Some red traffic lights in the US have a smaller red light on the other side so that cops can tell you've run a red light - same with freeway onramp metering lights

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2188 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    This is entirely unscientific, but back when I first started driving in Christchurch (late 80s) people stopped when the light turned amber, so you could do a right turn then. Now though - people keep on going straight through until the lights on the cross street turn green.

    That's definitely a big part of the problem. The worst bit is that you usually can't tell whether they're going to shoot through or stop until the very last second. And don't get me started on people in fricking great SUVs waiting to turn left who make it impossible to see whether there's anyone coming straight through anyhow. Forget the dangers to the environment; the things make driving actively dangerous for those of us in small cars.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    As an Aucklander used to people changing lanes with no warning I didn't know that law was still on the books ($150 fine apparently).

    Here's a thought: instead of nailing Carter for saying what we all might have wanted to say in that situation, let's hail the vigilance of that cop and get him down to Auckland -- and a few more like him.

    Ah yes, because Auckland needs more Police to enforce traffic laws. Nevermind the BS going down in SthAk, we need more motorway cops.

    Why have they upped the penalty for running red lights to 75 demerit points? Because they're introducing new technology red light cameras which mean they can just ping away $150 at a time. No new cops required.

    In Thailand they have a digital timer above the red light counting down the seconds until it goes green. Makes everyone more patient I presume.

    But yes, running red lights is evil (seriously) - it shows a callous disregard for others.

    And don't get me started on people in fricking great SUVs waiting to turn left who make it impossible to see whether there's anyone coming straight through anyhow. Forget the dangers to the environment; the things make driving actively dangerous for those of us in small cars.

    Don't be such a size queen. It would be the same if it was a truck or a van. If it's really such a problem get yourself a bigger car. You really can see further from up high.

    **But if you read only one thing - READ THIS**

    The law we don't have on the books, which we should, is to require motorists to KEEP LEFT UNLESS PASSING. Nothing drives me more crazy than having someone driving down the motorway at 95kmph in the 'fast lane' forcing me to overtake on the inside lane*. In Europe you must keep left and everyone does (if you don't you get tooted) and it really helps with traffic flow.
    But here in NZ people drive as they please and only speed up when you try to overtake them.

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 157 posts Report Reply

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