on Feb 9th, 2006
Getting used to driving on the left side of the road does not take long. For the first few days I was on high alert and the most attentive driver on the road. I was worried that I’d be in trouble after getting a little too comfortable, but to my surprise my habits have slowly just shifted over to left side driving.
But one odd rule with NZ driving that is much more difficult to get accustomed to is a backwards give-way rule. Translated into right-side convention, this rule states that when making any right turn, you have to give way to oncoming traffic turning left. At first I had all sort of problems with this and was either cutting people off or waiting unnecessarily. Then for a moment I though maybe there was some sound logic to it all, since it made both left and right turners wait on one stream of traffic. But now I’ve decided what most Kiwis have: this is a bad rule. First of all it is inefficient, and second it forces the one turning right to check their rear mirror to see if they can turn (since through traffic might block the one who’d otherwise have right of way). I’ve heard that NZ is the only country that still has this rule on the books, but there are plans to do away with it. Until then beware… if you visit and drive in NZ this is the one that will get you!
Finally, please forgive yesterday’s excessively whiny post. It was a bad day.
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