Mosgiel drivers off the pace

Mosgiel Senior Constable Karren Bye is frustrated by slow drivers in Mosgiel. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Mosgiel Senior Constable Karren Bye is frustrated by slow drivers in Mosgiel. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Slow drivers are fast becoming a problem in Mosgiel. And Senior Constable Karren Bye has had enough.

''Slow drivers are considered inconsiderate because they impede the normal flow of traffic,'' she said yesterday.

Mosgiel roads were flat, straight and well maintained and there was no excuse for motorists to drive around the town so far under the posted speed limit, she said.

''But it has progressively gotten worse.''

The community constable confirmed she had issued an infringement notice for a motorist driving too slowly - 38kmh in a 50kmh zone of Factory Rd.

In a 10-minute drive around the township, the Otago Daily Times noted several slow drivers holding up traffic, including some who did not indicate or who pulled out in front of vehicles.

Clutha Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant Al Dickie said he was driving near Henley when he observed a motorist driving between 70kmh and 80kmh in a 100kmh zone.

The driver then sped up to 100kmh at a passing lane, preventing others from overtaking. And after the passing lane?

''Then they went straight back to 80kmh,'' he said.

Snr Const Bye said slow drivers caused frustration for other motorists, some of whom were tempted to overtake in potentially dangerous locations.

Her message was simple - use your rear-vision mirrors ''because you will see a line of traffic behind you ... so just pull over''.

Senior Constable Lox Kellas, of Portobello, said overseas' motorists driving too slowly on Otago Peninsula prompted complaints.

''The problem is the frustration experienced by following motorists, especially those who know the road.

"Therefore, it increases the risk and the potential for crashes, and there have been reports of some pretty hairy manoeuvres over the years.''

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Drive faster?

I wonder what Mosgiel Senior Constable Karren Bye would have to say to Dunedin (and Mosgiel) drivers this morning, when heavy frosts have made at least some roads quite slick. I suppose driving faster helps us to retain control of our vehicles?
Personally, I saw only one accident today, as drivers following the advice of some commenters here stayed as close to the vehicle in front of them as possible, only to realise, too late, that one of them was about to turn off Albany onto a cross street (with indicator flashing) - several vehicles clashed, and several more slid precariously off in various directions to avoid doing the same. If only they had all been driving "courteously" enough to keep the speed up nearer the posted limit - and perhaps left smaller gaps to avoid backing up traffic even further - I suppose everyone would have escaped such a mishap.
Incidentally, the very fact that people were driving under the posted limit is probably the only reason that nobody was injured and any vehicle damage was minor. Driving too slowly doesn't force the people behind to make silly decisions, but it should encourage them to calm down and make resonable ones.
Someone here has already suggested that we drive to the conditions, and I, for one, believe this has to do with both our own sense of control and safety as well as the external conditions. Or are we all really in such a hurry to get across town?

Drives me to distraction

I think that most people can cope with drivers travelling slightly slower than the speed limit if conditions are less than perfect.  What makes me despair are the drivers that are obviously distracted.  Looking at scenery or deep in conversation with passengers, and a lot of people slow down when they are talking (it's the multitasking thing).  I was told by my driving instructor to drive assertively which does not mean the opposite to defensively.  It means that you make your intentions clear, indicate, etc and carry out the manoeuvre safely and efficiently.  Don't behave in such a way that other drivers are taking unnecessary risks because they don't know what you are doing.  All road users have an obligation to be courteous to others on the road.  A lot of the problem in Mosgiel is that in Gordon Rd, people are looking for parks and because there are pedestrian islands (I think that's what they are called) and quite a few pedestrian crossings, this is not always easy.

Are we serious about driving speeds?

It seems very much as if we're accusing people who choose to drive under the posted speed limit of forcing other people to make dangerous decisions when deciding to overtake. This officer makes it seem as if the speed limit is no longer the "limit" under which we all must drive, but the set target speed towards which we all must aim. The logical conclusion here is that people who don't feel safe or comfortable driving at the posted limit should not be allowed to drive.

What's the outcome of such a new regulation? People who don't feel safe or comfortable driving at the posted limit will now start driving at - or just above (margin of error, after all) - the limit, and we all know that you should always drive slightly faster than feels safe to you, right? So the next time you're visiting friends in a new neighborhood, or trying to find a car park downtown (not so easy thanks to this bikers and businesses and uni students), don't let that speedo drop below the posted limit, or you may be cited for the infringement. Faster is always safer? I cannot believe we're seriously having this conversation with the local authorities.

Red lights

Cyclists habitually go through red lights too. It is dangerous and irresponsible and illegal the last time I looked. Oh and I saw it happen most recently at the Gardens intersection about 2 weeks ago.

Here we go

What is this obsession with speed here in NZ? I fully get that people do drive far to slow on ocassion and they do need telling to pull over and let us pass. And yes, the 80 then 100 then 80 brigade are nothing short of selfish. But it is education, not tickets, they need, especialy around Mosgiel where I would hazard a guess old age is the biggest culprit and with it slower reaction times hence slower speeds to compensate.
If that does not work then their licence should be taken away. I get tired of 100 being a target and have witnessed madness as in driving rain I have been overtaken doing a safe 80 by idiots that must reach 100. These are the muppets that need talking to.
And let's wake up to the fact that New Zealand has no traffic and journey times will ever be more than 20 mins different whatever the speed. Is that worth all the fuss? Go to Europe or the UK on the M25 then complain about being held up. Get over it, drivers.

One more thing everyone

Yes.... another thing everyone, when you come across a dual carriageway (thats two lanes in each direction) always remember to keep to the left lane unless passing. Nobody minds a slow driver in the left lane but if you stay in the right lane and no matter what speed you will get trampled!

Slow cyclists

Cyclists are permitted to use the roadway, but are simply incapable of maintaining a proper speed. They travel at 50kmh on the open road, if they are lucky, and 20-30km/hr in built-up areas.

I look forward to seeing them booked en masse very soon.

Oh, I forgot, they are a protected species that have to obey only some of the rules.

Get moving Dunedin drivers

This sort of action by police is way overdue. Slow drivers are the curse of all of Dunedin. Every day I'm stuck at the lights watching a line of dozy drivers in front of me trying to get moving.

I can watch a light turn green then all the way back to red and not move one inch at some intersections. The police have been blasting the, "slow down" message in our faces for far too long. It's time to get your rear ends moving Dunedin!

While we're on the subject, could Dunedin drivers please stop slowing down while approaching green lights. Are you people afraid that light is going to change? That's a self-fulfilling prophesy if you don't move it. 

Finally

Finally the police have realised what most other drivers have noticed - driving too slow and not indicating. There are far too many drivers out there that either have no idea what they are doing or purposely drive slow or don't indicate to annoy other drivers. Both groups should not be allowed to drive on the roads.

 

Slow drivers

Maybe we could have a senior lane next to the cycle lane.

 

Speedometer accuracy

Speedometers are generally designed to be a little generous (ie, tell you that you are going faster than you actually are); the police themselves accept that this may be up to 10%. If your tyres are a bit flat, and the tread is worn, the diameter reduction can also reduce your actual speed relative to what your speedo says. The margin of error on most of the police devices is around 2kmh. And if the person is targetting driving just a little under 50kmh to be cautious. A combination of all of the above could probably get you down to 38kmh.

School LSZ

Skinhat, what safe speed around schools do you suggest? Slow speed is not the binary opposite of safe driving.

Ease up on road saftey message

If you want to stop people driving too slow then perhaps making road safety message less over the top could help. There is a balance in trying to increase road saftey but you dont want to go so far as to have people driving 70kmh in a 100kmh zone. There are many road safety measures that are making people cautious such as reducing speed tolerance levels from 10kmh to 4kmh, reducing speed limits (for example lower speeds around schools), calling for tourists to take a driving test and also an overly difficult license test for young people. One hundred out of 30,000 deaths are from car accidents so there are plenty of other areas to focus on in reducing fatalities.

It's a limit not a target

OK, I agree some slower motorists can cause problems and many countries do ticket drivers who are travelling so slowly so as to cause an obstruction, but you have to remember the designated speed is a limit, not a target. The posted speed is not telling you that you have to travel at that speed - it is telling you that you the maximum speed it is considered to be safe to travel at.

Yes, cars stop much quicker now than when a limit may have been introduced, but New Zealand is one of the few countries I have driven in that permits parking on blind bends or so close to junctions and driveway entrances that the front of the car is halfway across the road before you can actually see that it is safe to pull out.

Ravensbourne Road

What about the drivers travelling to or from Port Chalmers at 50kmh on a 80kmh road? They are a danger to all road users. If you cant drive at the posted speed then take an alternative route where you're not on the main road. Slow drivers do cause accidents.

Inconsiderate Drivers

My favourite beef is those who crawl up 3 Mile Hill at 40kph, then fly down Taieri Road to at 75kph.  On the other hand, I do think that 70kph on Factory Road from Centre St to Wingatui Road is too fast now with the increased housing in the area.

 

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