Courtesy and patience go a long way when dealing with
overseas motorists on Southern Lakes roads, Destination
Queenstown, the police and the Queenstown Lakes District
All three organisations yesterday urged residents intending
to use the roads to take extra care as the peak summer season
''Our season has begun so we're seeing more tour buses around
town and on the main highways as well as national and
international holidaymakers in camper vans and rental cars,''
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said.
''We're asking our local community to please be patient and
courteous with these drivers - they're unfamiliar with our
roads and our international visitors are getting to grips
with driving in a foreign country so they need time and space
Senior Sergeant John Fookes asked motorists and pedestrians
to be more vigilant.
''Please be extra cautious and drive smart - allow plenty of
time to get to your destination, watch your speed and
following distances, and scan ahead for potential hazards,''
Snr Sgt Fookes said.
''It's very easy for visitors to get distracted by our
beautiful scenery so we urge our local drivers and
pedestrians to take the initiative and give them plenty of
There was a recognition overseas drivers presented occasional
challenges of their own, he said.
''Some are relatively inexperienced drivers. Some are
inexperienced on the type of roads they sometimes need to
drive on here and a proportion are used to driving on the
''Travel time is worth a bit of thought before starting a
journey because often you wind up with unexpected stops of
interest from a tourist point of view. Available time in the
day gets shorter and people then get impatient and start
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said central business
districts, state highways and scenic drives such as the road
to Glenorchy were hotspots for travellers.
''We're coming into a very busy time when lots of Kiwis and
international visitors will be here and we want to keep
everyone safe,'' the mayor said.
''Please treat our guests as you would like to be treated
elsewhere - with friendliness, patience and courtesy.''
Overseas drivers have a poor reputation in Queenstown, with
their frequent failure to indicate, slow driving in the 70kmh
zoned Frankton Rd, disregard for pedestrian crossings,
driving in the wrong lane and paying more attention to their
dashboard-mounted satellite navigation display than the road,
as well as many appearing in the Queenstown District Court
for drink-driving and speeding offences.