Rural Women Calls for Keep Left Road Markings on All Roads
Rural Women New Zealand Calls for Keep Left Road Markings on All Roads to reduce Tourist Crashes
Rural Women New Zealand is calling for arrows to be painted on the left-hand side of roads leaving tourist venues, and at regular intervals on all roads, in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents involving tourists.
“The danger posed by tourists particularly on rural roads was a hot topic at our recent national conference,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan.
Last year 558 crashes resulting in death or injury involved foreign drivers. In three-quarters of the cases the visitors were shown to be at fault, with many of the accidents caused by drivers being on the wrong side of the road.
“Anything that can be done to remind drivers which side of the road they should be on needs to be done,” says Mrs McGowan.
“In rural areas there may be very intermittent traffic, and tourists may drive along oblivious to the fact that they’ve pulled out onto the wrong side of the road. If there were regular arrows on the roads indicating the direction, especially at intersections, it could be a life-saving reminder.”
While stopping short of calling for driving tests for all overseas drivers, Rural Women New Zealand believes more could be done to educate tourists when they hire rental cars.
“We would like to see ‘Keep Left” signage placed in all vehicles within driver view, for example as a bold sticker on the steering wheel. This is already happening with some rental companies, however it needs to be in a readily-understandable graphic, not just in English.
“We are aware that rental companies do provide information about driving on New Zealand roads, but this needs to be reviewed to ensure it is available in a range of languages, or in visual form such as a video that all drivers need to watch.”