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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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The time has come to be better drivers

Timing, as they say, is everything. It’s certainly helpful when you are dancing, or if you are about to pop the big question. Get your timing wrong there, and you could end up on the floor or crestfallen. Or both.

Just as I was about to give up on the Wairarapa summer, the sun made a timely appearance. It may end up being a fleeting appearance, but it made for a very pleasant change to what has been a wet and woeful January. The first month of the new year came on the back of a drenched and disappointing December. The weekend’s sunshine reminded us of what we have been missing.

I have, for the most part, been in at the office over the silly season, and while it might have been tempting to poke fun at those family and friends who were having to endure a soaking during their end-of-year holidays, I’m glad I decided that discretion was the better option because the joke would have worn thin very quickly. Besides, I have no idea what the weather will do when I get a chance to recharge the batteries.

A quick glance at the Metservice predictions suggests [and I mean suggests] the rain will be back in time for the upcoming long weekend.

Given what we have had to date, I’m prepared to take a working week without rain.

Timing is also an essential factor when you’re behind the wheel. Perhaps it was just coincidental timing, but on Friday morning, just as the region was reacting to news of lower speed limits, one driver’s timing was dangerously out as he attempted to cross over State Highway 2.

I was behind a truck. Not a big truck, more of a modestly-sized removal truck going along at the current speed limit – 100kmh.

As we approached Chester Rd, heading north, the truck indicated and moved to the left to turn down Chester Rd. Waiting at the top of Chester Rd was a ute, looking to turn right on to SH2 and head south. The driver didn’t see me. Was I hidden from their view, behind the truck? Well if I could see them, surely they could have seen me. Apparently not.

As the truck veered left, the ute pulled out. The driver was looking left and didn’t see me emerge from behind the truck. I had nowhere else to go but to the other side of the road to avoid slamming into the driver’s side of the ute. It all happened in a split second. That I am writing this editorial indicates that no such collision happened. I swerved quickly enough, and there was, thankfully, no oncoming traffic. My heart rate came down about 15 minutes later.

Thus, I am going to agree with those that say speed limits, and the imminent lowering thereof, are not the answer to any particular road accident statistics for our region. It’s our driving that needs work. And lots of it. By all means, upgrade the roads, it can only help.

My driving is not perfect. Neither is yours. We need to do better.

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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