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Survey lights up drivers’ habits

20 June 2005

The increase in vehicles on Christchurch’s roads has revealed a silver lining - Christchurch’s drivers are becoming more courteous to one another.

Funded by the Land Transport New Zealand and Christchurch City Council, a survey of motorists’ driving habits through the city’s intersections has shown some interesting results.

Council Road Safety Coordinator Susan Cambridge says the survey of good and bad driving practices through intersections indicates that more than 50% of respondents say drivers indicate where they intend to go - before they get there.

“As intersections and roads become more congested, motorists are becoming more aware of other vehicles. Drivers are finding that during peak hour traffic they often can’t enter the main traffic flow, from side streets or entrance ways, unless a courteous driver stops and lets them into the queue of traffic,” she says.

The survey also revealed the bad habits of Christchurch drivers at intersections. Drivers not stopping, as traffic lights change from amber to red, are becoming a major concern for 20% of drivers.

“Motorists should not be entering intersections when the traffic lights have changed to amber. The amber light means stop unless you are so close to the intersection you can’t stop safely,” says Cambridge.

Some motorists are still confused with the new road rules for indicating at roundabouts. Ten percent of motorists surveyed said drivers are either not indicating or inappropriately indicating at roundabouts. Motorists commented on some drivers leaving their indicator on while turning in the opposite direction at roundabouts or drivers not indicating at all, often causing other motorists to brake quickly.

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