Friday, December 26, 2014

Rules of the Road

One of the challenges we have to face in adapting to our new home here in New Zealand is getting used to driving on the left side of the road. Beyond that, the road lanes are considerably narrower than what we are used to and the traffic here can be quite hectic.  I get white knuckled nervous on the motorway just being a passenger.  Fortunately, Larry is a really good driver and seems to be taking it all in stride.
His only problem so far is what is referred to here as the "American Salute"...when he wants to turn on his turn indicator he often clicks the windshield wipers instead since they are on reversed sides of the steering column from what he is used to.

 I don't know if I will drive here or not.  Even at home I'm not crazy about freeways.  I think I may just defer to my sweet husband since he we go everywhere together anyway.

The signs here are very different from what we are accustomed to seeing:

Speed limit - YIKES - that seems too fast!
Oh, wait, they mean kilometers.

There are the MANY Roundabouts. 

" A roundabout is a central island in the middle of an intersection, where all vehicles must travel to the left of the island. Roundabouts can be small, large, single-laned or multi-laned. The number of roads that come into a roundabout can range from three to five or even more".  (From the Official New Zealand Road Code)

There have been some detailed studies that indicate roundabouts are actually safer than intersections.  I suppose they need to do all they can to minimize the danger of having foreign visitors on their roads who may be disoriented from being used to driving on the other side.

Every time we go through another one I think about the song by the group Yes on their album Fragile that was quite popular back in the late 70's: "Roundabout" 


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