Media Releases

These are the most recent media releases from the Dog and Lemon Guide.
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Road toll proves safety strategy isn’t working

Last weekend’s high road toll is proof that enforcement by itself has little effect on the number of accidents, says a leading road safety campaigner.

There were more than 800 crashes and seven deaths on New Zealand roads over the weekend, compared with 361 crashes and one death over the same weekend last year. There was a heavy police presence on both these weekends and a strict enforcement of speed limits.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, who edits the car review website dogandlemon.com, says:

Restricted plates of limited benefit

A government proposal to require ‘R’ plates for drivers on restricted licences is unlikely to seriously affect the road toll, says a leading road safety campaigner.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website dogandlemon.com, says:

“Half of the highest risk group don’t have licences anyway. How can R plates possibly curb their behaviour?”

Car dealers bite the dust as the internet takes over

The traditional car yard will soon be extinct, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says the internet has made conventional car yards unnecessary, and there are even bigger changes to come.

"Until recently, cars were often supplied to car yards by vehicle wholesalers, However, in an online world, the small car yard is largely irrelevant. The wholesaler can simply sell direct to the final customer without involving the car yard at all.”

Major study says road safety ads don’t work

Claims that advertisements have led to a drop in teenage drink drivers are simply wishful thinking, according to a major American study.

The internationally respected American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did a major study of the effectiveness of road safety advertising and concluded:



“Research indicates that education has no effect, or only a very limited effect, on habits like staying within speed limits, heeding stop signs, and using safety belts.”

Poor road design implicated in Turangi tragedy

The weekend’s triple fatality in Turangi might not have occurred if the road had been built correctly, says a leading road safety campaigner.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website dogandlemon.com, says:

“It’s been known for decades that if the edge of a road drops down into gravel, then vehicles that drift over the edge of the road are likely to drop one wheel into gravel, slide and then lose control. That appears to be exactly what happened with the Turangi tragedy.”

Expert backs proposal to increase speed limit

The speed limit could be cautiously raised on certain roads, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, whose road safety research was awarded by the Australian Police Journal, says:

“There are no safe speeds and no safe roads. It’s a question of acceptable risk. The most dangerous roads are ordinary driveways, where children are frequently run over, despite the very low speeds involved.”

Science and oil prices behind lower road toll

Science and higher fuel prices are the main reason for April’s lower road toll, says the car review website dogandlemon.com

Provisional figures show 12 road deaths in April - the lowest for any month since 1965, when monthly records began.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, whose road safety research was awarded by the Australian Police Journal, says:

“Higher fuel prices mean that the highest risk group – young, working-class males – make far less trips. The less trips you make, the less accidents you have.”

Handy rhyme explains new Give Way rules

For those who are still having trouble getting their heads around the new Give Way rules, the car review website dogandlemon.com has come up with a handy rhyme:

When I’m at the end of a road or driveway

Where the intersection is a T

Unless the sign says otherwise

The last one through is me.

At other intersections, night & day

Unless the sign says differently

If I’m turning right I must give way

Then drive through very cautiously

Chaos likely once Give Way rules change

Many motorists are still confused or unaware of major changes in the Give Way rules, says a leading road safety campaigner.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website dogandlemon.com, says the current media blitz, aimed at educating the public about the changes, is “too little, too late.”

“This campaign is trying to change a lifetime of driving habits in just a couple of weeks. That’s not going to happen. This campaign should have started six months ago, with billboards and tv ads counting down to the day the changes begin.”

Police speed enforcement proposal “misguided”

A police proposal to permanently target drivers who are 4 kilometres over the open road speed limit is misguided, says a leading road safety campaigner.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, who edits the car review website dogandlemon.com, says:

"However much the government tries to massage the figures, the reality is that most fatalities occur at speeds below the legal limit."

A 2009 AA study of 300 fatal crashes found: