New Zealand

Z3 1996-03 (New Zealand)

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Plan to allow heavier trucks “insanity” - expert

It’s dangerous and wasteful to allow heavier trucks on New Zealand roads, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Commenting after the government announced that it would allow trucks of up to 53 tonnes on public roads, Dog & Lemon Guide editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said:

“This is insane. Not only is this incredibly wasteful of energy, it’s also a serious risk to other motorists. One in five trucks were found to have brake faults in 2007, and the larger the truck, the harder it is to stop.”

Call for mass of ‘keep left’ road signs

All major roads in New Zealand should have regular ‘keep left’ signs in multiple languages, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“Tourists regularly have serious accidents because they get confused over which side of the road to drive on. The obvious thing to do is to remind them regularly in their native language.”

Matthew-Wilson says the signs should be placed every few kilometres and should also encourage drivers to let faster vehicles pass.

Recession Behind Lower Road Toll

Claims by the police that new rules have lowered the road toll are probably wishful thinking, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“Aside from the ban on using cellphones while driving, which is widely ignored, the police aren’t really doing anything they weren’t doing before.”

“ A more plausible explanation is that the highest risk group, which is young working-class males who live at the edge of the law – are less likely to be employed, therefore they are driving less, therefore they are a less of risk to themselves and others.”

Expert calls for driver’s license camps for young Maori

The government needs to empower Maori communities to educate and train their own people to safely operate cars, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide. Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

Car guide slams safety regulations

Tradesmen are treated as second-class citizens as far as road safety is concerned, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson was commenting after Chinese-made Great Wall utes were shown to be very unsafe in Australian crashtests.

‘Safer Journeys’ document misses the point

The government’s ‘Safer Journeys’ discussion document, which seeks public consultation on road safety issues, is mainly a repeat of the failed policies of the past, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says the document focuses mainly on changing driver behaviour, while missing out on proven road safety strategies.

Warning over diesel vehicles

Small diesel cars are not the bargain they appear to be, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide. Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

Car Guide Slams Chinese Vehicles

The first Chinese-made vehicles to arrive in Australasia have been savaged in a review by the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, which describes them as: “a clumsy and unsafe copy of several existing Japanese vehicles.”The review slams the Great Wall SA220 and V240 utes on virtually all fronts, including appearance, safety, performance, fuel economy and handling.Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson – whose road safety research was awarded by the Australian Police Journal – adds:

“One of the reasons these vehicles are so cheap is that many vital safety features have been simply left off in an

ACC Changes Would Penalize Poor People

Proposals to make owners of older, less safe, cars pay more in ACC levies than those in newer, safer, cars, will simply penalise the poor, says the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“Poor people buy old cars because they have little money. Penalising poor people for having little money is something that only someone in Treasury could dream up.”