February is the busiest month for tourists to visit New Zealand. Many of them rent a car to drive around the country.
This has been a bad month for car crashes and dangerous driving by foreign drivers. For example, yesterday in just 3 hours, police caught drivers from 8 different countries, breaking the law on the road between Te Anau and Milford in the South Island. This is quite a remote area but very popular with tourists who want to visit Milford Sound. Some drivers were speeding, some were overtaking on double yellow lines or on bends and others were crossing the centre line.
Some of the accidents this month have been serious, causing death. In some cases, a tourist driver on the wrong side of the road, has hit another car and injured people in the other car. Naturally, we are worried about how we can educate tourists about our roads. One problem is that we drive on the left, whereas many of our tourists come from countries where they drive on the right. However, other problems occur because foreigners are not used to narrow, winding 2 lane roads. We have shingle roads in rural areas and stop signs at intersections. We have narrow, one way bridges on many of our highways, especially in tourist areas like the West Coast of the South Island.
One of the reasons for speeding is because tourists do not allow enough time to get to their destination. Perhaps they think it will take them 3 hours to drive 300km but that is impossible in most places in New Zealand. Another reason is driving immediately after a long flight to New Zealand, when they are tired or suffering from jet lag.
Finally, New Zealand drivers are not perfect either. Anyone who sees dangerous driving should use the *555 number to call police.
• remote – not many people live there, far away from towns
• shingle – small stones
• winding – many bends, usually on hills
• destination – the place they are travelling toA
‘one of the reasons’ – don’t forget the ‘s’ for plural as it shows there are many reasons. This is one of the many reasons.