I guess this isn’t strictly a Traffic Light Thought but anyway…
My new commute has quite a few roundabouts. I don’t mind as they shift traffic much more efficiently than traffic lights but one thing annoys me.
I know ‘the plural of anecdote is not data’ but it seems a significant percentage of Kiwi drivers don’t know how to indicate when going ‘straight’ through a roundabout. On entry some signal left, others right, when there is no need to signal at all until approaching the exit.
It really isn’t that hard, as the road code extract below shows…
If you are going 'straight' through a roundabout:
don't signal as you come up to the roundabout
signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take. At some small roundabouts it may not be possible to give three seconds warning, but it is courteous to give as much indication as you can.
Maybe it is the season, winter gloom approaches, or just the time of my evening commute?
Every night I see several cars with no headlights, barely visible in the dark. It can be easy to overlook if you drive out of a brightly lit car park on to the lit city street. Sometimes, especially when roads are wet, it can be hard to tell if your lights are on at all!
There seem to be accepted signals for thankyou (couple of hazard light flashes), caution (headlight full beam flash) but no way to jut say “turn your lights on”. I’ve tried multiple headlight flashing but only seen limited response to that. Any better ideas?
Must have strayed into the smokers section of rush hour* this morning. Sitting at the on-ramp lights at Rosebank Rd three cars had drivers smoking, hanging their arm or puffing smoke out of an open drivers window.
Seems odd that they don’t want that stinky cancer inducing filth in their car but quite happy to let their poor lungs suffer the same.
The Citroën AX was always pretty rare in New Zealand, to see one now even more so. Although the styling is incredibly Euro-drab, especially for a Citroën, the minimalist design is supermini at its best.
I remember the late great LJKS praising elegant efficiency of the AX design when released. Notice the 3 wheel bolts? All it needed, so all it got.
Quite a contrast to the bloated parody of ‘Mini’ the current MINI has become.
It was in the car park above one of my favourite West Coast beaches. Anawhata is a bit of a hike, especially back up the hill, but worth the effort. There were two cars in the car park, just 4 people and 2 dogs on the beach that day!
Ever seen something on the road and thought; ‘If only there was a cop to see this’? I’ve done the *555 thing a few times but only to report dull stuff like road debris hazards.
Recently I was driving home through suburban Sunnyvale and caught up with a car creeping along the road. Approaching an empty roundabout it stopped completely before inching around (unfortunately in the same direction I was headed). We barely exceeded 20 km/h (in a 50 area) on a road too narrow and twisty to safely overtake.
The cautious and erratic driving had me thinking this is a very new learner (no L plate), perhaps someone lost or who’s been on the booze. A bit further along the road we crested a small rise and “Mr Erratic” stomped on the brakes, almost stopping, before driving on even slower.
What prompted this odd behaviour? A Police random breath test where I left him having what appeared to be a rather serious conversation with the officers. I don’t know if it was a drunk driver but have my suspicions, and the rest of my trip home was rather less frustrating!
This listing on trademe reminded me of a fine little Fiat didn’t own and only ever drove a few times. The price seems a bit OTT but if as good as looks in the photos would be in my “When I win Lotto Garage”, if I had won Lotto.
My Aunt owned a yellow, or was it mustard?, Fiat 850 Coupé until the early 80s. She’s partially responsible for my Fiat fondness as I remember at least one other 850 and a 1600 124 Coupe in her automotive past.
I vaguely recall going with her to Tim Bailey’s “Town & Country Motors” (which became Continental Car Services) to collect them after servicing. Later I used to go there by bicycle, ~60km!, and still call by occasionally, to see what CCS (Coutts & Giltraps too) have on the lot. A huge amount of the NZ/Euro car history cluttering my brain is due to those pilgrimages!
She decided it was time to get a new car and we went to try the Mitsubishi Mirage (the twin stick mk1) at Todd(?) Motors Albany. In those days Albany was a village on the main highway North, not today’s suburb bypassed by motorways, so the drive was mostly open road. I'd not been driving for long and drove her 850 for the first time on the way there and, even though it was an old car by then, remember it was fun.
The Mirage test drive included the Albany hill which, thanks to its 1200cc engine, gave plenty of opportunity to shuffle those gear levers. I’m not sure exactly why the Mirage had a 4x2 8 speed box but it was certainly novel. It reminded me of riding a derailleur multi-speed bike where the next highest/lowest gear might require a double shift onto the other cogset. I suspect once the novelty wore off the second ‘box’ was probably only ever used as an overdrive gear in top. Later models had a conventional 5 speed manual so it mustn't have been a component of the Mirage sales success. They were popular cars back in the day, something the recently re-launched range seems to be trying to resurrect!
Anyway she liked the Mirage, ended up buying it, but going home up the same hill I remember the 850 surprised me. I’m not sure how the actual performance figures would compare but the 850, with 1/4 less engine but probably quite a bit lighter, felt far more peppy. Maybe it was gearing, just having 4 to choose, or engine noise but the 850 impressed up the hill. Later I owned a Fiat 127 so got to know that awesome little 903cc engine very well.
Continuing on to the Coatesville – Riverhead road revealed even more. Today this is a speed limited 50/80 km/h sanitised almost suburban road but back then it was a 100 km/h, narrow twisty country road. I remember my Dad ‘enjoying’ it and after travelling the route many times as a passenger, cyclist and driver could call it, rally co-driver pace note style, from memory!
I’m sure the ultimate limits of the 850 were low, skinny tyres, but it handled pretty nicely. Although inferior in many ways it was more fun to drive than the 2 decade newer Mitsi!
PS: Aunties Mirage, and my Mum’s Fiat 132, were both written off by a ‘stolen’ bus (fortunately when unoccupied & parked). Its replacement was a Fiat Uno 70SL so perhaps her Fiat addiction was only briefly suppressed…