Reports of atrocious driving by tourists visiting New Zealand have been borne out by a series of hair-raising dashcam video clips posted on the internet by a truck driver.
New Zealand police earlier this year urged more use of dashcams – dashboard-mounted video cameras – to gather evidence and help get dangerous-driving tourists off the road before they kill someone.
A shocking spate of driving incidents earlier this year landed several tourists in New Zealand courts. See: Atrocious tourist driving runs from diarrhoea to dashcams
Now, a South Island heavy truck driver has put the proof on the internet. Most of the clips are short. This one shows a car pulling out without signalling – right in front of a police car. It lasts a minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLBbNZFjQxE
The full range of video clips on the truck driver’s YouTube site can be viewed here:
Warning, the driver sometimes loses his cool verbally and the language can be strong.
The truck driver told Fairfax in New Zealand he was certain that overseas tourists were involved in some of the incidents.
Now, a Chinese celebrity has stepped into help. Tourism New Zealand announced a couple of weeks ago that Huang Lei, star of China’s number one reality show ‘Dad, Where are we going?’ had agreed to lend his voice and influence “to spread the word about safer driving in New Zealand to his millions of fans in China”.
Huang Lei fronts a new five minute video, filmed in New Zealand during a visit earlier this year.
Tourism New Zealand, in partnership with Air New Zealand, seized the opportunity to use Huang Lei’s visit to get a serious message across about driving conditions in New Zealand – something the celebrity himself was more than happy to help with.
“Huang Lei’s commitment to the safety of his family meant he was happy to deliver our key messages as part of his trip – that whilst self-driving is a great way to see New Zealand, driving here is very different to driving in China and visitors should consider carefully if it is the right choice for them,” Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said.
In Huang Lei’s driving video, filmed near Kaikoura in the northern South Island, he explains the key differences to driving in New Zealand.
He includes factors he considers critical for Chinese drivers to understand – the need to keep left, the need for caution on New Zealand’s windy roads and to be careful to pull off the road completely before stopping to take photographs.
Air New Zealand will screen the video from November on its new ‘Driving in New Zealand’ inflight entertainment channel available on international flights.
Huang Lei’s video, produced in Mandarin with subtitles, can be viewed here: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTMyNDc3MTA2MA.html
Written by Peter Needham