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Friday, November 12, 2004

white cross 

Transit NZ has announced it will remove white crosses which people use to mark the place where a loved one or relative - not always the same - lost their life on the motorway.

These crosses simply "cannot be tolerated" Transit NZ says, not only do they distract motorists but there is grave danger - no pun intended - with people stopping on motorways to replace flowers it says.

Interestingly, the AA disagrees:

"It sends a reminder to other motorists there was an incident at that point and maybe it is a salutary reminder to drive more safely," says a spokesman.

I know fellow-blogger dc-red shits himself, and takes it easy, when driving through Karangahake Gorge on the way through to Waihi because of all the white crosses.

Interestingly, both TV3 News last night and the Herald have referred to the white crosses laid for Storm Apera-Seve and her father who died on the North Western motorway last week.

That got me thinking about a couple of things.

About 500 metres from where TV3's cameraman was filming is a giant fucking Tui Billborad regularly updated with their latest comical gag - "I'll just walk you to the door. Yeah Right." - as well as a Cathay Pacific billboard offering "quality flights" throughout Asia/Pacific.

(As an aside I was dissapointed when i entered the Tui competition to come up with a witty billboard slogan, and didn't win.

It seems: "Lets pick up a dozen tui for the party. Yeah Right" didn't sit well with their company ethos.)

Anyways back to the rant.

So, 30cm high crosses marking road fatalaties - which the AA argues reinforces the need to drive safely - will be banned as a distraction but companies can plaster 30-foot-high advertising billboards next to the motorway.

What about the lingere billboards featuring perky-breasted women that confront motorists as they drive over the Newmarket part of spaghetti junction.

I guess a reasonably good argument could be made that these billboards are designed specifically to catch motorists' attentions, couldn't it? I know they catch mine.

What about the giant TipTop ice cream ad billboards which hit ya as you drive out through Mt Wellington?

Perhaps its easier for Transit NZ to target the "less than 10" families of people killed in car accidents who have crosses on Auckland's motorway system than it is these corporations and their lawyers?

The second argument for the removal of white crosses on motorways is that it is too dangerous for people to be stopping on the side of the motorway.

Coincidentally, just near where four-year-old Storm was found also happens to be the sole place I have ever recieved a speeding ticket too.

So its perfectly safe for the boys in blue to be sitting on the side of highways in their unmarked cars laser-gunning motorists, or sitting in speed camera vehicles, provided they are revenue gathering.

But, simultaneously, terribly and unacceptably dangerous for a member of the public to drop off flowers at the memorial site of a loved one on the side of that same motorway?

Yeah Right.

While I admit the Karangahake Gorge is relatively challenging, with little margin for error, the most white-crosses-per-kilometre that I can recall is on SH2 between Waihi and Tauranga. It's not an especially difficult drive, but those crosses sure are sobering.

Good call about the cops and their love of parking on the side of motorways though. It's a fine post that criticises the cops, Tui, and the "risk industry" in one fell swoop. Sweatepz take note.
bennyasena, I'm with you on this one, although I confess to knowing nothing about the Karagahake Gorge. How the hell they can justify picking on small white crosses and ignoring huge billboards that are actually intended to get motorists' attention is beyond most of us. And of course the cops, being the 600-pound Gorilla, can park where they like. The rest of us can bugger off and do what we're told. Keep up the good work buddy, but don't get into any f*rting contests with that yannis. Cheers, the Real Anonymous.
there was a spate in wellington of people writing humurous messages on tui billboards. the funniest one said something like "Tui is really tasty" but then they got all political but admitedly "All men aren't pigs" was quite funny.
For a Tui ad; how about....

"We apologise for the inconvenience but will be up and running soon"
great post bennyasena. Where are the newspapers and tv networks asking about the billboards?

Nowhere no doubt cos that's where they get all their money from.

Something stinks
The crosses serve their purpose. Leave them alone.

It appears Transit NZ can't be bothered with ACTUAL ideas to further reduce the road toll, and are now left blaming people who are already dead. Classy.
I think we could have found a link between the Tip Top corner sign and all the deaths that used to occur there. It was the bloody great "Tip Top" sign distracting all the motorists!!!!

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