Vote Out The Legacy Of Rubbernecking

Vote Out The Legacy Of Rubbernecking

If you happen to be the owner of a Subaru Legacy, registration starting in EUW, then I have both good and bad news for you this week.

Firstly the bad; you – or at least the person you are allowing to drive your car around this week – are a dropkick. I’m sure you’re actually a very nice person, kind to your mother, never forget birthdays, don’t kick puppies etc. etc. but your frankly dull assumption that, with a reasonably clear State Highway 1 ahead of you, it is perfectly OK to slow down to 30kph just so you can gawk out of the side window at a roadside scene consisting of nothing more than a broken down Audi TT and the friendly police officer who had stopped to lend a hand, singles you out as the kind of mush-brained berk who shouldn’t have a driving licence.

But the good news is this; you are far from alone.

Whilst on a personal level my ire is directed squarely at the driver of the aforementioned Scooby, rubbernecking is a plague of almost biblical proportions and something that we would do well to stamp out. Because if you believe the mantra of people who wear suits and live in the upper echelons of business, it’s killing the entire country’s productivity.

Time, they tell us, is money, and from some very basic speed and distance man-math calculations, the idiot in the Legacy added around 7 seconds to my journey. And given the concertina effect that happens in traffic, it is pretty safe to assume that his actions had at least as much impact on all the cars in the queue behind me, which – if the traffic report on The Rock is to be believed – stretched a full 4km back from the point where I was. Assuming there is a vehicle every 15metres and each contains the Auckland average of 1.2 people per car, that one selfish act cost the centre lane of State Highway 1 a combined total of around 37 minutes.

Warning - Rubberneckers Ahead!

All of which means for every 13 equivalent acts of rubberneckery we prevent, there would be enough man hours saved for one of us to stay in bed all day at no detriment to the nation. And with that at stake, it baffles me why at least one political party hasn’t made it a core part of their manifesto in the run up to the general election – especially when a man who has already solved their problem.

Maurice Gatsonides.

While the esteemed Mr Gatsonides is no longer of this world, his legacy lives on in the form of his greatest invention – the speed camera. As a keen rally driver, Maurice conjured up the camera as a way of tracking his cornering speeds to ensure he was driving as fast as possible and there is absolutely no reason why we can’t once more employ his devices in the spirit originally intended.

With the technology at our disposal, you can hardly imagine it would be rocket science to equip motorway patrol cars with a suitably mobile speed camera unit that is activated as soon as they pull up on the roadside. The first car passing the scene that drops from the speed of the traffic flow by more than 20% is photographed and the driver subsequently hunted down, blindfolded and shot.

I’ll admit there may be some aspects that need to be tailored to suit the rhetoric of some of our more left-leaning, softly-softly parties, but in general the idea is a pretty sure-fire vote winner. And in a gesture of unprecedented magnanimity towards my friend in the Legacy, I won’t demand it is applied retrospectively.

That said, I can’t make any promises for Winston Peters.

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