Once again we hear calls for foreign tourists to be required to sit tests before taking to our roads in rental vehicles. One wonders if advocates of this very costly measure have considered the likelihood of retaliatory measures against Kiwi drivers touring overseas.
But having recently self-driven for several weeks in Europe, Britain and Ireland I suggest a few tins of white paint might achieve a great deal to ease the problem here. In Europe bold arrows are regularly painted on centre lines, reminding drivers to keep right on winding roads and when entering roundabouts or exiting petrol stations, supermarkets, rest areas and the like. In Britain and Ireland similar arrows remind European visitors to keep left. A cheap and effective safety measure.
Arrows will not overcome the issue of tired visitors jumping off long-haul aircraft and straight into rental cars, but that is different matter. As most tourists book their rentals in advance it should not be too difficult for companies to ask for flight numbers and judge if hirers are fresh off a plane that has spent 17 hours flying from the other side of the globe.
In Europe rental car staff at three different locations also routinely asked whether I had any experience on driving on the right-hand side of the road, and their cars had adhesive arrow stickers on the windscreens.
D Blanshard, Welcome Bay.