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international librarian of mystery

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

You go. No, you go.

Okay, I must admit I don't drive too often, but this morning I was entrusted with my flatmate's car so I could run a couple of errands before work, and got myself into a bit of a give way dilemma at one of Wellington's more notorious intersections: Cuba St. & Abel Smith.

Foreign readers will no doubt be nonplussed by NZ's bizarre give way rules, but I thought at least I had a pretty good grasp on things as I pulled up to the compulsory stop. Indeed, the intersection is an excellent test of everyone's understanding of the road code, as all four intersection points have compulsory stops, meaning you often get, as was the case this morning, three or four drivers eye-balling each other across their steering wheels, mumbling to themselves along the lines of...

"You're on my right, but he's turning, and I'm going over there, so, err..."

Needless to say, it was a bit of a mess, and there was a bit of finger-pointing and fist-waving, and I ended up pulling up in traffic beside the guy responsible for the finger-pointing at a two-lane traffic-light stop around the corner. Windows were wound down, and in our brief civil chat, he remained adamant that he was in the right, and I was in the wrong, even after I had pointed out my understanding of the road code to him. He accused me of gender-specific driving traits. I may have said something unsavoury about his mental capabilties.

Anyway, was I right or wrong? Take the test. The picture as at right. I haven't indicated who was me, so as to remove any hint of bias. The directions the cars are intending to go is indicated with arrows (essentially, the only car turning is the one at the bottom, the other two are going straight). In what order should the cars pass through the intersection? Try it without reading the road rules first.

Answers in the comment box please.