Getting ready to give way

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They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but Queenstown’s senior citizens should prove that’s not the case. 

Older locals were brought up to speed with the country’s new give-way rules by senior constable Beth Fookes on Tuesday. 

The two new rules come into effect on Sunday and a nationwide campaign is underway to get people to change their driving habits. 

Road users turning right at an uncontrolled intersection must now give way to left-turning vehicles coming from the opposite direction. And motorists turning right from the bottom of a T-intersection will need to give way to all vehicles at the top of the T. 

Fookes talked through driving scenarios with 30 older residents at the Wakatipu Senior Citizens Association rooms, as well as testing them with a quiz that’s available on the giveway.govt.nz website. They also got to practice the changes with toy cars on children’s plastic road sheets. 

“Because we have got so many foreign drivers who already drive to these rules, hopefully in a year or so everybody will be on the same wavelength,” Fookes says. 

Senior Citizens’ local manager Rosalie Thompson says an education session with police is vital for the older residents. 

“I was concerned about how my mother would cope so I thought it was really important to brief the senior citizens of Queenstown.”