MEDIA WATCH: How lucky are we to live in a country where the entire Summer news cycle is about autocide

By   /   December 28, 2017  /   35 Comments

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We urgently need to examine our deeply repressed culture as to why our autocide rates are spiralling up. This is a symptom of a much deeper malaise and until media start asking those questions we will be doomed to repeat this grim tally every Summer over and over and over again.

The Summer news cycle is upon us and the focus swings to the important things like car crashes.

With so many desperate to flee the cities for a tiny slice of quality of life to make up for the hell their 9-5 existence normally is, you can be forgiven that we would focus on car crashes, but it only ever seems to be the most shallow of analysis.

Last year we had 311 deaths on the roads and before this year is even over we are at 368.

To put that in perspective, we had 606 official suicides in 2016.

Imagine what we could do for suicide prevention if it got the same media attention as the road crashes do each Summer.

We never seem to ask why so many die on the roads when it seems painfully obvious.

When you add more depressed, tired, exhausted people with addictive phone checking distractions plus unsafe cheap roading infrastructure plus inexperienced tourist drivers with the stresses and strains of just normal living you get large numbers of NZers dying on the roads.

Our autocide rate is a direct reflection of the culture and times we live in. We are stressed out, tired, under constant demand for attention. We drive on infrastructure that is broken and the veneer of our casual laid backness is ripped asunder by selfish driving manners and road rage.

We urgently need to examine our deeply repressed culture as to why our autocide rates are spiralling up. This is a symptom of a much deeper malaise and until media start asking those questions we will be doomed to repeat this grim tally every Summer over and over and over again.

 

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35 Comments

  1. Afewknowthetruth says:

    We live in a society which is owned and managed by corporations, for the short-term benefit of corporations.

    Expect everything mainstream to get increasingly insane, as TEOTWAWKI unfolds.

    (One of many big mistakes made by industrial societies was Britain repealing the law that required all motorised vehicles to be preceded by a man carrying a red flag.)

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      I’d argue it’s also for the long-term benefit of corporations (depending on how you define “long-term”). But providing ultra low interest rates for long periods of time to create ever bigger corporate share buy-backs and mergers (both funded by cheap credit bond emissions which are linked to said interest rates) in addition to real estate bubbles is imo a “long-term” benefit to banks and corporations (and the 1%ers wealthy enough to profit from it).

  2. XRAY says:

    Of true accidents, as opposed to mindless intentionally dangerous idiots we won’t really improve until we address our bloody awful highways.

    Rather than address lethal roads, rather than ensure the infrastructure is as safe as we can afford, we annually count the dead on the roads then blame it all on drivers. If only they were on the ball 100% of the time instead of 99.8%. Why can humans not be perfect drivers?.

    You see, the narrative is to shift the blame away from some of the most shitty dangerous highways in the world where the margin of error is so small, where single lanes encourage risk, and take the cheap option, blame the man.

    Yes human failing can be lethal but humans are imperfect. No more excuses, no more bullshit roads of “National Significance”, can this government sort out at least some of the biggest killers. The Dome Valley is as good a place as any to start.

    • Grey Area says:

      The new government is already on to it. For examples try searching “Julie Anne Genter safer roads” and see what you find.

      (Third time lucky – two other replies seemed to go nowhere)

      [Hi Grey Area. Most of admin/mods are on a break, leaving just me., Some comments will be published quickly, others not so. Unfortunately, we’re getting inundated with spam and some very virulent anti-semitic comments which are going straight to ‘deletion’. So each submitted comment has to be vetted and approved (or not). – Scarletmod]

  3. G.A.P. says:

    I blame the RUSSIANS!!!

  4. Marc says:

    Same madness and crap news like every Christmas – New Year season, I note.

    I hardly watch much in the way of TV news over these days.

    It is so predictable, warnings to drivers, road accidents, warnings to beach goers, swimmers and boaties, matched by drowning reports, people falling off trees and cliffs, unruly party goers, tourists and locals leaving rubbish on camp sites and beaches, warnings to put on your sun screen, matched with reports of skin cancer rates and survivors, warnings by ACC and stats on how may fell down when decorating their Christmas trees, reports on EFTPOS and other card spending, reports on dieting, overeating, and how to actively lose weight, and of course some reports on one or the other music festivals in the new year.

    I suppose you could replay the same shit every year, just put in the new year and new dates each time.

    As for car driving, it reflects modern day NZ ‘culture’, that is that of the majority out there, they do in high numbers feel the urge to rush to the malls on Boxing Day, same as the rush to head out of the city to drive to beaches, parks, and to see friends and relatives, no matter the pollution and contribution to global warming.

    And with more traffic you have more accidents, surprise, surprise.

    Add the many tourists that come this time of year, and we get the fodder for TV channels, radio stations, print and online media.

    One man’s or woman’s death is another man’s or woman’s opportunity to make money.

  5. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Well Marty, Mother Nature has to find some way to keep the primate population in check. There are simply too many of us for the planet to sustain and we refuse to keep it in our trousers.

    Think of it as ‘natural selection’…

  6. Grey Area says:

    Test

    [Do we pass? – Scarletmod]

  7. Otto Mann says:

    “Our autocide rate is a direct reflection of the culture and times we live in. We are stressed out, tired, under constant demand for attention. We drive on infrastructure that is broken and the veneer of our casual laid backness is ripped asunder by selfish driving manners and road rage.”

    Nailed it.

    The selfishness by a minority of drivers is an expression of the sense of entitlement that has been allowed to permeate our culture in the last 30 years.

    Take a driver (usually male) in a fucking huge 4×4 SUV (that has never been driven off-road in all it’s existence) and they become wrapped in a tank-like shell that gives them an outrageous sense of superiority.

    I’ve had one of those arsehole tailgating me so close I could see his red-raged face. I pulled over asap and he blared his horn at me as he passed at high speed. The guy was a lunatic. In America he would’ve used a military-style automatic to vent his rage in a shopping mall.

    This is the sort of craziness on our roads. It’s time the cops looked at all forms of bad driving and not just revenue-gathering speeding tickets.

    • Draco T Bastard says:

      I’ve had one of those arsehole tailgating me so close I could see his red-raged face. I pulled over asap and he blared his horn at me as he passed at high speed. The guy was a lunatic.

      It’s people like this that need to have their license taken off them permanently. having a licence is not a right but a privilege and most people don’t seem to realise that.

      If I ever own another car (only happen if necessary) I have every intention of having it video every bloody thing that happens when driving.

    • Andrea says:

      The female of the species is MUCH worse…

  8. Whispering Kate says:

    The only way to stop the carnage on our roads is to install a barrier down the centre of every bit of tarseal in the country. We need to be controlled on our roads, we cannot be trusted to our own judgment, we just do not have the capability or intelligence to drive safely and courteously on our roads. The AK Harbour Bridge has proved that if barriers are installed then motorists drive safely only and because, like children, they can be kept in their place.

    NZ drivers and other foreign nationals who come here are not intelligent enough to drive on the correct side of the road and behave in a safe manner. Driving down to Hamilton now is a much safer journey only because drivers are corralled on to the correct side of the road and have their own judgement denied them only because they haven’t got the grey matter to sort it out for themselves.

    So many fatal crashes occurr on a double yellow lines – that explains it so succinctly. NZ roads are not fit for purpose and our driving personality only adds fuel to the problem.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      ‘The only way to stop the carnage on our roads is to install a barrier down the centre of every bit of tarseal in the country.’

      The only way?

      How about sensible speed limits, like 20 kph in towns and 40 kph on the open road?

      How about a big increase in road fees for grossly overpowered vehicles?

      How about heavy taxation of motor fuel so it costs say $10 a litre: people might actually think before using a vehicle if petrol was $10 a litre.

      Of course, it’s all hypothetical because the government’s job is to look after the interests of corporations and opportunists, and ensure that the general populace consumes itself to death or kills itself in other ways that benefit corporations and opportunists.

      • Whispering Kate says:

        Because, as I said the human species cannot be trusted and have to be saved from themselves. No matter what deterrents are put in place or disincentives the driver of the 21st century is a law unto himself and doesn’t give a toss for anybody else. Only treating them like the infants they are will this carnage on our roads cease.

      • XRAY says:

        20 km/hr is sensible? Seriously? About the average speed of a mobility scooter. Not everyone is retired with nothing better to do.

        Not getting out of bed is even safer if you are so risk adverse!

        • Afewknowthetruth says:

          Yes, seriously!

          When motor vehicles first appeared on roads they were capable of around 20 kph.

          The ‘need for speed’ that characterizes modern societies is nothing more than a mental illness, a kind of deranged state that accompanies more or less complete detachment from reality and nature.

          Remember, the faster we consume petroleum, the sooner we reach the point of having none available. So, in fact, people consuming as much as they can, as quickly as they can brings on a faster collapse…..which must surely be a good thing.

    • Draco T Bastard says:

      The only way to stop the carnage on our roads is to install a barrier down the centre of every bit of tarseal in the country.

      I was driving down the motorway one night several years ago and passed an accident where a car had collided with the barrier. The steel of the barrier had entered the driver’s side front corner of the car and exited the back-left corner.

      Barriers, just like the laws themselves, are there to try to protect the majority of sensible people from the stupidity of the minority. They do quite well but the stupidity of the minority still kills many.

      We need to be controlled on our roads, we cannot be trusted to our own judgment, we just do not have the capability or intelligence to drive safely and courteously on our roads.

      True which makes National’s inbuilt promotion of car-culture in building more roads even more of a concern.

      The AK Harbour Bridge has proved that if barriers are installed then motorists drive safely only and because, like children, they can be kept in their place.

      So many fatal crashes occurr on a double yellow lines – that explains it so succinctly. NZ roads are not fit for purpose and our driving personality only adds fuel to the problem.

      True.

      But I think you will find it cheaper and more effective to simply get rid of private cars and have it so that the only transport available is public transport.

  9. Sumsuch says:

    I don’t really give a flying about road deaths or suicides. First world whatever. The safety nth degree is at the cost of freedom overall, which is how we near truth. Death is around the corner sometimes. And men love little children as much as women. Let’s 1.assume well of us , and then, 2. keep our eyes open. This definition of society is both NZic and above Sicily, of course , and the plutocratic internal-war- by -‘peaceful’- means USA.

    Here on the East Coast — much better weather than the rest of y’! — the major headline in the xmas dead media season is a ‘warning ‘ about gale winds.

    I make a commitment to contribute Martyn if I find my debit card, which I’ve just discovered I can’t discover. I couldn’t really deal with Bowalleyroad and then nothing til TheStandard.

  10. Draco T Bastard says:

    Imagine what we could do for suicide prevention if it got the same media attention as the road crashes do each Summer.

    Do recall that it’s actually illegal for the newspapers to talk about suicide in anything but the most general sense in the belief that if we talked about it more we’d have more of it.

  11. Tamati Tautuhi says:

    Autocide is big news for MSM at this time of year, they especially love murders and automobile accidents fooder for the mindless that read MSM crap.

    Keeps the fear factor up which MSM keep generating, keeps peoples minds of the real issues like homelessness, and our socio economic problems which are growing day by day.

  12. Afewknowthetruth says:

    The most important consequence of the insane ‘Kar Kultcha’ that has infected the minds of the majority people in the western world (and has now infected the masses in places like China and India etc.) is not the accident rate but the meltdown of the planet.

    Of course, the mainstream media will NEVER connect the meltdown of the planet with gross over-consumption that ‘Kar Kulcha’ represents.

    A new record high for the time of year:

    Daily CO2
    December 28, 2017: 408.28 ppm
    December 28, 2016: 404.48 ppm

    And the drought around here gets worse.

    I start to wonder whether we will get though the summer of 2018 with the economy still intact.

    :

  13. One reason I try to avoid travel on our highways during Easter, Christmas, and New Year breaks. The threat from maniacal drivers (both local and imports) driving like kamikaze pilots frightens the f**k out of me.

    Police focus on simply speed may be great for revenue gathering – but does little for road safety.

    The appalling road toll is not helped by worsening driving practices;

    * tail-gating

    * dangerous over-taking

    * slow driving

    * lack of indicating

    * driver in-cab distraction

    I would be interested to learn, for example, how many traffic infringement notices have been handed out for (non-accident causing) tail-gating compared to speeding. My guess would be very few.

    I spend quite a bit of time on the roads, and some of what I witness beggars belief. My surprise is that our road toll isn’t much higher.

  14. Ike says:

    Don’t worry. 2018 brings peak oil in China”s meager oil reserves .The demand for imported petroleum from this populous nation will then mean oil products are so expensive boy racers and enormous trucks breaking the serenity of our holiday road trip will become a thing of the past. Unfortunately our holiday road trip will be a thing of the past too.

    “Beijing Petroleum University, that is the premiere place where they train their petroleum engineers came forward with a three year study — they looked for it and everything and said oh, China gets a peak of oil in 2018 both from conventional oil and unconventional sources. Our own shale plays aren’t going to work out because we have more of a molested geology that is all fractured. It is more like Bakersfield; it doesn’t really work for that. They don’t have much. They are going to be doubling their imports of oil over the next 12 years out to 2030 and where is that going to come from and they ask serious questions about that. So this allows us to understand what is happening in Saudi Arabia, pivoting away from the US towards China with Russia building pipelines rapidly. This is all happening.”

    Here is the link for the source of this quote.
    https://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/113587/david-collum-vicious-cycle-approaches

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Yes, all the evidence points to the period 2018 to 2020 as being when the shit hits the fan on liquid fuels.

      http://crudeoilpeak.info/asia-pacific-oil-supply-gap-widening-as-china-production-drops

    • Me says:

      Psychometric Tests for all drivers. There are too many morons driving.

      I don’t really care if they wipe themselves out, except that sometimes they take good undeserving people with them; they wreck families; they add a ghastly dimension to the work of the police and the fire service; they cost precious health dollars and think themselves super cool when they are often pathetic losers who add sfa to the quality of anyone’s life including their own and still think themselves men. They’re not.

      • Whispering Kate says:

        Its got pretty bad when the police are warning locals to stay away from tourist spots in the South Island over the holiday season because of the danger of tourists driving on the roads. That they had intercepted so many tourists for ignorance on the road and that they felt compelled to make this announcement beggars belief. On today’s news I heard it. The police must be getting pretty sick to death at having to apprehend the stupidity that goes on on the roads and are breaking ranks and making their own announcements.

        As for our own driving behaviour, well its juvenile and sheer ignorance the road manners in this country. Maybe as some other contributor mentioned, there should be some sort of behavioural test as part of the over all driving test, sort of like a test for getting parole if you are in jail, for seeing if you are capable of keys to a car. There would be buggar all cars on the road – like when AK empties the roads for the summer break, what a holiday that is for the rest of us with empty roads.

        • mosa says:

          The problem with tourist drivers is a serious one and needs to be addressed.
          When faced with evidence regarding accidents involving tourist drivers who were clearly at fault John Key said ” i don’t see a problem here and we wont be doing anything about it ” was typical of that governments lack of responsibility so i hope that Julie Ann Genter will act and make some changes.

          Kiwis are appalling drivers and always have been yet that never seems to be a focus when talking about the road toll.
          Its always the roads and it is true we have some of the most challenging roading network in the developed world.
          You would think that we would respond to the danger and drive more safely but no we speed , take risks and intimidate other road users , it is almost like they want to crash and kill anyone who might be unlucky to cross their path.

          One of the major problems as i see it is lack of police enforcement.
          They will focus on speed up to a point but that is not the only problem.
          The public are conditioned to blame the cops for revenue gathering when they are fined but they were speeding when they were caught.
          The whole road policing service needs a major comprehensive overhaul and it should start by admonishing bad driving behaviour and the penalties need to be strict.

          The people that speed down my residential rd that has a 50 km speed limit doing over 80 should lose their car and licence no argument.
          The young children and families that live in a lot of these streets need protection from being cleaned out by these idiots.
          The law regarding culpable homicide needs to be tightened with regards to vehicle crime.

          As long as there is no enforcement or respect for safety we will continue to have huge loss of life.

          • James Thrace says:

            I think the multitude of signs, flimflammery, arrows, cats eyes, road poles, markers, and cones are probably part of the problem. Driving down alternative highways, my God. It’s an epileptic nightmare with the mishmash of conflicting signage and poor placement of warning signs. It’s ridiculous.. no yellow lines near blind corners, too short passing lanes that should be slow vehicle bays instead. The list goes on.