Saturday, January 9, 2016

Drop dead gorgeous scenery near Lake Tekapo is killing people

Saturday, January 9, 2016
oldbearnews editor

you know when this old elderly *cough* slightly mature bear is on the road, then it is a given that, subject to certain substances consumed, there have to be the occasional pit stop to urm drain excess fluid from the system.
When you gotta go - you gotta go - right?!
Anyhow - I was pleased that there always has been a  convenient public toilet in the car-park of the Lake Pukaki look out. Now - Ladies - I have no idea what your plumbing system looks like having never been inside a ladies rest room and I sure do not want to find out.  Quite why you would want to have a "rest" in a ladies "rest room" is beyond me. Nor do I need to know what you gal's actually do in there. If you belief television it is more about powdering the nose or something. I guess the same goes the other way - many ladies will have little clue what the inside of a men's public toilet looks like.  Well let me tell you, that most of them have a urinal - guess that is not something you find inside the ladies????
What is a urinal I hear you ask??
It is at best usually a long metal wall about so high, with a drain on the bottom all designed to catch the drips and run those urm drips away into whatever sewer system exists.  At worst it is a plain long drain in the ground. 

Scouts are famous for making / building outdoor urinals / Latrines and some urm watering places in some countries have virtually no privacy at all - there are some very public versions to experienced in France for example.

Some more modern versions have these semi half round very posh white porcelain bowls over which you stand and aim and woe and behold if you miss - your toes get a free wash!!!
Some even have a tiny wee half sized divider sticking out inbetween the white bowls.
Why dividers?
There exists one unwritten, universally understood, globally accepted, never explained but very well known rule that you never ever under any circumstances do you look SIDEways while doing your - urm - waterworks (unless you are testosterone competitive driven teenager). To do so would instantly incur the wrath of your fellow male urm pinkler. Something about comparing sizes or male challenges of ego . . . .   You barley acknowledge the other person and at BEST you can have a conversation about the weather.  Unless of course you are one of the aforementioned testosterone laden young male.  This bears remembers certain competitions involving heights . . .   Ah those were the school days.

Anyhow - I transgress.

The routine among males is more along the lines of - go in / unbutton/zip / point water gun / shoot / empty / dribble / zip-up or button up - all the while resolutely looking straight ahead at the wall in front of yourself. - THEN go and wash hands afterwards. 
Of course advertisers know this!! Where else would you have such a captive audience ?? There is nothing to do BUT to read whatever piece of paper / image is in front of you! You get about 20-60 seconds advertising time - water works and your age depending.  As you get more - what was it, oh yeah - maturer you donate less and less - but you make up for it by going more often, just to read the advertising! :)

Thus ---  Advertising heaven!!

Urm - yes well, there was this one as well . . . . . .

This bear has seen his fair share of graphic images. This one however was new!!
It is an image put out by the "South Canterbury Road Safety Organisation"!
Well firstly, I never knew such an .org existed - secondly - jolly good idea.
As you can see it is written in five languages (although you could argue that German is missing) and is very clear and succint to the point - it needs to be - remember = 20-60 seconds attention span. (please - ladies - do not infer that this is all the attention span a man can muster)
What got me is the amounts of dots in certain spots.  The main highway south from Christchurch to Dunders is not overly surprising.  Inland route though somewhat was.  So imagine, here is me trying to slow down the  *cough*  liquid donation sequence in order to get some more time to read this.
Running out of time - urm - liquid - I did something else you should never ever under any circumstances do inside a public toilet - I whipped out my cellphone
 A F T E R   the chap two lines to my left has - urm left, and snapped this image!

Turns out - the Ladies 'rest-rooms' have a similar version in their public no wait - private space - so Mamabear later confirmed! There is an image of this on each door! Guess the gal's do not have a Latrine so their "captive" moment is on the bowl you sit . . . . .   hmmmm anyhow

Basically I wanted to take home a reference - whence the quick snapped photo - as I knew I would likely forget the name or org that I need to look this up later on ! As it was - I did just do that (forget that is) until yesterday.  Something about getting older and forgetful.
Hang on a sec - who said that!??

Anyhow the very quick 20 sec glance I had inside the public toilet near Lake Pukaki more or less confirmed what I had suspected for a long time.
You will see the "Legend" which lists the type of crashes in the past 5 years
or more to the point what caused the crashes in the last 5 years in this region!
They are nicely colour coded circles:
Distraction / Fatigue / Incorrect lane position/ To fast or lost control
New Zealand is heavily pushing an anti speed campaign.
During the major holidays it has zero tolerance to breaking the speed limit - a 100km on the open road.
Their slogan is 'speed kills'  or  'the faster you go the bigger the mess you make'.
(not surprising given the ways cars are constructed these days)
Anyhow - my gut feeling (no- not that of feeling drained and empty) - rather you know that feeling you get in your gut when you are suspecting something but can't confirm or put on a firm hand - urm grip on it - has at last shown some promise.  The Speed icon featured FAR less in the Inland Canterbury region then at first suspected.    I wonder if this is symptomatic of New Zealand as a whole????
Secondly the 'Distraction' seemed to be the highest placed icon.  Now being distracted could mean anything - from text-ing while driving, sorting out the fighting kids in the back seat or changing the radio station to yes - forgetting that you are driving while you are starring at the beautiful scenery.
I wonder if there is a further breakdown on "Distraction" avaible??
Would be a shame if the  gorgeous scenery near Lake Tekapo is killing our tourists!
I shall have to use my friend Google . . . . .
Have fun

PS - here is the link -->

bear print


Guess whats been published in todays "The Press"  - online?!?!?!

South Canterbury toilets provide road safety messages for foreign drivers


Last updated 08:01, January 26 2016

A South Canterbury public toilet with one of the region's new road crash maps with messages for tourists
A South Canterbury public toilet with one of the region's new road crash maps with messages for tourists
South Canterbury's public toilets have become a novel location for pitching road safety messages to tourist drivers.
Maps in public toilets showing crash sites over the past five years are giving safety warnings in Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Filipino.
The maps, placed above urinals and on the inside of toilet doors, also link readers to websites with road safety messages in 14 languages.
Tourists are being given the safety warnings and driver tips at 60 public toilets around South Canterbury.
South Canterbury road crashes from 2011 to 2015, as displayed on maps in toilets around the region.

South Canterbury road crashes from 2011 to 2015, as displayed on maps in toilets around the region.

* Opinion: The most dangerous month for foreign drivers is coming
* One million foreign drivers are on their way, but should we be afraid of them?
* Crash data shows danger level of foreign drivers

South Canterbury Road Safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude said the signs were mostly aimed at foreign tourists, and toilets provided a captive audience.

It was difficult to get people to read road safety information, but he realised signs in toilets could make for good reading for "30 seconds when there's nothing to do".
Daniel Naude has been using signs in public toilets to warn tourists about the risks of driving in New Zealand.

Daniel Naude has been using signs in public toilets to warn tourists about the risks of driving in New Zealand.
The past year had been especially bad for serious-injury crashes in South Canterbury and nationally, he said. NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) statistics showed 625 injury crashes were reported in South Canterbury from 2011 to 2015. Just over 50 – or 8 per cent – involved overseas drivers.
Of all the crashes in that time, 44 per cent were a result of crossing or turning, while 24 per cent involved losing control or colliding head-on at a bend. A further 4 per cent involved drivers overtaking, crashing head-on, or losing control on straight roads.
Naude said tourists were especially vulnerable if they thought New Zealand roads were quick and easy. A 300-kilometre drive from Christchurch to Queenstown looked like a breezy three hours, but was much tougher.
The toilet map sites included Geraldine, Fairlie, Tekapo, Twizeland Mt Cook.
Naude was negotiating with Department of Conservation for more maps around Mt Cook, and had heard from a Queenstown business group interested in the idea. He hoped NZTA's crash statistics for last Christmas, expected to be available by March, would show the signs had made a difference.
Highlighting road crashes was not popular, but the public response had mostly been positive, Naude said.
In a bizarre tribute, someone had stolen one of the signs from a toilet at Tekapo. "I don't know . . . maybe they liked the frame or something."
The maps cost South Canterbury's three district councils just a few thousand dollars and were based on NZTA's national crash statistics from June 2010 to June 2015.
Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager Denis Mander said he had seen one of the maps at a toilet at Pukaki and thought the idea was "brilliant".
The council was working with NZTA on road safety programmes for tourists in Otago and Southland, including information for hotel guides.
The material would include estimated journey times, especially for busy routes like Queenstown to Milford Sound, which tourists mistakenly thought was a fast drive.
NZTA, tourism operators and southern councils were also putting safety messages on the back of buses and in rental car handouts, and more rumble strips were being added to roads.
NZTA road safety staff in Christchurch were not immediately aware of the map rollout.

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