Monday, June 23, 2014

New Zealand: When Will Kiwis Get Angry Over the Human Carnage Caused by Foreign Drivers?

According to, a Dutch tourist who ran a stop sign and killed a Christchurch woman and two young girls had another accident earlier the same day.

The revelation has come as Johannes Jacobus Appelman, 52, pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court and admitted causing the deaths of Sally Summerfield, her 12-year-old daughter, Ella Summerfield, and Ella's friend, Abi Hone, also 12.

Appelman also pleaded guilty to one charge of careless driving causing injury to the driver of the vehicle, Shane Summerfield. 

COMMENT: As many of our regular readers know, I've been posting daily blogs at STAYING SAFE ABROAD since 2009. That's five years, even though it seems like yesterday.

The one question that keeps me up at night, among a few others, is this:

Why do Zealanders NOT get angry over the crisis that exists on their own soil regarding foreign drivers' being responsible for the majority of motor vehicle fatalities...with little to no impact on the drivers involved?

First of all, let me acknowledge that I'm fully aware of New Zealand's population. It is a mere 4.4 million, which, if you live long enough, and providing that actually occurs, you may soon become acquainted with a significant percentage of residents who reside on both islands.

I've personally tracked most fatal motor vehicle accidents occurring in New Zealand since 2009 that involve FOREIGN drivers. The result is by no means a pretty picture.

Actually, its very tragic and sad, so what I'm really attempting to understand is WHY?

One obvious thought is that the NZ Police Force, 11,000-strong has been politically "nudged" into "going easy" on foreign drivers, otherwise they might be less-inclined to return for another visit. That is a possibility.

After so many years of seeing New Zealand countryman and countrywomen needlessly killed, maimed and injured, often for life, I would respectfully invite any New Zealander to contact me via email and/or Skype to explain to me why most foreign motorists are invariably given a "free pass"?

By now, most New Zealanders are intimately aware of the loss of human treasure and blood to foreign drivers over the course of their lifetime.

Police have confirmed that Appelman crashed another rental car the very same day into a ditch, some eight hours before the fatal crash near Rakaia on May 31. 

Police said they did not cite Appelman for his first "accident," as the injuries were minor.

Appelman later said he was extremely remorseful and would like to meet with the families of the victims.

The 52-year-old was remanded on bail and will be sentenced on the July 16. 

This report will be updated when Appelman is sentenced.