Narrow escape for car on Kaimai Ranges

This is how not to overtake on the Kaimai Ranges. Supplied image and video.

Click the image above to watch the video

UPDATED: Video footage of a car running out of room while overtaking a truck on the Kaimai Ranges has sparked an official complaint.

A regular user of the road contacted SunLive and says he has laid a complaint with NZTA and police about the current road layout.

“I have laid an official complaint with the NZTA and the Police because they have closed a lane on a blind corner. I can under why the driver was caught out because it happened to me too. 

“There is a 150 metre straight directly before the corner where they could have safely closed the lane. 

“I also got caught. I came round the corner beside two trucks , with my precious child in the car, and suddenly the lane closes and there’s nowhere to go. 

"It’s a dangerous situation."


A driver has learnt how not to overtake the hard way after running out of room to pass a truck on the Kaimai Ranges.

Dash cam footage recorded by a witness captured the incident, in which a white car attempts to overtake a heavy truck on the Waikato side of the ranges, but doesn’t quite make it.

The witness, who is himself a truck driver by occupation, says if the truck hadn’t stopped it would have ‘driven over the bonnet of the car’.

“The car had damage to its left-wing mirror on reversing away from the truck, and there was traffic coming up the hill fast from behind.”

Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says it’s fortunate the truck driver was onto it, or else the outcome could have been much worse.

“In all overtaking manoeuvres, drivers need to take extra special care to ensure they have plenty of room to execute the manoeuvre,” says Ian.

“When heavy vehicles are using slow lanes and you wish to overtake, you must ensure there is sufficient room to overtake before the slow lane runs out – this includes 100 metres of clear visibility.”

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Simplistic judgements

Posted on 15-07-2017 12:34 | By Papamoaner

Yes, we see behaviour here that we don’t see elsewhere, but this case is a bit complicated. In smaller "third world" places like Valenzuela in the Philippines for example, there are hardly any traffic lights but high traffic congestion and very basic road rules. It’s mainly based on road courtesy. At intersections it’s like watching hundreds of ants manouvering around each other but never colliding. On blind intersections and road works, there are kids as young as 8 supervising traffic, and everybody obeys them. The rule is that you give the nearest kid a few pesos as you pass through. All unofficial, but provides rice for poor families. These people are masters at "Keeping it simple" In this local incident we are discussing, I subscribe to the view that the car driver was inadvertently trapped by a closing wedge,

My point...

Posted on 14-07-2017 18:07 | By GreertonBoy

Is DRIVERS need to drive to the conditions? If something has changed.... slow down.... don’t try and race around the guy in front? On rural roads, there could be a few cows on the road... a tractor whatever, in this case, some cones. If the car was on the right of the truck and all of the signs are on the left of the road, the white car could possibly not have been aware of the changes,.... so, DON’T floor it and try and get around the truck? Drive to the conditions... try being patient even? Beats being dead. The person who "found themselves behind a couple of trucks with their precious child in the car, should never ’find themselves’ anywhere? They should drive properly and know where they are and what is around them? Learn to drive people, show some respect!

Usual armchair judges and jury

Posted on 13-07-2017 05:33 | By Papamoaner

Wait ;- there are two sides to this story, maybe 3 sides. @Truckies - mostly excellent drivers, and thank heavens for Cummins technology eh!


Posted on 13-07-2017 05:25 | By Papamoaner

I reckon you are dead right. That’s how it’s done in Singapore, and it works!


Posted on 12-07-2017 18:53 | By maildrop

Cone set up in NZ. Leave it in the hands of a mouth breather. No brain, no thought, no safety, no checking, off for a brew. The car driver was completely shafted by the hi viz brigade.

It's all about taking responsibility

Posted on 12-07-2017 17:22 | By The Sage

The driver of the white car is at fault and should be booked. Look at the clip again and there is a 50 kph sign on the left. Stop trying to blame everyone else. Sure there are a couple of contributing factors however the car driver is who it rests with.


Posted on 12-07-2017 16:54 | By Smilarkie

seems like a case of name and shame the road working company. None of the signs in the clip show merging into one lane. Maybee they were further back??

Cops miss the point.

Posted on 12-07-2017 15:36 | By The Commentor

As usual, the cops completely ignore any other factors contributing to the issue and just blame the driver. Probably send him a ticket in the post while doing absolutely nothing to ensure that dangerous lane closure is rectified.

Trucks on Kaimais ..

Posted on 12-07-2017 14:31 | By Linaire

I try to avoid driving over the Kaimais but with one daughter living in Hamilton now, I have little choice. Tbh I have found all the truck drivers to be extremely considerate [take note Old Trucker :D] It’s all the impatient car drivers, treating it like some sort of racing track, that are ruining it for everyone else! I hope the driver of the white car gets a ticket from the Police - what an idiot!

Not enough warning

Posted on 12-07-2017 13:58 | By BlueBoy

I was going up there yesterday 11-07 17 and was overtaking on that same corner and almost run out of room, why because there was not enough warning that it was going to happen, so how can you be ready if you don,t know its coming up And for the comment in the report the overtaking lane or slow lane normally takes you right to the top.

idiot road workers!

Posted on 12-07-2017 13:40 | By A.Campbell

from the video I don’t believe the car or truck is at fault here, the workers don’t even have signage so say it merges into 1 lane ahead, until the start of the 1 lane, as even the black car overtook the truck just prior to the white car. its the road workers at fault here, not the car. yes luckily for the truckie, he saw the white car beside him and stopped and"seriously" says you can’t pass during roadworks? why? if they have 2 lanes and speed signs- what’s the issue?

Road cones

Posted on 12-07-2017 13:36 | By Comment needed

I note the (Just another day) comments state that you should not pass when road works are sign posted BUT it they would have looked at the clip the road was clearly set up incorrectly as the passing lane was set up for passing So have ago at whoever placed the road cones !

It used to be...

Posted on 12-07-2017 13:16 | By GreertonBoy

That cars dreaded coming up behind a truck on a hill, because the truck would be lumbering up the hill at a crawl (like todays caravaners) however, these days, it is more the truckie dreading coming up behind a car on a hill, because even a fully laden truck can climb a hill at a good rate of knots... which makes passing trucks desceptive. One may think they will have the truck by the time the lane ends, however, trucks aren’t as slow as they used to be... now it can be difficult to pass them. So, car drivers need to learn to drive properly and only pass anything going up a hill if they are 100% sure they can make it. In this case, the driver was probably only 80% sure and could have paid a hefty price for their arrogance. Learn to drive people, and respect


Posted on 12-07-2017 12:32 | By rastus

Pure arrogance - or more likely total incompetence and stupidity - unfortunately we see this almost everyday - I would like to see the ’broken windows’ type policy introduced so that the small problems such as not signaling at roundabouts don’t lead to death defying maneuvers such as this.


Posted on 12-07-2017 09:07 | By overit

I hope the cops booked this imbicile.

Just another day

Posted on 12-07-2017 08:33 | By Seriously?

Examples like this are the main reason my husband with 25+ years of truck driving left the industry. Everyday he felt like he had a target on him from other road users doing stupid manoeuvres like this car tried on. PLUS you’re not supposed to be passing during road works anyway.