Friday, July 21, 2017
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Key milestones in NZ’s motoring history

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1896    Cecil Woods of Timaru creates the first New Zealand-built motor vehicle.

1898    The first imported motor cars arrive in New Zealand. Member of Parliament, William MacLean, imports two Benz vehicles from France, dubbed ‘Lightening and ‘Petrolette’.

1900    New Zealand’s first electric tram arrives.

1905    Two men complete the first car journey from Wellington to Auckland – taking seven days!

1908    A farmers’ conference calls for vehicles of speeding motorists to be ‘locked out’ of 3rd and 4th gears to force them to slow down.

1918    The Christchurch City Council imported their first Walker Electric Truck.

1934    First national traffic census is undertaken.

1937    A Traffic Code is distributed to every home, motor association, all safety councils and others.

1940    Drivers 70 years-old and over must be re-tested to ensure they are still fit to drive.

1950    The first section of motorway opens in December. It runs for three miles between Takapu Rd and Johnsonville and is part of the main approach to Wellington City.

1950
    The first compulsory STOP signs appear.

1955
    A new law requires motorists to slow down to 10mph (now 20km/h) when passing a school bus that is picking up or setting down children.

1956    Motorcyclists travelling at over 30mph (50km/h) now have to wear a ‘crash (later safety) helmet’. Moped riders are excluded.

1957    The first give way signs are erected at crash-prone intersections.

1959    Auckland Harbour Bridge opens on 30 May.








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