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Kiwi driver TV test results an eye-opener

For immediate release
23 March 2004

Kiwi driver TV test results an eye-opener

The Land Transport Safety Authority hopes Kiwi drivers will think about brushing up on the road code in the wake of a televised test of our knowledge of road rules and road safety.

“TV3’s Great Kiwi Drivers’ Challenge put Kiwis to the test – and revealed a patchy understanding of the road code, road rules and road safety risks,” LTSA General Manager Communications and Education Liz Taylor-Read said today.

A studio audience of approximately 300 people were tested on 40 road code and road safety related questions. The audience scored just 40% correct, although home viewers did better, scoring between 71% (web score) and 76% correct (text scores).

“To get your drivers licence you have to get at 32 of the 35 theory questions correct – that’s over 90%,” Ms Taylor-Read said. “On this basis most people who took part in last night’s test would fail the real thing if they had to sit it again.

“The Road Code represents the minimum knowledge needed to be safe on the roads. We hope the Great Kiwi Drivers’ Challenge acts as an eye-opener and gets people to question whether they really are great Kiwi drivers.

“Most New Zealand drivers don’t do anything to brush up on their knowledge of the road code or new road rules until they have to - when they are re-tested at the age of 80.

“This is one reason why the LTSA will shortly be launching a new road safety education initiative called Up to Scratch – which will give drivers the opportunity to refresh their knowledge of the road code and road rules.

“Up to Scratch is a ten question scratch test that people will get when they re-license their vehicle, renew their driver licence or take their vehicle for a Warrant of Fitness.”

Up to Scratch will be launched in April and is part of the Government’s 'three Es' approach to improving road safety.

"Along with engineering and enforcement, driver education is crucial if New Zealand is to meet its Road Safety to 2010 goals of no more than 300 deaths and 4,500 injuries on our roads each year by 2010,” Ms Taylor-Read said.

ENDS

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