Two millionth photo driver licence issued
The Director of Land Transport Safety, Reg Barrett, says that the LTSA is currently on schedule to reach its target of issuing 2.4 million photo driver licences by the end of June 2000.
“The two millionth licence is a significant milestone and it means that around 80 per cent of drivers have now completed the upgrade process. This is an outstanding rate of compliance,” Mr Barrett said.
“The process for upgrading to a new photo licence is running smoothly. Ninety-six percent of photo driver licences are processed within seven days of application.”
Mr Barrett said it was pleasing that so many people had upgraded to the new licence on time.
“The photo driver licence is an important component amongst a range of measures aimed at improving road safety in New Zealand, and it brings us into line with international best practice.
“Unlicenced and disqualified drivers killed 50 people on New Zealand roads in 1998 and regularly cause around 10 per cent of all fatal road crashes. That is unacceptable.
“A photo driver licence greatly increases the chances of disqualified drivers being identified and caught. It helps stop the flouting of our Graduated Driver Licensing System and, combined with tough new penalties, the photo driver licence will help to improve safety on our roads,” Mr Barrett said.
Positive benefits are already being seen as a result of the driver licence eyesight screening checks. Figures from the Driver Licence Register show that nearly 25,000 drivers are now wearing corrective lenses as a result of checks required by the new licensing system.
Mr Barrett reminded drivers that they had up to 60 days after their birthdays to upgrade to a photo driver licence.
“If you have not upgraded and you continue to drive after your paper licence has expired, you can be fined $400, or up to $1,000 for persistent offending. You also risk not being able to get car insurance or having a claim denied.
"If you are caught driving without a valid licence you will be forbidden to drive until you get a current, valid photo driver licence. If you are caught driving while forbidden, the vehicle you are driving will be seized at the roadside and impounded," he said.
Mr Barrett said that drivers who have
had a birthday in the past 60 days should upgrade as soon as
possible. Those whose birthday was more than 60 days ago
(and after 3 May 1999) must upgrade to a photo licence now,
as their old paper licences were no longer