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LTSA reaches driver licence target six weeks early

LTSA online
The Land Transport Safety Authority today issued its 2.4 millionth photo driver licence – six weeks ahead of schedule.

The Director of Land Transport Safety, Reg Barrett, said that reaching this target one and a half months before the end of the driver licensing upgrade programme was a tremendous achievement.

“Difficult goals were set at the start of the upgrade project but these goals have been met with time to spare,” Mr Barrett said.

“Our estimate of 2.4 million eligible drivers was based on the old paper licence database. The fact that 2.4 million photo driver licences have been issued with six weeks to go before the end of the upgrade period indicates that many previously unlicensed drivers have been getting licensed and joining the system.

“At current upgrade rates we predict that by July there may be as many as 2.5 million drivers with valid photo licences,” Mr Barrett said.

“What New Zealand motorists now have in place is a driver licensing system that matches world best practice. The only people who can have any gripes with this are those who break the law.”

Unisys New Zealand Managing Director Russell Stanners said Unisys was particularly proud to be involved in the project.

“There were real challenges in terms of the tight time frames. But Unisys is so proud of the finished product that we are using it as an international case study,” he said.

The delivery of this number of driver licences was a major achievement for the LTSA and Unisys, with quality exceeding overseas benchmarks in a number of areas, said Mr Stanners.

"Unisys is committed to the long-term success of the DLR system, and LTSA safety goals," he said.

The photo driver licence is part of a package of enforcement measures introduced in May last year that includes mandatory licence carriage and increased penalties for a range of driving offences.

The upgrade process runs until July 3, when the last motorists – those with birthdays up to 2 May – should have new licences.

The LTSA is reminding motorists that anyone who has not upgraded to a photo driver licence one year on from when their paper licence became invalid* will have to re-sit theory and practical driving tests to obtain a licence.

*Drivers had 60 days to upgrade to a new photo driver licence from a birthday which fell into the upgrade period (3 May 1999 to 2 May 2000). The exception to this is New Zealand licence holders returning from overseas or being released from prison or hospital. These people have 90 days to upgrade from their date of return or release.

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