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Tanczos welcomes review of driver licences

Green Party MP Nandor Tanczos today welcomed the Government's announcement of a review of the new photo driver licences.

Mr Tanczos said he was aware that many people were angry about the new licenses. Reasons ranged from concern about the national database of digital photos and signatures - especially in light of recent cases of abuse of confidential information among government employees - to outrage at the way that the law is being implemented.

"I have refused to get one of the new licences since May 1999, in sympathy with the many others who have taken the same stance," he said.

"What has most outraged me is the frustration and inconvenience caused to our old people and the criminalisation of the poor, who once again have borne the brunt of the previous government's policy. People who have not been able to afford the new licence, or who strongly object to what they see as the beginnings of a 'surveillance state' have been turned into criminals without cause," said the Party's Senior Citizens spokesperson Nandor Tanczos.

"The purpose of the law is to allow police to identify unlicensed and disqualified drivers. I agree we need the bad billies off the roads and I am not opposed to having photos on licences. But many people are genuinely concerned about the privacy implications. We need to review what the law is doing to people. It they have committed no driving offence and have not been disqualified, how can we justify hitting them with $400 fines or taking their vehicles?"

Mr Tanczos called for an amnesty for people caught driving without a photo license as long as they could prove that they were a licenced driver, and urged the government to abolish the July 1 deadline pending the result of the review.

Mr Tanczos said the call for an amnesty for drivers without a photo licence was not a case of self interest. "My car hasn't run for a good couple of years now. I prefer to skateboard or use the bus" he said.

Ends

Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6716, 025 246 5235 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 021 110 1133


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