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English Driver Licences Will Improve Road Safety

19 August 2004

English Driver Licences Will Improve Road Safety

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark is calling for overseas drivers from non-English speaking countries to sit tests for local licences before they are allowed to drive on New Zealand roads.

“We first raised the issue over eighteen months ago when it was obvious that foreign drivers, particularly non-English speaking, were causing a disproportionate amount of accidents – many of them fatal,” said Mr Mark.

“We also pointed out that the driving test system was open to corruption, a point conceded by the authorities who admitted that little could be done to prevent bribery of interpreters by non-English speakers when it came to taking a written test.

“At that time the Government took the line that this was an issue grounded less in safety than in racism, and they failed to act.

“Their PC attitude ensured that unsafe foreign drivers continued to cause mayhem on our roads.”

Mr Mark’s comments follow an announcement today from the Road Safety Authority that they intend to clamp down on overseas drivers and the driver licencing system. At the moment overseas motorists can drive for up to 12 months before converting to a New Zealand licence, and the proposed changes will still allow for this.

“The requirement for non-English speaking drivers to sit tests in New Zealand before being allowed to drive on our roads should have been introduced years ago,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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