Brownlee’s road safety strategy: stop youth getting licences
Transport Safety Spokesperson
29 May 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
Brownlee’s road safety strategy - stop young people getting licences
Doing nothing about the rising number of people failing driving licence tests appears to be Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee’s strategy for reducing the road toll, Labour’s Transport Safety spokesperson Darien Fenton says.
A new regime, introduced in February 2012 as part of the Safer Journeys strategy, has been criticised for its high failure rates and inconsistencies between testing officers.
“Class 1 restricted licence pass rates have dropped from 81 per cent in 2012 to 51 per cent this year. Alongside that there’s been a coinciding increase in the number of community complaints about inconsistencies between testing officers.
“In addition, poorer rural communities such as Wairoa, Dargaville and Te Kuiti have had access to local testing removed, which for many kids means spending hundreds of dollars to be tested elsewhere.
“Gerry Brownlee, when asked what he intended to do about it at Select Committee this morning, replied ‘nothing’.
“While Labour supports driver licencing standards, they need to be accessible to all, affordable and consistent.
“The Minister’s response ignores the legitimate concerns that are being raised by communities. By doing nothing, he is ensuring that young people will continue to miss out on work that requires them to have a driving licence.
“Yes, we need to ensure that people are ready to get behind the wheel so they do not present a danger to themselves or those they share the road with but the system needs to be realistic and, most importantly, fair.
“Any irregularities in the testing need to be ironed out.”