Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Changes For Older Drivers - Williamson


Hon Maurice Williamson

Minister of Transport

Concerns raised about the impact of the new driver licensing regime on older drivers have been addressed by Transport Minister Maurice Williamson.

"We've listened to concerns expressed by the Automobile Association and other groups and decided we can respond to most of these.

"With a system revamp of this magnitude it was inevitable that some operational issues would need to be modified and we believe the elderly are one such area."

One concern was elderly drivers who let their paper licence lapse on its expiry at age 71 and did not enter the previous older driver licensing system to maintain their licence status.

"I agree it was unfair for them to have to sit a novice driver test as if they had never been licensed. I've agreed with the Director of Land Transport Safety that they need only sit a full licence theory test and older driver practical test which can be done on the same day."

Concerns have also been expressed at the increased difficulty of the older driver practical test.

"This has been introduced purely for road safety reasons and will continue to be used. However, after discussing this with the Director of Land Transport Safety, he has reminded testing officers that it is within his powers to grant licences with conditions such as being restricted to driving during daylight."

Mr Williamson said it would not always be possible for everyone to retain a form of limited licence, but it would enable a number of older drivers to retain their mobility without compromising road safety.

The inability of agents to accept bookings over the telephone has caused difficulties for some people having to travel long distances, said Mr Williamson.

"I accept this and expect the Land Transport Safety Authority will identify a process that will enable a telephone booking system to be introduced."

Mr Williamson said another major concern of older drivers had been the costs of obtaining a licence.

"Every effort was made to keep the fees down, but it's important to realise that older drivers have different licensing requirements to other drivers and the fees simply cover the costs of the older driver regime.

"It's important to remember the benefits, beyond the safety ones, for older drivers. They renew their licences every two years after the age of 80, instead of annually after the age of 76."

Mr Williamson said, taking the costs of medicals into account, older drivers were better off at every stage of the new system.

"Apart from a few teething problems and the need for a few modifications, I believe the new regime is working extremely well by deterring serious traffic offenders from our roads and correcting the vision of almost 5000 drivers."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election