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

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels