Time to restrict tourist car rentals, says safety campaigner
Time to restrict tourist car rentals, says safety campaigner.
Many tourists are not capable of driving safely on our roads, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.
Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says:
“Many overseas tourists using international driver’s licenses end up killing innocent people in road crashes. Under our treaty obligations, the government can’t stop most international drivers using our roads. However, the government needs to make it much harder to get behind the wheel of a rental car in this country.”
Matthew-Wilson believes the government should ban overseas travellers from renting cars until they have first passed an online driving test.
“It’s not just a question of putting some questions and answers on a website and hoping people look there: the government needs to implement an interactive test that must be passed before a vehicle can be legally rented to a foreign driver.”
“There is already an online test available, but it’s optional, and I doubt it will really separate those who should and shouldn’t be using our roads.”
“Tourists can rent a vehicle at the airport after a twelve hour flight. This is crazy. No one can drive safely after a twelve hour flight from a different time zone.”
Matthew-Wilson believes intersections on major roads should have multi-language signs saying something like: “Keep left – look right.”
“Many tourists are from countries where motorists drive on the other side of the road. When tourists from these countries are tired or scared, they tend to veer onto the wrong side of the road. Also, when these tourists are coming up to major intersections, they often look the wrong way, which can have fatal consequences.”
Matthew-Wilson claims the government is scared of taking decisive action on the issue.
“Pro-business governments tend to be very reluctant to take any steps that will restrict the rights of businesses such as car rental firms. Also, the government is terrified of offending countries like China. The end result of the government’s inaction is a large number of unnecessary road deaths.”