New Zealand should not accept Chinese driver's licences
New Zealand should not accept Chinese driver's
licences, says safety campaigner
Chinese nationals should not be allowed to use international driver's licences in New Zealand, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.
Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, asks:
“If the Chinese government won’t accept NewZealand driver's licences in China, why is New Zealand accepting Chinese licences?”
Matthew-Wilson says Chinese motorists who have been trained in New Zealand are generally good drivers. However, according to China’s state-run China Daily newspaper:
"China has the highest number of road accident fatalities in the world, many of which have been directly attributed to drivers' bad habits and their lack of respect for traffic rules."
Matthew-Wilson respects the Chinese government’s right to refuse New Zealand driver's licences.
“The Chinese government believes that New Zealanders may not have the skills to use Chinese roads safely. The same situation applies in New Zealand; Chinese drivers may not have the skills to use New Zealand roads safely; therefore they should not be driving here on an international licence.”
“China is not a member of the International
Driver’s License convention. China has no obligation
to accept New Zealand drivers’ licenses. New Zealand has
no obligation to accept Chinese
Matthew-Wilson adds that there have been ongoing problems with Chinese drivers using fake licences.
It was revealed last week that five Chinese nationals used fraudulent or borrowed licences while transporting Chinese tourists round Fiordland in 55-seater buses and other vehicles, during the peak tourist season.
Matthew-Wilson believes this is the tip of the iceberg.
“There is currently a global epidemic of fake licences originating from China, but even the official licences may not be what they seem.”
A Chinese source told dogandlemon.com that bribery is common:
“Drivers give bribery money to the police; the police will issue them licences under the counter. That's illegal, of course, but not many corrupt guys are caught.”
Matthew-Wilson blames the New Zealand government for the multiple incidents involving Chinese drivers.
“By promoting New Zealand as a country in which foreigners can safely drive, the New Zealand government has effectively set up multiple tragedies. The reality is, many New Zealand rural roads are totally unsuitable for inexperienced drivers. By accepting Chinese driver's licences, the government places both Chinese drivers and New Zealand drivers at risk.”
Matthew-Wilson adds that the entire international driver’s licence scheme needs an urgent overhaul.
“The standard of driving tests currently varies a lot between countries. For the international driving licence scheme to work properly, there needs to be a minimum international standard for driving tests, and there need to be easy ways of checking if a foreigner’s driver’s licence is real, and not a fake.”
“In the meantime, we should stop accepting licences from countries that aren’t members of the International Driver’s Licence convention.”