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


Older Driver Licensing Review Announced

Tue, 12 Oct 2004

Older Driver Licensing Review Announced

The older driver licensing system which requires people aged 80 and over to renew their licence every two years is to be reviewed.


The older driver licensing system which requires people aged 80 and over to renew their licence every two years is to be reviewed, Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven announced today.

Led by the Ministry of Transport, the Review of Older Driver Licensing will be conducted in association with interest groups representing older people - including Grey Power and the NZ Returned Services Association - medical associations and transport organisations. The Ministry of Transport is due to report back to the Minister in June 2005.

The Review will take a long-term look at licensing policy for older people.

The Minister also expressed his support for several changes to the current system which could be introduced next year. These include the option of a conditional licence which would allow older people to drive within a 10km radius of their home.

The proposed amendment to the Driver Licensing Rule will also provide for two other changes: extension of the time allowed for older people to renew their licence from 60 days to six months before its expiry, and removal of the "automatic only" condition. This means, in the future, older people who sit their licence in an automatic transmission vehicle will be able to drive either an automatic or manual vehicle, instead of being limited to an automatic only. It is anticipated that these policy changes will be approved early next year and introduced later in 2005.

"As part of the New Zealand Transport Strategy, the government is committed to improving access and mobility," Mr Duynhoven said. "We realise that for many older people the ability to drive is the key to continued independence - losing their licence can have a profound impact on their lives. At the same time, we have to balance maintaining mobility for older drivers with the need to provide for the safety of all road users."

Grey Power National President Graham Stairmand welcomed the announcement. "Grey Power are pleased the government is taking these positive steps towards removing barriers to mobility for older New Zealanders and we look forward to making a positive contribution to the Review of Older Driver Licensing," he said. "For our members, it's a move in the right direction."

Announcement of the Review and other initiatives was accompanied by the release of two research papers commissioned by the government to help direct the future development of older driver licensing policy.

These are "The Sullivan Report" - an independent review of older driver crash statistics and how they are used by the Land Transport Safety Authority to determine older drivers' safety risk - and a scoping paper "Older People and Transport" by the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA). This study examines the transport patterns of older people, the barriers they face in achieving their transport needs and what is being done to address these.

A further study by the NZiRA, "Coping Without a Car", is due for release in November by the Minister for Senior Citizens.

"The research highlights that older driver licensing is an extremely complex issue and one that will be of increasing importance as New Zealand's population ages," said Mr Duynhoven. "There has been a 66% increase in the number of drivers aged 80 and over since 1999, when the current licensing system was introduced.

"Development of licensing policy is an ongoing process influenced by a wide range of evidence including age-related health and medical factors and data on older driver crash risk.

"Older drivers are relatively safe - most drive conservatively, travel shorter distances and tend to be self regulating, giving up their licence when their driving ability slips. However, as a result of ageing and medical conditions, there can be rapid deterioration in an older person's ability to drive safely.

"The research also shows there are few alternative options to driving and this is a challenge for future policy development.

"The government is open to informed debate on the issues surrounding older driver relicensing and to exploring different options for delivering the best system in the future."

Full copies of the research papers "Older People and Transport" and "Older Driver Crash Statistics" (The Sullivan Report) are available on


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fate Of Julian Assange

Has swapping Scott Morrison for Anthony Albanese made any discernible difference to Australia’s relations with the US, China, the Pacific and New Zealand? Not so far. For example: Albanese has asked for more time to “consider” his response to New Zealand’s long running complaints about the so called “501” deportations back to this country. Really? He needs more time to figure out a response? OK, but the clock is ticking.
The Julian Assange situation is a lot more urgent. Assange’s deportation to the United States has now been okayed by the British courts and also - crucially – by its government. At any moment, Assange could be on a plane and headed for a US prison. He is facing the prospect of 175 years in jail...


Parliament: Grounds Fully Reopened

Parliament’s grounds have been fully reopened today at a ceremony and community event with mana whenua, members of the public, and representatives of Parliament... More>>

Chris Hipkins: Statement On Charlotte Bellis

On 31 January I released a statement regarding Charlotte Bellis and her MIQ application. I stated that emergency allocation criteria includes a requirement to travel to New Zealand within the next 14 days... More>>

Government: Prime Minister To Travel To Europe And Australia

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events... More>>


National: Goodfellow To Retire As Party President
Peter Goodfellow today announced he will not seek re-election as President of the National Party at its Annual Conference. Mr Goodfellow will remain as a director on the board for one final term to assist in the transition... More>>

Police: Parliament Occupation Investigators Seek Public Assistance
Police investigating criminal activity on the final day of the occupation at Parliament grounds earlier this year are appealing for the public’s help to identify 15 people... More>>

World Vision: New Zealand Urged To Meet Quota As New Report Finds Hunger, Violence, And Death Rates Increase For Refugees
World Vision is calling for New Zealand to work harder to meet its refugee quota in the wake of a new report which shows that life has deteriorated significantly in the past two years for refugees in 11 hard-hit countries... More>>




InfoPages News Channels