CTU media release
16 November 2009
Increase in driving age detrimental to young people
The New Zealand youth union movement says the Government needs to look at better driver training before it simply raises the New Zealand driving age.
CTU youth convener James Sleep says imminent moves to raise the driving age will have a detrimental effect on young people who rely on the use of a vehicle in their everyday lives for work and education.
“The youth union movement welcomes a public debate on this important issue, but believes Government plans would leave thousands of rural youth and young workers out in the cold,” said Sleep. “Young people, including working and non-working rural youth, will be barred from the use of a vehicle on which they rely heavily, simply because of their age.”
“Youth in isolated areas often have no other option but to use a vehicle to access key services such as health care and education. Any increase in the driving age would impinge on the social and economic fabric of their community.”
The youth union movement is urging the Government to look at strengthening training programmes available to young people.
“By investing in more accessible training programmes, young people will be given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills by trained experts, and be prepared and able to drive wisely on the open road.”
“This issue is not about age, it’s about skill. The raising of the driving age would simply disadvantage an entire sector of society. Investing in comprehensive driver training initiatives is the way to go,” concluded Sleep.