Concern at fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders

Waitaki news
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done.

“There have been some horrific accidents recently and my heart goes out to the families involved.

“These fatalities are a tragedy for everyone involved, but they also highlight the issue of tourist drivers on our roads and raise the question – could we be doing more to keep all road users safe.

“How many more lives need to be lost, how many more families need to be destroyed, before this issue is thoroughly addressed?

“I’m not disputing tourists’ right to drive in this country – I’m just questioning their ability to handle our difficult roads, our road regulations and our left and right lane rules, without appropriate training.”

Mrs Dean has previously met with Geraldine boy Sean Roberts, 10, who launched a petition after a foreign student drove across the centre line in the Lindis Pass, hitting two motorcycles. Sean's father, Grant Roberts and his friend Dennis Pederson were killed in the 2012 crash. 

 “New Zealand Transport Agency figures show that, between 2009 and 2012, 43 percent of the fatal crashes in the Central Otago district involved overseas licence holders, 19 percent of Otago’s and almost 11 percent of Southland’s fatal accidents involved overseas licence holders.

“We welcome tourists to our country, but we just want them to be safe and to ensure that all drivers can use our roads with confidence.”