Driver ruling ‘will cost lives’

Innocent people will die as a result of a recent ruling by the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee, says a prominent rooad safety campaigner.
The committee rejected a call for compulsory testing of foreign drivers, despite a 30,000-strong petition launched by the family of Grant Roberts, who was killed by a tourist driver in a rental vehicle.
Website editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says: “There is nothing to stop the government passing a law requiring rental car companies to ensure that anyone renting a vehicle has the necessary skills and awareness to handle New Zealand roads.”
“This law would not contravene international driving treaties, but would stop unsafe drivers – from any country – from renting a car.”
“Right now, if a rental car company knowingly rents a vehicle to someone who is drunk, they could be prosecuted.
Yet, the same rental company is free to rent a car to someone who doesn’t know what the lines down the middle of the road are for.
“We don’t need to make drivers resit their licenses: a simple, computerbased competency test would give the rental car company a strong indication of a potential driver’s ability.”
Matthew-Wilson also slammed the government for allowing drivers to rent vehicles even after long flights.
“Tourists are free to rent a car after a 28 hour flight then drive into a lamppost. A New Zealand truck driver would be legally prevented from driving his vehicle after a 28 hour flight, but somehow it’s okay if you’re an overseas tourist.”

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