19 Aug 2009

Driving age change poses huge difficulties - farmers

1:59 pm on 19 August 2009

Farming families will face huge difficulties if the Government raises the driving age, says Federated Farmers.

Increasing the minimum age from 15 to 17 is one of more than 60 initiatives the Government is considering as part of its road safety strategy.

Federated Farmers dairy chairman Lachlan McKenzie, who owns a property 30 kilometres northwest of Rotorua and employs a 16-year-old who passed his driving test a year ago, says the Government needs to look at underlying road safety issues and not just target the driving age.

Federated Farmers is planning to survey its members again about their views on the driving age. There was strong farmer opposition to a previous proposal to raise the minimum age to 16.

Rural Women New Zealand president Margaret Chapman says raising the driving age could severely disrupt farming operations.