20 Feb 2014

Call to tackle 'foreign driver problem'

4:21 pm on 20 February 2014

A South Island mayor is calling for a national initiative to reduce the number of crashes involving foreign drivers.

Vanessa van Uden, who's the Queenstown Lakes District mayor, says her region is at the mercy of overseas drivers, who are causing major problems on the roads.

She has written to Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse, calling for his help in the matter. What would be a good thing to do, she says, is to find out from visitors who have finished a driving holiday in New Zealand "what they've found, what has concerned them, what's scared them, what would make it easier for them to be a better person driving on our roads".

Ms van Uden says she likes the idea of overseas drivers watching an informational video when they sign up for a rental car - and that suggestion has the support of the Rental Vehicle Association.

  • Last week a French tourist who caused a serious head-on collision in Whangarei by driving on the wrong side of the road was disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay $4000 reparation to the victims.
  • Three people were injured in the crash earlier in February, including a pregnant woman who miscarried as a result of the accident.