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Topic # 165934 25-Feb-2015 07:42
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There's been a lot of news in the media around foreign drivers being involved with fatal accidents this week. Apparently they make up 5% of all fatal accidents, though I haven't seen anywhere what percentage of drivers they are. I suspect they're over-represented, but I don't know by how much.

A short information sheet and test doesn't sound unreasonable to me - say a few pages of instructions then a 5-10 minute test to check you understood it. My wife argued said it should target higher risk groups, such as Asians who seem to feature highly in statistics, and people who drive on the right. There would be a fair bit of overhead if the tests are given in person, staff training, space to do it, etc. If it was an online test then every rental car agency both standalone and in airports would need computers or tablets and space for people to sit for the tests. I guess you could get people to do it in advance, at home, but that opens it up to abuse.

That won't fix the problem by itself: driving is largely automatic and people who drive on the right or drive badly will keep doing the same thing they always do, especially when tired or under pressure. Better signage may help, stickers in cars (which I think are there already) may help, and you could even go as far as to have automated announcements in cars. I suspect it will take a combination of things to make any difference.

This ignores the 95% of problems. New Zealanders are impatient, aggressive, selfish, poorly trained drivers with low levels of driving skill. Every time I go anywhere on the open road, even to work at 6:45am, you see some idiot driving as quickly as they can, weaving in and our of traffic. Tailgating is virtually a national pass-time. We had a close call recently where one wheel went off the road and we skidded all over the road, if someone had been tailgating us it'd have been a major accident not just a frightening event that evened up not causing any problems.

The roads aren't all up to the demands of modern cars travelling at high speeds. The phrase "drive co-operatively, not competitively" has been rattling around in my head for a while. If everyone drives in a way as to maximise traffic flow each individual will get where they're going faster as a result.

As a major source of untimely death (though as far as I can tell it's well behind health issues) I suspect this needs even more focus than it's currently getting.

News stories:
 - Drivers keys confiscated by public.





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  Reply # 1246090 25-Feb-2015 08:24
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I suspect this is controversial but i compare the proposal to making all kiwis take a breath test before they drive because the is largely a culture of kiwis drink driving.

Both are wildly impractical, exceptionally expensive, and I think ultimately not going to make any difference.

At the end of the day the if some how these rules for foreign drivers come in to play it seems they have 2 options,
1) a govement body administers it and waste a crap ton of money
2) they force rental companies to administer the test. In this case the main incentive is for the rental company to get people in cars as soon as possible no matter what rules there is.

I Agree very strongly a lot should be done to improve the standard of driving but it not one demographic that is the issue.

Im a Brit living in NZ and having lived and driven all around most of western Europe with no problems at all as have many others I know, because its not about tourist driving in other countries it about individuals know how to drive and actually giving a dam.

If this had been raised as an issue of them saying another countries licensing wasn't stringent enough to comply with our rules, therefore nobody with a license from that country can drive in NZ that would make much more sense to me practically.

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  Reply # 1246091 25-Feb-2015 08:26
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I don't see a lot of point in the testing as I think people will be focused during the test where as once they are out on the roads the automatic driving takes over. From what I have seen most of the accidents have been from driving on the wrong side and not stopping at stop signs - pretty sure most people will pass a 5 min test for both of those but doesn't mean they wont mess up later.




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  Reply # 1246135 25-Feb-2015 09:19
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timmmay: 
A short information sheet and test doesn't sound unreasonable to me - say a few pages of instructions then a 5-10 minute test to check you understood it. 


If you stopped at 'information sheet' then I'd agree. But , your information sheet is suddenly an exam. 

The cost of renting a car may increase 30-50% to cover teachers, exam rooms, language translators, transport to the exam facilities etc.  

Kiwis may be banned from driving in other countries as reciprocal action is taken against us. 

Tourism would likely drop too . 

And, the test may make very little difference.   I think bad driving is often down to laziness than not knowing the rules.  Stop sign is a stop sign in every country I've driven. 


So, an information sheet would be ideal, but no testing. 



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  Reply # 1246153 25-Feb-2015 09:29
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surfisup1000:
timmmay: 
A short information sheet and test doesn't sound unreasonable to me - say a few pages of instructions then a 5-10 minute test to check you understood it. 


If you stopped at 'information sheet' then I'd agree. But , your information sheet is suddenly an exam. 

The cost of renting a car may increase 30-50% to cover teachers, exam rooms, language translators, transport to the exam facilities etc.  

Kiwis may be banned from driving in other countries as reciprocal action is taken against us. 

Tourism would likely drop too . 

And, the test may make very little difference.   I think bad driving is often down to laziness than not knowing the rules.  Stop sign is a stop sign in every country I've driven. 


So, an information sheet would be ideal, but no testing. 



Please continue to read the rest of my paragraph, where I suggested an online test. You have a good point about languages though, it would be an overhead. I imagine the rental car provider would hand out an information sheet and have computers/tablets available for taking the test. Yes it's an overhead. I'm not sure it's necessary or beneficial, as I pointed out driving is mostly an automatic thing not something you think about all that much, but a test should be considered as an option.




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  Reply # 1246178 25-Feb-2015 09:48
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timmmay:
Please continue to read the rest of my paragraph, where I suggested an online test.


I'm not sure an online test would work as you cannot confirm the identity of the person sitting the test .  I can envisage asian entrepreneurs offering $10 to sit the test for you. 

You do need the proper infrastructure if you are going to do this properly. 





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  Reply # 1246179 25-Feb-2015 09:51
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It would be a significant undertaking.




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  Reply # 1246186 25-Feb-2015 09:59
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timmmay: It would be a significant undertaking.


There has been a lot of media focus on foreign drivers just now. 

I wonder what the actual statistics say about foreign driver traffic accidents. 



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  Reply # 1246188 25-Feb-2015 10:03
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There has not been a sudden increase in overseas driver related crashes and incidents, but rather an increase in the reporting of it by Police and the Media of late.

Calling for testing of overseas drivers is largely a knee jerk reaction that is highly impractical and contravenes our reciprocal agreements with other countries.

Summer will come to an end, stories will largely dry up and people will move on.


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  Reply # 1246191 25-Feb-2015 10:14
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It could work if the car rental firms agree on a giving a discount if you have passed an online test first.  I think anything else is impractical (even including this suggestion)

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  Reply # 1246200 25-Feb-2015 10:20
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The car rental companies do a lot now but maybe more is needed. The vehicles have big arrows and signs  etc in the vehicles indicating what side to drive., maybe they need to brief the drivers more and equip cars with lane control senses like my car has.




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  Reply # 1246217 25-Feb-2015 10:47
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When I go to the US, I get an International licence, its cheap, there is no info on US rules, walk in and walk out. I assume the same for foreigners coming here. I cannot understand why we have to go through hoops to get a drivers licence when an International is a given. Its not only about skill, its ABOUT THE RULES

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  Reply # 1246222 25-Feb-2015 10:57
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tdgeek: When I go to the US, I get an International licence, its cheap, there is no info on US rules, walk in and walk out. I assume the same for foreigners coming here. I cannot understand why we have to go through hoops to get a drivers licence when an International is a given. Its not only about skill, its ABOUT THE RULES


The rules are very similar abroad as they are here especially in this countries that make up the bulk of our visitors, there are some obvious differences like which side of the road to drive on but essentially a Stop sign or red light means the same, a posted speed limit sign means the same. 




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The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1246241 25-Feb-2015 11:20
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I think we just need to accept that when you put people behind motorised lumps of metal weighing 1 ton travelling at 100 kmh with only white paint seperating them from the other lumps of metal, add some bad weather, add some distractions, add some human nature and fallibility...then no matter what we do you are going to get some accidents.


Humans seem to have this expectation of 100% safety in everything we do and we are prepared to legislate and spend millions in trying to achieve the impossible.


I'm not saying we need to be a free for all like Russian roads, but with everything we have in place (WOF, Reg, Driver Licencing, Roading Budget, Safety Ratings, Campaigns, Police patrols etc) perhaps we should accept that our road toll is what it is and short of bankrupting the country and creating mass inconvenience for people lets just leave it and move onto other pressing national issues worthy of our tax $$ and time.

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  Reply # 1246243 25-Feb-2015 11:22
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It's lose - lose.

Maybe warning of heavy penalty at rental car sign ups, big warnings in rental cars itself, electronically limit the speed or loud squeals when speeding. But need to emphasise keeping to the lane. And better signage.




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  Reply # 1246248 25-Feb-2015 11:26
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We could install a lot more median barriers on roads that are accident hotspots, reduce the speed limits on many of our rural roads and make the fitting of limiters compulsory on rental vehicles and vehicles driven by provisional and learner drivers.




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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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