The recent announcement of a Ministry of Transport review of the driver licensing system to modernise it and make it cheaper for drivers to get their licence is welcomed by Rural Women New Zealand.
"Driver licensing was a key topic at our recent national conference, where members unanimously supported a lowering of the cost of licence tests to ensure barriers for young drivers in particular are reduced," said Rural Women New Zealand national vice president, Kerry Maw. "The current system has been in place since 1999 and it’s time for another look at what works and what could be improved."
"The current high cost to sit and re-sit licence tests leads to many young people driving without a licence and falling foul of the law," said Maw. "We would certainly like to see the cost of compliance reduced, but there are other issues that also affect rural drivers.”
For example, the limitation on driving at certain hours on a restricted licence does not take into account working hours of some rural people, including at harvest time.
"There is also a lack of testing centres in rural areas, placing further barriers on people to comply due to the time and distance involved in getting to a testing centre."
Rural Women New Zealand will be making submissions to the review to ensure issues affecting rural drivers are taken into consideration.