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Thread: Govt look at raising minimum driving age

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    Thumbs up Govt look at raising minimum driving age

    Govt look at raising minimum driving age
    7:58 AM Saturday Nov 14, 2009

    The Government is looking at raising the minimum driving age and lengthening the time it takes to get a full licence, it was reported today.

    Transport Minister Steven Joyce said young people aged between 15 and 24 were over-represented in crash and fatality statistics, and wanted to take new proposals to Cabinet early next year, Fairfax Media reported.

    The options were to look at raising the driving age from 15 to 16 or 17 and extending the minimum time spent driving under learner restrictions to a year.

    Statistics show young people make up 16 per cent of licensed drivers but are responsible for 37 per cent of serious injury crashes.

    Mr Joyce said there were "too many young people dying on our roads", and the Government could not ignore the statistics.

    The low minimum age at which New Zealanders can get a licence has been criticised in the past, and Chief Coroner Neil MacLean last year called for it to be raised following two fatal crashes in one day involving young people in Canterbury.

    - NZPA

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    Thumbs up Driving age set to rise

    Driving age set to rise
    NZPA
    Last updated 19:03 19/11/2009

    A rise in the driving age is likely following a strong show of public support, information released by Transport Minister Steven Joyce shows.

    Public submissions on a review of road safety showed most people supported raising the driving age, as well as extending the learner licence period and making the restricted licence test harder to encourage more supervised driving practice.

    More than 15000 submissions were received.

    Mr Joyce today released a summary of the submissions.

    Alcohol and drug use was an area of concern for submitters.

    Many saw it as a wider problem and wanted restrictions on access to substances and treatment for people with addictions.

    Other changes supported by submitters were altering the give way rule for turning traffic, improving training and licensing for motorbike riders and improving walking and cycling infrastructure.

    Submitters were also concerned about driver fatigue and distraction, however they did not generally support enforcement as a response.

    Most believed the driver was more important than the car or speed they were travelling at.

    One submission said there was "too much focus on speeding and not enough on good driving".

    Mr Joyce said he was grateful to those who shared their views and the submissions would play an important role in shaping the strategy.

    However he said it was also important that any legislative or rule changes were backed up by evidence.

    "My focus is on implementing initiatives that will actually change behaviour and, ultimately, reduce the road toll."

    The new 10-year road safety strategy was expected to be released early next year.

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