Petition: Tourist drivers to sit a driving test

Would you want to sit a driving test before you’re allowed to take the rental car for a spin in Australia?

Judy Richards has just marked the first anniversary of the death of her son in a road accident but is hoping to help others avoid the same tragedy.

She has started a petition calling for foreign drivers to be given a driving test before being allowed to drive on New Zealand roads.

It comes after her son Rhys Middleton, 23, died on February 7, 2016, in a crash involving his motorbike and a car on State Highway 5 at Eskdale, north of Napier.

I get it.  They want something positive to come from it.   But is it sensible?

Chinese national Jieling Xiao, 27, drove her Toyota Rav 4 completely off the road before suddenly veering back directly into the path of Middleton’s bike, which had been travelling behind her.

Xiao, who pleaded guilty in court to dangerous driving causing death, was jailed for 17 months.

She had professed a lack of confidence behind the wheel during the trial.

Richards, who lives in Tauranga, said marking the first anniversary of her son’s death was tough, but she had steeled herself for a trip to Wellington on Tuesday.

17 months is a lot more than most vehicular manslaughter cases get.  

Richards, who lives in Tauranga, said marking the first anniversary of her son’s death was tough, but she had steeled herself for a trip to Wellington on Tuesday.

There, on the steps of Parliament, she will present her petition to MP Winston Peters.

It sought a law change meaning those who have a visa for more than three months to New Zealand, and who want to drive, need to pass the full New Zealand driver’s licence test.

“It’s really taken off,” Richards said of the petition that had gathered nearly 7000 signatures.

“The accidents are still happening and something must be done – we need the politicians to listen, not just put this in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Sorry for your loss.  But this won’t bring him back.  Nor is it going to prevent accidents in future.

 

– Stuff


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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