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Feedback sought on proposed driver licensing changes

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The NZ Transport Agency is calling for submissions on proposed changes to New Zealand’s driver licensing system.

The proposed changes, outlined in the draft Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Rule 2019 being released for consultation today, include reducing the frequency of mandatory eyesight checks and rationalising heavy vehicle licence classes.

Road Safety Director Harry Wilson says the proposed reduction in the frequency of eyesight testing would allow the Transport Agency to set up an online system that will give people a quick and simple way to renew their licences.

“Good vision is important for safe driving. However, both international and domestic research suggests that eyesight testing at every stage of the licensing process, as currently required in New Zealand, doesn’t improve road safety outcomes and adds extra time, complexity and cost to the process for drivers,” Mr Wilson says.

“The new approach being proposed – requiring an eyesight check when a licence is first obtained, when drivers renew for the first time after age 45, and each time they renew after age 75 - would more closely align the frequency of vision testing in New Zealand with countries with good road safety performance like Sweden, Australia, Finland, and Canada.”

The proposed changes to heavy vehicle licensing include simplifying the progression from Class 2 to Class 5 licences while at the same time strengthening testing and supervision requirements to improve road safety.

Other changes proposed in the rule change include removing the need for licence endorsements for specialist vehicles like forklifts, and improving the Transport Agency’s oversight of approved driver licensing course providers.

Further details on the proposed changes, and information on how to make a submission are available on the Transport Agency’s website at: www.nzta.govt.nz/dlr-consultation(external link)

 

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