Tourist driver code for 'well-informed, would-be drivers'

  • 11/08/2015
Tourist driver code for 'well-informed, would-be drivers'

A new road code for tourists won't stop foreign drivers being involved in crashes, but it is a positive step forward, the Tourism Industry Association says.

Car hire companies have been asked to sign up to the optional code of practice for preparing visitors in the country.

The code screens the experience of drivers, gives them more information about roads before they arrive, and ensures consistent information is provided to people on the roads.

"The assessment actually comes at the end of process," Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts told the Paul henry programme this morning.

"This is actually informing the drivers, so most of the work happens before they get to the country in terms of having information on websites, providing information to them when they make their booking, more information again before they arrive in New Zealand, and then that assessment happens once they come and pick up the keys."

The code was developed by 25 companies following various high-profile crashes involving visiting drivers last year.

Mr Roberts says the code aims to have "well-informed would-be drivers at the earliest possible stage".

"If we get to them early, they may decide if they're not a competent driver to choose some other method of holiday in New Zealand, so we don't want to rely on trying to assess them when they get to the counter."

The main concern, he says, is foreign drivers without much experience.

"We're still going to have road crashes and some of those road crashes will involve overseas drivers, but an educated driver is certainly safer driver."

It will be up to the rental companies to ultimately access drivers' competency.

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