Drivers’ licence tests not so easy to pass
The NZ Transport Agency is urging young drivers and their parents to put in plenty of practice before booking appointments to sit tougher on-road driving tests being introduced from next week.
The agency has been working for several months to develop a new and more challenging on- road test for learner drivers entering the restricted licensing phase. The new practical test aims to improve the safety of young and novice drivers as part of the Government’s Safer Journeys road safety strategy.
The new test comes into force on February 27 and the The agency is reminding young drivers and their parents that a substantial amount of supervised practice will be needed to prepare for and pass the more challenging test.
Agency chief executive Geoff Dangerfield said the new test had been specifically designed to encourage learner drivers to clock up 120 hours of supervised practice before they sat the test and that level of preparation would be needed to pass.
‘‘The new test will be much more challenging. Young drivers will need to put in a lot more practice and demonstrate a higher standard of driving to pass, and we make no apologies for that. The more experience that young drivers gain in the learner licensing phase the less likely they are to crash when they begin driving alone and we are doing young people no favours with a ‘ once over lightly’ approach.’’
Research shows that young drivers who complete 120 hours of supervised practice on their learner licence have a solo-driving crash rate 40 per cent lower than those who only complete 50 hours. Young drivers are most at risk during the first six to 12 months of their restricted licence phase, when they start to drive solo, and are four times more likely to crash than learner drivers.