Driver ed­u­ca­tion needed for in­ter­na­tion­als

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By NATALIE LEWIS

LO­CAL driv­ing in­struc­tor Cather­ine Barnes has voiced her con­cerns about the lack of a pro­gram for in­ter­na­tional drivers in Dubbo, with nei­ther the State nor Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment tak­ing ac­tion on the is­sue.

“There’s been more than one oc­ca­sion where I have said to peo­ple that the way we deal with in­ter­na­tional drivers is not good enough. We let them drive on our roads with­out learn­ing the road rules – it’s wrong that we let them drive for two years on an in­ter­na­tional li­cence,” she told

Cur­rently, any­one con­sid­ered to be a tem­po­rary over­seas visi­tor can drive in Aus­tralia by us­ing their over­seas driver’s li­cence – with­out any train­ing or test­ing re­quired.

“We need to ed­u­cate them be­fore we let them drive on a tem­po­rary visa with an in­ter­na­tional li­cence,” she said. “Two years is too long to be driv­ing willy nilly with­out some form of train­ing.”

Mrs Barnes ex­plained that an Aus­tralian driver’s li­cence is re­quired within three months of get­ting per­ma­nent res­i­dency. That means the res­i­dent has usu­ally been in Aus­tralia for a num­ber of years with tem­po­rary sta­tus. Once per­ma­nency is es­tab­lished, they are re­quired to sit for an Aus­tralian driv­ing test.

Mrs Barnes be­lieves the test is tough and most born and bred Aus­tralian res­i­dents would not pass.

“They all fail. Any­one that’s not prop­erly pre­pared will fail any­way. If ev­ery­one drove like that, no-one would drive on the road.”

Mrs Barnes said it may im­pact the tourism in­dus­try, but she is more con­cerned about community safety – she be­lieves that many ac­ci­dents are caused by in­ter­na­tional drivers be­cause they don’t un­der­stand Aus­tralian road rules.

Mrs Barnes is keen to host a gath­er­ing to ed­u­cate our worldly cit­i­zens.

“There’s noth­ing stop­ping us from hav­ing an informatio­n night. I’d like to get an­other in­struc­tor to help so that I can look into this stuff.

“I see in­ter­na­tional drivers all the time ev­ery day. I al­ready do les­sons and Coun­cil does the new res­i­dents’ night. I don’t see why we couldn’t do it.”

If you’re a per­ma­nent Aus­tralian res­i­dent, or hold a per­ma­nent visa un­der the Com­mon­wealth Mi­gra­tion Act 1958, and you in­tend to stay in NSW, you are not con­sid­ered to be a visi­tor. You can drive in NSW on a cur­rent over­seas li­cence for a max­i­mum of three months. Then you will need to ap­ply for a NSW li­cence to con­tinue driv­ing or rid­ing.

If you do not hold per­ma­nent Aus­tralian res­i­dency, but will be in NSW for more than three months, you can ap­ply for a Tem­po­rary Over­seas Visi­tor li­cence.

If you’re a visi­tor to NSW, you can drive on your cur­rent li­cence as long as it hasn’t been sus­pended or dis­qual­i­fied, and you fol­low the NSW road rules.

If you hold an over­seas li­cence, you are al­lowed to drive the ve­hi­cles cov­ered by your over­seas li­cence in NSW in­def­i­nitely, as long as:

z You re­main a tem­po­rary over­seas visi­tor

z Your over­seas li­cence re­mains cur­rent

z You have not been dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing in NSW or any­where else

z You have not had your li­cence sus­pended or can­celled, or your vis­it­ing driv­ing priv­i­leges with­drawn

z You carry your over­seas driver or rider li­cence. If your li­cence is not writ­ten in English, you must also carry an English trans­la­tion, or an In­ter­na­tional Driv­ing Per­mit. SOURCE: RMS

PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS/EMY LOU

Driv­ing in­struc­tor Cather­ine Barnes is con­cerned about the num­ber of bad crashes in­volv­ing drivers on in­ter­na­tional li­cences.

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