A former rental car company manager backing a petition to
introduce testing for overseas drivers says the worst case he
had seen was a driver who signed a contract, got in a car and
drove it straight into another car in the company's car park.
Queenstown man Nick Gregory is, as of yesterday, one of more
than 27,000 people who signed the petition started by
Geraldine boy Sean Roberts, that is quickly attracting
And, he said on his post on the petition site, the
responsibility of handing keys to tourists ''who, time after
time, end up killing themselves and taking out New Zealanders
in the process'' was one reason he left the industry.
Grant Roberts, father of 10-year-old Sean, died in 2012 after
a Chinese woman described by police as having ''negligible
independent driving experience'' lost control of her vehicle
and hit his motorcycle.
The online petition calls on Transport Minister Gerry
Brownlee to require overseas drivers to sit a test before
driving in New Zealand.
The petition follows rising concerns over the driving
behaviour of some overseas drivers, and some recent
high-profile road deaths.
Data from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) showed
drivers with foreign licences were involved in about 600
crashes a year, of which about 20 annually were fatal.
But Prime Minister John Key indicated recently the Government
had no plans to revisit testing of foreign drivers, despite
more fatal crashes in the past couple of weeks. They included
one involving a Dutch national who has been charged with
careless driving causing death after three people died near
Mr Gregory said he stepped away from 10 years of managing car
rental companies in May last year.
His main concern in that role was the lack of a system to
ascertain whether clients could drive safely.
Another Queenstown resident, photographer and film location
scout Daz Caulton, posted on his Facebook site recently he
was concerned ''one of our crew is going to be hit'' on the
He said he had seen four tourists crossing the centre line on
He stopped one overseas driver, ''got out of my car, pulled
his keys out of the ignition, and chucked them in the lake''.
The petition had reached 27,257 signatures by late yesterday.