Two of this weekend's fatal crashes involved tourists.
A 52-year-old Dutch tourist allegedly failed to stop at a
stop sign at Rakaia, Canterbury, on Saturday night, killing
On Friday night a German tourist in a campervan allegedly
crossed the centreline, killing a passenger in an oncoming
four-wheel drive in Whenuakite on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Assistant Commissioner of road policing Dave Cliff said
police worked with the Accident Compensation Corporation
(ACC), the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Transport
Agency to tackle the issue, including encouraging rental
companies to brief customers about the road rules and
regulations before they drove off.
"There's an awful lot being done but I guess what it
highlights is whatever you do you're relying on people
obeying the rules and being vigilant," Mr Cliff said.
"For example, the crash involving a tourist driving through a
stop sign, that's an international symbol so it's probably
not specifically related to the fact they're a tourist, it
appears to be inattention, and those rural intersections
present real risks to people because of the speeds involved."
Nationally, fewer than 2 per cent of fatal crashes involved
overseas drivers, he said.
However, in some popular tourist areas such as Queenstown,
that figure rose to around 25 per cent, Mr Cliff said.
Kate Meldrum, general manager marketing and customer
experience at Tourism Holdings Limited, said tourists who
used its campervans were given extensive information on the
New Zealand road rules in several languages, before and
during their trip.
"There's a sticker on the dashboard that says keep left in
English and German," she said.
"Most of the campervans also have an audio travel product,
and that reminds customers as they're driving periodically to
be aware of their driving times and keep left."
- Patrice Dougan and Mohamed Hassan of APNZ