to blacklist unsafe tourist drivers could be stymied by the
Privacy Act, preventing rental car companies from sharing
information about travellers deemed unfit to drive on New
Rental Vehicle Association chief executive Barry Kidd, of
Wellington, said companies were looking at ways to pass on
information about tourist drivers who had contracts cancelled
because of concerns about their driving.
But Apex Car Rentals reservations manager Tony Quinlivan, who
is aware of investigations into the blacklisting plan, says
''There are privacy issues''.
''We would do whatever the law allows us to do [but] the law
is very clear - we can't do it,'' Mr Quinlivan said
''It's a clear, clear breach of [customers'] privacy,'' he
Mr Kidd agreed legal issues needed to be considered.
''Whether that's legally possible or not, we need to consider
... that's something that's being [investigated] at the
moment,'' Mr Kidd said.
''The police have decided that's not something they will do
... because of legal concerns.
''It's not a simple task [but] we are looking at what can be
done to limit the risk.''
Yesterday, the ODT reported Queenstown police were
phoning rental car companies to remove unsafe tourist drivers
The vehicle keys were removed and the driver's contract
They had previously used the Land Transport Act to forbid
''incompetent'' overseas visitors from driving, but legal
advice earlier this year prevented them from continuing to do
Now, police can only forbid someone from driving by arresting
them for a qualifying offence, e.g. dangerous driving, and
imposing a bail condition.
If that threshold is not reached, there is nothing to stop
drivers whose contracts have been cancelled hiring vehicles
Mr Kidd said rental companies were ''keener than anyone'' to
have problem drivers off the roads.
''What we're talking about is a very small amount of people
causing a disproportionate problem.
''Where police do have concerns ... rental agencies are as
keen as the police to remove that risk from the road.
''It's not in our business interests ... as part of the local
community or as owners of the asset [having dangerous drivers
on the road].''
Mr Quinlivan said rental companies supported the police in
any way possible, but instances of drivers having keys taken
and contracts cancelled were rare.
''They are not a regular occurrence ... [in] our company,
which has got about 20% of the tourist market ... I'm aware
of one [instance].''
The New Zealand Transport Agency will today distribute 20,000
steering wheel tags to vehicle rental companies in
The tags have been developed in association with the Rental
Vehicle Association and tourism and transport agencies, under
the Government's Visiting Drivers Signature Road Safety
Pictures on the tags detail road rules such as keep left,
safe speeds, safe overtaking, wearing seatbelts and driver
The tags and 20,000 information cards will be distributed as
part of an eight-week trial.
The agency will survey self-drive visitors, comparing
information and assessing feedback from rental firms.