Should tourists have to get a drivers licence?

Stuff reports:

South Canterbury nine-year-old Sean Roberts is fighting to have New Zealand law changed, preventing tourists from driving on our roads without passing a driving test.

His motive is to save other families from the anguish he suffered after a tourist crashed into his dad, Grant Roberts, killing him, in November 2012.

The 43-year-old was on his motorbike. He was returning from the Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill in a convoy of bikes.

They were travelling north when Roberts and Dennis Michael Pederson, 54, of Tauranga, collided with a southbound Nissan vehicle on State Highway 8, in the Lindis Pass. Both men died at the scene.

Chinese student Kejia Zheng, 20, was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay $10,000 in emotional harm payments for causing the death of the two men and injuring two other people in the crash.

Zheng, who had arrived in New Zealand only the day before the crash, hit gravel on the side of the road and over-corrected, causing the crash.

It’s good to see young Sean trying to make a difference and advocate to try and prevent what happened to his family, happening again.

However I’m not sure that it would be practical to ban tourists from driving without a NZ licence. The likely impact would be a massive drop in tourists coming to NZ. We’d be the only country in the world that requires someone with a valid overseas licence, to sit an exam or test to be able to drive as a tourist.

If we did this, it is quite possible other countries would impose the same requirement on NZers.

So I understand the intent, but I don’t think a change is practical.

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