- New Zealand Parliament
- New Zealand
During the Second World War, the New Zealand driving age was brought down from sixteen to fifteen. For over sixty years now, getting a driver license at fifteen, especially in rural areas, has been a very much cherished tradition.
But unfortunately many people in Parliament, have wanted to raise the driving age back up to sixteen - or higher.
The latest, a certain Peter Dunne, also wants to double the learner license period to a year - which would put paid to people being able to get their full licenses by the time they leave high school.
We do not agree with your bill to raise the driving age to sixteen and double the learner license period to a year.
We believe that fifteen is not too young to drive and that all people should have the opportunity to gain a full license by the time they leave high school, but your bill would not allow them to do this. We believe that the statistics for young people also represented the sixteen to twenty-four age group - not just fifteen year olds.
And although countries like Britain have the driving age at seventeen, Britain has the immediate full license system - they have a learner license (no minimum period), no restricted license and then a full license.
Therefore, getting a license in Britain at seventeen would be the same as getting a license in New Zealand at fifteen, because you would have more life experience, but less driving experience before carrying passengers.
Another major country who is rather close to us who has the driving age at fourteen or fifteen or sometimes sixteen (depends on state) is the United States.
There are more practical alternatives for New Zealand to consider, that would be more suitable for New Zealand.