HALF A MILLION KIWIS GET PHOTO LICENCES

  • Maurice Williamson
Transport

More than half a million New Zealanders are now the owners of a new photo driver licence and we're already seeing major benefits of the new system, Transport Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

"The Government is committed to improving road safety and I want to stress that the new photo driver licences are a road safety initiative, plain and simple," said Mr Williamson.

"More than 10,000 people are now wearing glasses, who were not before, as a result of the eyesight checks we've brought in. That's 10,000 people who were driving without adequate vision under the old system. This is a huge road safety benefit."

"Since 3 May more than 3000 vehicles being driven by disqualified or unlicenced drivers have been impounded for 28 days by Police. This is getting dangerous drivers off the roads. We've also suspended the licences of more than 1,400 heavily drunk or speeding drivers at the roadside."

Mr Williamson said the combination of photo driver licences and the new requirement to always carry your licence when you drive had flushed out many unlicenced and partly-qualified drivers who were finally making the effort to get legal. He said 8,000 people formerly driving on overseas licences were also now fully qualified to drive on New Zealand roads.

"The system is working extremely well and is already showing the results we put it in place to achieve," said Mr Williamson.