The president of the Bay of Plenty Young Farmers Association is sceptical that raising the legal driving age to 16 will reduce the number of serious crashes involving teens.
Minister of Transport Steven Joyce announced on Wednesday that he is taking a package of measures to cabinet this month, including raising the driving age to 16 and a zero blood alcohol limit for young drivers.
New Zealand Young Farmer president Richard Fowler with wife Amy.
The proposal to raise the legal driving age to 16 has come under attack from Federated Farmers because it will affect the independence of young drivers in rural areas.
BOP Young Farmers president Richard Fowler doubts if raising the legal driving age will make a difference.
“I think it’s got more to do with maturity and skill levels. You could have a 15 year old driver that’s a better driver than an 18 year old because of their maturity and skill level.”
He believes a compulsory practical driving test for young drivers when they are applying for their learner’s licence would be a better way to improve safety for younger drivers.
“The driving age is a tough one for rural people because we are so reliant on vehicles to get into town.”
“It’s quite a burden for people to have to take young people from rural areas home or to sports events and other commitments.”
Dave does not have a problem with lowering the blood alcohol level for young drivers to zero and says it is a great way to keep rural roads safe.