Driving Test Rates Drop, Driving Instructor Health Risks, Foreign Drivers
May 07, 2014 at 7:04 PM
There have been several interesting stories come through the media in recent weeks:
New driver licensing tests were introduced more than two years ago and half of all drivers tested are failing those tests. The Land Transport Agency believes that those tests are making the roads safer and is not making any move to make the tests easier.
A spokesperson for the agency said that the tests are achieving the aim which is to produce safer drivers. Kate Styles also said that pass rates are improving gradually which indicates that applicants are practicing more in preparation for their tests. With the changes, the length of the restricted licence test was increased to sixty minutes with forty-five minutes of driving included.
In the first stage of the test, the basic skills of the driver are tested. In the second stage, a driver is expected to drive around a short route while identifying hazards along the way. A guide is provided by the NZTA for both practical tests. It lists all of the immediate failure errors that can be made by a driver during their driving test and critical errors that can lead to failure.
Errors that can lead to immediate failure include failure to give way, dangerous driving, driving above the posted speed limited and failure to follow instructions of the testing officer. Critical errors include failure to signal, blocking a crosswalk, stalling the vehicle, and failing to look.
See the guides:
Driving instructors have a hazardous job, according to a recent study.
The fact of the matter is that driving instructors spend a lot of long hours sedentary in a vehicle and this can lead to a variety of health problems. Some instructors experience neck and back problems because they sit in a car seat for extended periods of time.
Even the most ergonomically correct of car seats are not designed for extended use. Driving instructors are also exposed to elevated noise for extended periods. They may also experience vibration from the vehicle’s motor which can cause physical issues.
Driving instructors are exposed to noxious fumes on the road and at fuel stations. One way to combat this is to recycle the air inside of the vehicle during the time that they are spending inside the vehicle. Some instructors find driving instruction stressful which can lead to them not being able to sleep at night.
This can have effect on their reaction time and can also lead to increased appetite and high blood pressure. Dehydration is another issue as many instructors try to limit their fluid intake so they do not have to make continual stops for the restroom.
This can lead to increased hunger signals which can cause overeating. When a driving instructor sits around for long periods of time, they run the risk of gaining weight too. Adding to this risk is the fact that they often eat on the run, making poor food choices.
Driving instructors need to watch what they eat and ensure that they get enough regular exercise.
There have been many stories in the news recently, involving overseas drivers on New Zealand roads.
Due to the fact that they are putting road users at risk of high injury, the New Zealand Transport Agency need to come up with prompt improvements. Improvements regarding road safety and drunk drivers have already been implemented, but foreign drivers are still a problem. Foreign drivers seem to be involved in a lot more serious crashes than domestic drivers.
The number of Chinese drivers on the roads has increased notably and so have the number of crashes and complaints involving those Chinese drivers. Rental car companies should have the right to test customer’s driving skills and reject them if they seem likely to become involved in a crash.
The NZTA has implemented a project which will address issues regarding road safety and which will focus on the West Coast as well as popular tourist routes on the Southern Island. While it is important to allow tourists to rent cars and tour the country, local’s lives must not be put at risk in the process.