INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt. turns decent NZers into criminals

Published: Mon 8 Nov 1999 05:22 PM
The Government's mishandling of the new drivers' licence regime has turned nearly quarter of a million New Zealanders into 'criminals', Labour transport spokesperson Harry Duynhoven said today.
Harry Duynhoven said news from the LTSA that 232,000 people have failed to update their driver's licence within 60 days of their birthday is damning but not surprising.
"Since this new regime started it has been bogged by administrative nightmares. Some of the complaints Labour has received include:
§ People being sent licences belonging to complete strangers
§ Overdue photo licences that do not arrive after the current license expires
§ People being charged extra for getting their license a few days early
§ Long queues
§ Computers dying so licences cannot be issued for weeks (Waiheke Island)
§ Places without licensing outlets (e.g. G Barrier Island)
§ Licensing centres that do not return calls to book tests
§ LTSA help line can take over an hour to get through
§ Licensing outlets that turn out not to exist
§ Licensing outlets that cancel testing appointments
§ People being recalled time after time to licensing centres after going through the licensing process because their photo was unclear.
"And just today the LTSA has admitted that many of the relicencing packs have been returned because people have changed addresses.
"That 232,000 people have so far missed the deadline to update their drivers' licences is a serious matter. If stopped by the police they will get a $400 fine and be forbidden to drive until they have a new licence. If stopped again they will get another $400 fine and their car will be impounded. And yet their failure could be due more to Government mishandling rather than their own inaction," Harry Duynhoven said.

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