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Government at odds on overseas driver crashes

National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“I’m not surprised Jacqui Dean has spoken out, given the Prime Minister’s untenable statement.

“Her electorate includes the Central Otago district where NZTA figures show 43 percent of the fatal crashes between 2009-2012 involved overseas licence holders.

“I wonder how the bereaved families feel about John Key saying: ‘If you look at the accident rate of tourists who come and drive in New Zealand versus New Zealanders themselves, it's pretty consistent. They're about the same accident rate per capita. So I don't think that's a big issue’.

“The ridiculous thing is the Prime Minister has no evidence to claim there is no disproportionate incidence of crashes involving overseas drivers. Transport officials conceded at Parliament’s transport and industrial committee recently that they had not yet calculated Vehicle Kilometres Travelled by overseas drivers in order to be able to compare that to the general population

“Every one of these fatalities involving overseas drivers is a tragedy. The Government should be moving a lot faster to get the data, and implement changes that will prevent these unnecessary deaths.”