The Government will raise the minimum driving age from 15 to 16 on August 1st
The driving age change will come into force on August 1 this year. Transitional arrangements will be in place for drivers aged under 16 when the driving age increases. Other provisions will come into force over the next 12 months.
The new legislation is designed to crach down on high risk drivers.
As well as increasing the driving age, the bill will also allow police to take alcohol readings for research purposes from drivers involved in fatal or serious injury crashes who have a blood alcohol concentration between 50 and 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
Courts will be given the option to require repeat or serious drink drive offenders to use alcohol interlocks, technology which physically prevents them from driving their cars.
The Land Transport (Road Safety and other Matters) Amendment Bill should be fully implemented by mid-2012 and also includes:
- Providing for the NZ Transport Agency to strengthen the restricted licence test.
- Lowering the youth drink drive limit for drivers under 20 years of age from BAC 0.03 (30 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 150 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath) to BAC zero.
- Repeat drink drive offenders will be subject to a BAC zero limit for 3 years after they receive their licence back.
- Doubling the maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death from five years to ten years.
Drivers aged under 30 qe the highest contributors to the high-risk group, causing more than 52% of fatal crashes (between 2005-09).
Almost half of the high-risk drivers aged 15 to 19 had driven outside the rules of their licence.
Another 14 per cent were also driving over the legal blood-alcohol limit.