Solo mum denied driver's licence test

22:12, Feb 27 2013
Jessica Cameron
TEST DENIED: Jessica Cameron was told by driving test instructors she could not sit her licence test with her three-month-old baby, Nicole, in the car.

Young mum Jessica Cameron is out of pocket and embarassed after being stopped from sitting her driving test because she had her baby in the car.

The 21-year-old travelled to the North Shore on February 13 to resit the practical after failing a first attempt in Northland.

Weekly testing is available in her hometown of Kaitaia, according to the availability of instructors.

But Cameron thought it would be quicker to come to Auckland and stay with relatives in Sunnynook.

She drove four hours, rebooked her test at a cost of cost $61.70, and turned up to be told she couldn't do it with  three-month-old baby Nicole in the car.

''I ended up in tears. I'd come all the way down from Kaitaia.''

The solo mum said she was embarrassed to receive the news publicly from staff.''They shamed me in front of everyone.

''They could've just pulled me aside and not ganged up on me.''

A refund fee of $16.40 was deducted but the remaining fee is yet to show up.

Cameron later looked up the rules and regulations and found no reference to babies not being allowed.

Drivers on restricted licences are allowed to have their children as passengers.

NZ Driver Licensing runs the testing and is contracted by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

NZTA spokesman Andy Knackstedt said it was against policy to have children in a car during a test.

''The applicant must be able to provide his or her full attention and concentrate to the task of driving.

''As anyone with young children can attest, they can, and very often do, distract mum or dad.

''The NZTA's expectation is that all customers will be treated with respect and professionalism and if a test is not able to be conducted it's our expectation that the reasons why would be politely explained.

''If Jessica feels that this was not the case we would encourage her to contact NZ Driver Licensing.''

He said the NZTA was looking at including more specific information on application forms to ensure the rules for testing were clearly understood.

Cameron plans to resit her test in Kaitaia.


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