Test baby barred
Young mum Jessica Cameron is out of pocket after being stopped from sitting her driving test with 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, depending on the availability of instructors.
But Miss 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 says 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 amount is yet to show up.
Miss 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 says it is 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 says the NZTA is looking at including more specific information on application forms to ensure that the rules for testing are clearly understood
Miss Cameron plans to resit her test back home.
- North Shore Times
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