Testers come off worst in driving licence crashes

CHARLIE MITCHELL
Last updated 07:53 02/07/2014

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Who would be a driving test officer?

It can be a death-defying occupation, judging by official statistics.

Cars driven by those sitting practical licence tests in New Zealand have been involved in eight serious crashes since 2011.

In one case, a testing officer was admitted to hospital with severe injuries, details obtained under the Official Information Act reveal.

NZ Driver Licensing data showed another suffered whiplash, while a third had to be cut out of a mangled car.

Testers fared worse than the drivers, with just one learner hauled off in an ambulance, after pulling out in front of an approaching vehicle.

Names of those involved and locations of the crashes were withheld by the NZ Transport Agency, for privacy reasons. The type of test - car, motorcycle, truck - being undertaken at the time of each incident was not recorded.

In the three years, 565,270 tests were recorded, meaning serious accidents happened once in every 70,659 tests.

SERIOUS ACCIDENTS

March 3, 2014: The vehicle was involved in a high-speed crash. The testing officer suffered severe injuries.

October 31, 2013: An applicant failed to stop at a stop sign. After a crash, the testing officer had to be cut out of the car by a firefighter. The officer suffered chest and rib injuries and bruising to the forehead.

September 3, 2013: An applicant struck a pedestrian who ran on to the road. The pedestrian bounced on to the bonnet, stumbled back on to the road, and ran away.

May 30, 2013: An applicant failed to take an exit from a roundabout. The car straddled the median and a pole, which led to the sump, the radiator and tyres beng ripped out of the car.

October 4, 2011: An applicant drove into a child who ran on to the road. Ambulance staff checked the child for injuries.

February 12, 2011: An applicant was approached by a speeding car which was on the wrong side of the road. All of its tyres were smoking. The applicant attempted to veer out of the way, but the cars collided. No details of injuries recorded.

January 25, 2011: An applicant failed to look both ways while reversing into traffic. The rear of the car was damaged, and the testing officer suffered whiplash.

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