Driver licence testers injured in crashes

CHARLIE MITCHELL
Last updated 11:47 01/07/2014

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Who would be a driver testing officer?

Learner driver

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

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

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

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

Testers fared worse than the drivers, with just one learner hauled off in an ambulance, after pulling out in front of an oncoming 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 occurred 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, and was rushed to hospital in serious condition.

October 31, 2013: An applicant failed to stop at a stop sign. After a crash, the testing officer was unable to get out of the car due to the damage, and had to be cut out by a firefighter. The officer was sent to hospital with chest and rib injuries and bruising to the forehead.

September 3, 2013: An applicant struck a pedestrian who ran onto the road. The pedestrian bounced onto the bonnet, stumbled back onto the road, and ran away. No injuries were sustained, but the applicant was "very shaken".

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 becoming ripped out of the car, before leaking oil and water onto the road. Police recorded the incident.

May 22, 2013: An applicant was taken away in an ambulance after pulling out in front of an oncoming car.

October 4, 2011: An applicant drove into a child who ran on to the road. Ambulance staff checked the child for injuries. The accident was listed as "unavoidable".

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. A 111 call was made. The testing officer managed to obtain the licence plate number. No details of injuries recorded.

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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. An  ambulance and police were called.

- Stuff

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