John Key: Tourist key-snatching could lead to a 'terrible incident'
Prime Minister John Key has urged New Zealanders not to confiscate the keys of tourist drivers even if they are seen driving erratically.
There have been at least five reports of key confiscation in the South Island in the past month, along with reports of Kiwis racially abusing foreign drivers and criticising rental car companies after a summer of tourist crashes.
Speaking today in Christchurch, Key warned New Zealanders not to grab foreign drivers' keys.
"I really would advise people not to do that," he said.
"I think people taking the law into their own hands is not sensible. We see that with people from time to time; for instance, if they witness someone who is clearly under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
"The very sensible thing to do is ring 111 and advise the police where you are because you just never know what could happen next. Some terrible incident could occur as a result of it."
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* Swiss crash driver did not realise he was on the wrong side of the road
* China wants to work with NZ on training programmes
* Taking a driver's keys a last resort
Key said the Government was looking at the issue of poor driving, but Kiwi drivers were also to blame.
New Zealand drivers also drove on the wrong side of the road, he said.
"If you look at accidents caused by people being on the wrong side of the road, while it's absolutely true some of those are foreign drivers, it's equally true that a larger number are actually New Zealanders on the wrong side of the road," he said.
"But I acknowledge people feel concerned about it and I acknowledge they are concerned for their own personal safety. We are looking at if there's more we can do."
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