Support pours in for petition

19:24, Jun 03 2014

Foreigners and New Zealanders now living abroad are among the 23,000 people backing a petition in support of Geraldine youngster Sean Roberts.

Sean, 10, launched a campaign in March to prevent tourists from driving on New Zealand roads without sitting a test. His campaign pays tribute to his dad, Grant Roberts, who was killed by a Chinese motorist in 2012.

Thousands of people continued to back Sean's campaign at the weekend and last night, signatures exceeded 23,800.

Catherine Shirley, of London, is among the tens of thousands of people who are supporting the petition.

"[There are] too many needless deaths caused by people not understanding NZ road rules," she said.

"I avoid driving left-hand drive in Europe for the same reason."

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Roderick Oliver signed the petition from Utah, in the United States, because he believed too many Kiwis were being killed on the roads.

"Makes sense to check whether foreigners can actually drive and abide by our road laws. So yes, I fully support Sean's petition."

Ken Johnston wrote from Australia that he believed too many foreign drivers were getting killed or killing other road users in New Zealand.

Rayne Giles supported Sean's petition from Melbourne.

"New Zealand roads are dangerous," he said.

"Strict regulations for all foreigners need to [be] implemented for the safety of other motorists. And in this case, children."

Trishna Raman posted from California: "I used to work at Christchurch Hospital and would see many of these types of cases come through. There needs to be a change!"

Penelope Napier, from Australia, said all fatalities resulted in financial and emotional costs.

"I now live [in] Australia and would love to see compulsory testing for all drivers from countries with significantly different road rules to NZ before being given keys to a car.

"I have rented numerous hire cars over the past few years using my Australian driver's licence and not once have I been made aware of the different road rules (when the previous give-way rules were different). This should be at the very least the minimum requirement."

The Timaru Herald