Full licence costs stall drivers

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 11/08/2014

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Timaru police believe one of the most common driving offences is people driving outside the parameters of their licences.

It was announced last week that, from December 1, people who have their learner or restricted licence for five years or longer will have to resit the tests to renew their licences.

Timaru Senior Constable Alister Doonan said the change in law was a good step forward.

"We are getting a lot of people, who have been on their restricted or learner's for a long time, for driving offences.

"It's a good move trying to encourage people on to the next stage," he said.

Police were pulling over people who were 40 years old and had been driving without a full licence for a couple of decades.

"It's silly," Doonan said.

"We test them, so we know they are up to the required step," Doonan said.

Timaru woman Tessa Slade has had her restricted licence for 14 years and has not been too concerned about getting a full licence.

"I only work part-time.

"I don't have spare money to spend on things that aren't that necessary," she said.

Slade got her restricted licence when she was about 16 but had not felt the need to get her full licence.

"It's not that I can't drive, it's $110 to get [the full licence].

"That's not an amount a normal person can afford to spare," Slade said.

It was not that she did not want to get the licence but she was incensed about the cost after looking at the New Zealand Transport Agency website. "I just don't understand why I should have to pay $50 for an application fee," Slade said.

"I get the $61 for the driving test but paying just to apply?

"It seems wrong," she said.

She had been pulled over once by police but was only given a warning.

"I think I had my best friend in the car and she only had her learner's and I didn't get a ticket." 

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