Support for grieving boy's safe-driving campaign

Geraldine youngster says help 'real good'

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014
Sean Roberts
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
ON A MISSION: Sean Roberts, 9, wants to know why tourists are still able to drive in NZ, despite a concerning number of crashes caused by people holding international licences.

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Support is flooding in for Geraldine youngster Sean Roberts as he fights to have a New Zealand driving law changed.

Sean, 9, has pleaded with government organisations to impose a law which would ensure tourists wishing to drive in New Zealand passed a test first.

"It's been real good," he said, of the support he has received so far.

"I've had heaps of help; I've been really happy."

He expressed his concerns to The Timaru Herald after a report last week found crashes and driving complaints in the Mackenzie District related mainly to tourists driving with international licences.

Sean's motive is to save other families from the anguish he suffered after a tourist crashed into his dad, Grant Roberts, killing him, in November 2012.

The 43-year-old was on his motorbike, returning from the Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill, in a convoy of bikes.

They were travelling north when Mr Roberts and Dennis Michael Pederson, 54, of Tauranga, collided with a southbound Nissan vehicle on State Highway 8, in the Lindis Pass. Both men died at the scene.

Chinese student Kejia Zheng, 20, was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay $10,000 in emotional harm payments for causing the death of the two men and injuring two other people in the crash.

Sean talked to the Herald on Wednesday, detailing his plans to make a difference. \

Since then he has been inundated with calls from other media outlets from around the country. He has also received positive feedback online from people nationwide. That support has given him the motivation to keep up the fight.

Sean now plans to write a letter to Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee. He is also in the process of setting up a petition online, which is expected to be available to the public at change.org by this morning.

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- The Timaru Herald

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