Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

New Zealand increases driving age

New Zealand is increasing its minimum driving age from 15 to 16

New Zealand is increasing its minimum driving age from 15 to 16 in an effort to make its roads safer.

The country has one of the lowest driving ages in the developed world, a legacy of a farm-driven economy in which teenagers are expected to be able to operate farm vehicles from a young age.

However, transport minister Steven Joyce said young drivers are disproportionately involved in accidents that cause serious injuries.

While people under 25 account for just 15% of all of New Zealand's drivers, they are involved in 35% of serious accidents.

Another law that goes into effect next week will ban people under 20 from drinking any amount of alcohol and then driving. The legal drinking age in New Zealand is 18.

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