Steering wheel tags with key road safety messages specifically targeting visiting drivers are now being rolled out nationwide, following a successful trial.
Developed jointly by the Rental Vehicle Association and a range of tourism and transport safety agencies as part of the Government’s Visiting Drivers Signature Road Safety Project, the tags aim to get vital safety information to visitors when they need it most, which is just before they are about to drive.
Almost 20,000 of the removable steering wheel tags (similar to a luggage tag) with key messages for visiting drivers about driving on New Zealand roads were trialled by Queenstown-based rental vehicle operators.
Around 70 percent of visiting drivers surveyed about the tags found them helpful, prompting the Tourism Industry Association NZ and the Rental Vehicle Association to print another 150,000 to roll out to their members nationwide.
Project Chairperson, Jim Harland, said the purpose of the tag was to explain New Zealand’s road safety basics in a way visiting drivers could easily relate to, and to complement existing road safety resources for these road users.
“It’s also great to see the information on the tag being used by others keen to play a part in helping to keep visiting drivers safe on our roads. Similar messages to those on the tag feature in AA Traveller magazine, the Tourism Industry Association NZ’s and the Rental Vehicle Associations respective guidelines for rental vehicle operators, Queenstown hotels and on the backs of buses in Queenstown.”
Several other initiatives to keep visiting drivers safer on our roads are either underway, or about to get underway.
The Rental Vehicle Association has amended its standard form rental vehicle agreements so it’s easier for operators to immediately cancel the agreements in the event that the hirer’s driving poses a real danger to themselves or others on the road. The Association is also looking at ways of making it easier to alert other rental vehicle operators about these dangerous drivers who attempt to hire vehicles from them. These measures are aimed at promoting safer driving in New Zealand for all road users.
In another initiative, a new website www.drivesafe.org.nz(external link) has just been launched, that provides visiting drivers with basic information about New Zealand road rules and etiquette, along with links to more details about everything that drivers unfamiliar with our roads need to know. There is also valuable advice for visiting drivers on the three key stages of their trip which are prior to arriving here, when they pick up their rental vehicle and during their journey around New Zealand.
All these new resources complement existing road safety resources for visiting drivers, such as the Transport Agency’s leaflet What’s different about driving in New Zealand, keep left stickers for windscreens, and the information booth at Queenstown International Airport.
For more information about the Visiting Drivers Signature Road Safety Project Programme go to www.saferjourneys.govt.nz(external link).