26 March 2019

Victorian Government must urgently implement Code of Conduct for rental of vehicles to overseas drivers

I call on the Victorian Labor Government to urgently implement a Code of Conduct governing the rental of vehicles to international drivers.

The dangers posed by international drivers who do not have the skills or knowledge to drive on Victorian roads are completely untenable.

In the Corangamite electorate including on and around the Great Ocean Road which is such a popular international tourist destination, lives are at risk every single day.

More than 20 per cent of incidents on the Great Ocean Road involve an international driver.  Many other accidents are not even reported.

The Rental Vehicle Association New Zealand, in partnership with Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Rental Vehicle Association New Zealand, has issued a voluntary Rental Vehicle Operators Code of Practice for informing overseas drivers (“NZ Code”).

The aim of the NZ Code is to establish a set of agreed standards and practices for operators to follow when educating and assessing visitor preparedness for driving in New Zealand.

While the responsibility for safe driving remains primarily with the hirer, the rental sector recognises that it has a role to play in informing visiting drivers and preparing them for road conditions in New Zealand.

The NZ Code covers a range of issues including provisions that:

  • Require hirers to make information on road rules and driving conditions available to overseas drivers well in advance of their arrival in New Zealand;
  • Ensure overseas drivers who arrive on long haul flights are encouraged to stay overnight before driving a vehicle;
  • Impose a mandatory policy on hirers to assess a driver’s preparedness for “at risk” drivers being drivers who do not hold a UK or Australian drivers licence; and
  • Support a hirer which determines that an overseas driver should be denied the opportunity to hire a vehicle in New Zealand due to safety concerns.

State Labor must urgently follow New Zealand’s lead and implement a Code of Conduct to inform and prepare international drivers for driving on Victorian roads including the Great Ocean Road.

26 March 2019