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[AUS] Should overseas visitors be forced to take a driving test?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by mjt57, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. I just read a story where a couple were killed when a car, driven by a Spanish family hit the bike head on.

    In December, a fellow heading towards Omeo from Swift's Creek was killed when a car, driven by an Italian family, hit him head on.

    A couple of years ago, a US tourist collided with another vehicle on the GOR. A fatality occured there too.

    There seems to be a pattern here. Overseas visitors who come from countries that drive on the right "forget" where they are on the road and tragedy strikes.

    Perhaps it should be mandatory that anyone visiting from overseas who come from countries that don't drive on the left should sit a driving test.

    Or, if they are in mostly hire cars then have prominent labelling to remind the driver on which side of the road that he or she should be.

    When I went to the US all I had to do was to show my Vic drivers licence in order to aquire a hire car. When we spoke to the US Consulate in Melbourne before leaving we were informed that we didn't require an "international licence", nor did we need to do anything special in order to drive on US roads.

    I understand that this is the case for the UK and Europe too.

    In all cases above, either one or two people died. However, had the collisions been between cars, you're looking at multiple deaths.

    Maybe this is an issue that the MRA could take up with the government, and to consult with the RACV - see what it's position on this is.

    Of course, if they say that the number of casualty crashes or fatalities are too low to be "significant", then it's probably a waste of time.

    What do you folks think?
  2. The idea seems to have merit but as you say, we are not required to undertake one when visiting some other countries and have to rely on our wits and stay alert.

    I suppose if a test was in place people would just focus for the test and when they have passed it and been driving for a while when fatigued or arguing forget where they are and slip over to the wrong side of the road.

    When Sweden moved to driving on the right side of the road in 1967, the road toll dropped initially but then rose again perhaps due to people being more alert to begin with but then slipped into old habits.


    It is an idea that would need a lot of thought. I wonder if there ar any studies on it?

  3. I support this suggestion, not expensive to implement and would be of benefit
  4. Yes I think they should have to take a test.

    Just because you can drive and know the road laws in your country, doesn't mean you do here. When we get a license, we sit a test for our road law knowledge, so should they before driving on our roads.

    And get them to take a damn driving test.

    But other countries should do the same thing too.
  5. I think someone here for a two week stay would find it inconvenient to take a test

    For example

    When I go to Thailand on holiday and hire a bike -- should I have to take a test ?

    I would fail because I can neither speak read or write in Thai

    bummer i was looking forward to cruising the country side on a bike

    should the Thai government have to implement a system to accommodate every language in the world for this ?
  6. Well maybe not so much a driving test, but they should know our road laws. And be tested to prove they know them.
  7. I understand what you mean Andy -- I was referring to a written test not a actual driving test --- my error for not clarifying.

  8. The people licensed to drive here don't know the laws, why should visitors?
  9. Might be difficult considering a lot of aussies don't even know our road rules.
  10. hmm let me see...

    "In australia you either :
    A.) Keep Left
    b.) Keep Right
    or c.) drive on the center line, ignoring all other motorists....
  11. The Irish trialed another solution...driving on the right side of the road for cars and smaller vehicles....and driving on the left side of the road for trucks and commercial vehicles...i believe this was implimented to reduce traffic congestion though, not road fatalities...i don't think there was any significant reduction in accidents though, because they were allready Irish prior to the trial period.

    seriously though, yes if appropriate measures were taken here to assist tourists to keep left, even if it saved one life, well worthwhile.
  12. Spent a month in India last year, and the std of driving was .... interesting....

    Implementing such a test would stop half the visitors from being able to enjoy Australia. Tourism industry would put a stop to this asap.

    It makes sense, but when did sense and logic mean good laws.
  13. In that case we shouldn't have to do the tests either.

    Could also say from that, lots of Australians don't get to enjoy their own country because they can't get a license, for whatever reasons. And since when did tourists have more right to 'enjoy' Australia than the people living here.
  14. I don't rent cars all that often, but every time I have in the last few years, the car HAS had reminder stickers all over the dash for the benefit of foreign tourists.
    IIRC, MRA Vic ran a campaign following the case on the Great Ocean Road when an American caused a serious accident (and was killed).
  15. Hmmm... I think you left out the correct answer.

    Its "All of the above - as long as your radio is tuned in you'll be right", isn't it?
  16. No, it's so long as you're not speeding. As long as you're not, then you're not being dangerous.

    ...and if you are speeding, then you'll hit a tree and die like those 5 guys last night, unless of course there's a safety camera in the area, then you won't hit a tree, like Ken Lay.
  17. No,most tourists have obtained a drivers licence legitimatley ,the current wait for a licence test in Metro Melb is about 6 weeks, I would be pissed off if when I go the the Philippines that I would have to do a test and wait x weeks and pay $$$$ ( trust me I drive /ride better than most of them ..... my day job is a licence tester ) Have you travelled o/seas ? have you driven/riden o/seas ? would you like to be told you are not good enough to pass a drivers/riders test ? or do you just pay a blessing to pass ???
  18. But if you are speeding and there is a safety camera -- the seven kittens will still explode
  19. And both the left tires will explode, somehow sending your car into the air in a flip, like in the movies. This is then usually followed by the car landing on it's roof and exploding, or catching on fire.
  20. No.

    The individual instances you quote are tragic, of course, but when you consider the huge number of foreign tourists on Australia's roads on any given day, I doubt if their risk of being involved in a fatal crash is that much higher than for locals. Certainly not sufficiently high for yet another law to be added to the statute books.

    It would also put us significantly out of step with pretty much every other OECD country.