Dashcam footage of a second campervan driving head-on towards a car on a high speed road last weekend has sparked calls for a 24-hour cooling off period for tourist drivers.
Chris Robinson was travelling along State Highway 73 at 100kmh between Springfield and Arthur’s Pass just after midday on Sunday when he saw a white campervan in his lane driving straight towards him.
“It’s sort of one of those things where you go: S**t! What do we do?”
It is the second video of a campervan driving on the wrong side of the road to emerge in less than 24 hours.
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Robinson, an IT consultant from Christchurch, said such incidents were becoming more common and it was part of the reason why he had decided to install a dashboard camera in his vehicle.
Earlier on Monday, Bluff resident Kodi Goodman uploaded footage of another campervan driving on the wrong side of the road near Fortrose in Southland.
Robinson said his biggest worry was that the driver of the campervan would realise their mistake right after Robinson had decided to switch lanes to avoid them.
Road Safety campaigner Clive Matthew-Wilson, who edits the car review website dogandlemon.com, said he wants a cooling off rental period of 24-hours for tourist drivers who have just flown in from overseas, and a short computer test to check they are aware of the road code.
“There are strict laws in this country banning truck drivers from driving while tired. Yet an exhausted tourist is free to fly in, rent a car and drive off into a tree.”
“I’m not asking foreign drivers to resit their licences; I’m asking foreign drivers to prove they’re awake and alert enough to drive our roads safely.”
According to NZTA statistics, 328 people were killed on the roads in 2016. Of those, 22 were in crashes where a visiting driver was at fault – of that number 14 deaths were in the vehicle being driven by the foreign driver.
Between 2011 to 2015, the number of people killed or injured each year in crashes involving foreign drivers has remained at about six per cent.
However, over the past 10 years, the number of international visitors coming to New Zealand has increased by approximately 45 per cent.
“The new government has made bold statements about lowering the road toll; here’s a chance for the politicians to prove that they’re serious,” Clive-Wilson said.