Decline in young Kiwi drivers

Decline in young Kiwi drivers

Fewer people aged under 40 are learning to drive, new statistics show.

About 3.5 million people in New Zealand held a driver’s licence in 2012, but by June last year that figure had dropped by about 100,000, reports Tracy Neal in Radio NZ article ‘Fewer young people learning to drive’.

The cost of owning a vehicle, along with tougher standards needed to pass the test, has been blamed by some, reports Neal.

kiwi walker 2New Zealand Transport Agency data shows there are now fewer teens on the road than those aged over 75. It also shows that there are more people aged between 40 and 55 with a driver’s licence than any other age group.

Transport blog editor Matt Lowrie has been exploring the trend in declining numbers of younger people getting a driver licence, which he says is global, reports Neal.

He elaborates that baby boomers make up the largest generation of drivers in history, driving more than their parents or offspring.

Ministry of Transport figures show the number of licences issued each year had been increasing until 2010, before dropping back to levels of more than a decade ago. And in 2011 there were 12 people over the age of 80 on a learner licence.

Lowrie says the trend is partly because of changes in the minimum driving age but that “other things are behind it”, reports Neil.

“Baby boomers – when they were young that was the key to relationships and getting around. Now a lot of that is done online – you don’t need a car in many cases so it’s changing the behaviour, how we communicate and what we value,” Lowrie is quoted as saying.

He says another emerging trend overseas is the inclusion of car pooling facilities in apartment complex developments, and that this trend – in addition to driverless cars and trucks – is set to change the future landscape.

A Christchurch driving instructor is reported as seeing fewer under-25s and more mature people wanting to learn to drive, usually migrants from countries where public transport was good.

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