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New Safer Journey Guidelines to improve visiting driver safety

October 24, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

Best practice guidelines have been developed for rental vehicle operators to help educate international visitors on driver safety.

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) spearheaded development of the Safer Journey Guidelines, working with representatives from the rental vehicle and campervan sector and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

“The voluntary guidelines reflect industry good practice for communicating with visiting drivers at three key stages of their trip – when they book, when they arrive to check out their rental vehicle and during their journey around New Zealand,” says Steve Hanrahan, TIA Advocacy Manager.

“This ranges from providing links to road safety videos and travel distance calculators, to encouraging drivers coming off long-haul flights to rest overnight before picking up their vehicle, and recommending they use GPS tour guides during the journey that broadcast regular safety messages.”

TIA is distributing the guidelines to rental vehicle and campervan operators around the country. The guidelines, which can be downloaded from TIA’s website, can also be adapted by other organisations that come into contact with visiting drivers, including travel wholesalers, visiting information centres, visitor activities and attractions, international education providers and second-hand car dealers.

Grant Webster, Chief Executive, Tourism Holdings Ltd, which was part of the development group, says it is imperative that the tourism industry works collectively alongside all stakeholders in the Safer Journeys initiative to ensure continued improvement in road safety for visitors and locals alike.

“Self-drive holidays are synonymous with New Zealand tourism and we have a duty to ensure our customers are as well versed as possible about driving in New Zealand and that the New Zealand public remains supportive of the industry.

“The launch of the Safer Journeys Guidelines means that the industry will now have a consistent approach to visitor driver education. We have shown before that we can operate collectively for improvement within the industry through the Responsible Camping Forum, and we will continue to do so.“

Jim Harland, New Zealand Transport Agency Southern Regional Director, congratulated TIA for leading development of the Safer Journeys Guidelines for the rental vehicle operator sector.

“We all have a role to play in keeping visitors safe on our roads and this is another example of the efforts being made by multiple agencies to improve visiting driver safety.”

TIA is now working with representatives from the motel, holiday park and hotel sectors to develop a tool-kit of messages and information that accommodation providers can use to help educate their international guests about driver safety.

“This project is a great example of the tourism industry’s Tourism 2025 growth framework in action, with businesses aligning to improve the visitor experience,” says Mr Hanrahan.

“There is a duty of care for everyone who comes into contact with visiting drivers who are unfamiliar with our roads and driving conditions, to give them advice and guidance which will help make their visit a safe one.”

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