Good luck to restricted licence sitters in Lower Hutt - they'll need it

By Amelia Wade

The places handing out the most full licences are Blenheim and Gore where nine out of 10 people walk away qualified for the green card.
The places handing out the most full licences are Blenheim and Gore where nine out of 10 people walk away qualified for the green card.

Anyone looking to sit their restricted drivers licence test in Lower Hutt better know their stuff - it has the lowest pass rate in the country with two thirds flunking.

And the places handing out the most full licences are Blenheim and Gore where nine out of 10 people walk away qualified for the green card.

But the New Zealand Transport Agency says just because a site has a low or high pass rate, hopefuls weren't more or less likely to fail.

DO YOU THINK YOU WERE UNFAIRLY FAILED?

According to the agency's data, last year 60 per cent of people who sat their restricted test passed and 70 per cent of those attempting to get their full licence also passed.

For restricted licence hopefuls looking to get on the road for the first time, the testing stations with the top pass rates were VTNZ North Shore in Auckland with an 85 per cent pass rate and VTNZ in Northwood, Christchurch, with 82 per cent.

However, they might want to avoid the VTNZ in Lower Hutt where just 37 per cent of drivers passed followed by the AA in Westgate, Auckland, where 43 per cent succeeded.

And for those hoping to get their full, the AA stations in Blenheim and Gore both have success rates of 93 per cent while only half pass at the AA in Invercargill and 55 per cent at the AA in Ashburton.

But the Transport Agency's national manager of delivery, Robyn Elston, said higher or a lower pass rates for an individual site did not necessarily mean a driver was more or less likely to pass their test.

Elston said several factors could influence pass rates, including differences in the volume of tests undertaken at different sites and individual preparedness for tests.

"For example, at some sites testing officers have reported that driving instructors are presenting large numbers of students for tests who are well-prepared and confident, which is having a positive impact on pass rates in those locations."

The most important determining factor for each individual driver's likelihood of passing the test was how much that driver has practised and prepared for the test, Elston said.

In 2012 a more difficult restricted licence practical test was introduced. The national pass rate then was 40 per cent but that has now climbed to 60 per cent.

Elston said she believed as word spread that the new test was more difficult, many drivers seemed to have taken that message on board and were better prepared to sit the test.

- NZ Herald

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