More drivers aged over 75 on our roads than under 20 as fewer Kiwi teens learn to drive

Statistics NZ figures show young Kiwis are "falling out of love" with the motor car. Photo / 123RF
Statistics NZ figures show young Kiwis are "falling out of love" with the motor car. Photo / 123RF

Fewer teenagers are learning to drive with more people aged over 75 on the road than people aged under 20.

The Statistics NZ figures show young Kiwis are "falling out of love" with the car, the Greens say.

And separate data from the Ministry of Transport shows the number of licences being issued each year increased until 2010, before dropping back to levels of a decade ago.

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.

The Greens say the drop in young people with licences is a good reason for the Government to rethink its motorway expansion projects.

Transport spokeswoman, Julie Anne Genter, said the data suggests the Government should be investing less on roads.

She says investing in public transport projects like light rail would be more cost-effective.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said it was crucial young people get their hands on a licence.

He said the process to get a licence was simply too time-consuming.

Mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick, 22, only has her restricted licence, which she got a year ago.

She said it was too expensive to get driving lessons and she didn't have access to a car in order to sit her licence earlier.

She said she couldn't afford a car and her partner has one so it makes sense for them to share.

She thinks a lot of teenagers are in the same boat and many are more conscious of the environment so are more open to using public transport.

It's often cheaper and easier to us public transport, although lots of our systems need work.

- Newstalk ZB

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