Motorists are more concerned about overseas drivers than Kiwis, despite them only being responsible for 7 per cent of crashes, a survey finds.
Canstar Blue's results also show that nearly half - 45 per cent - would be happy to see penalties increased for people at fault in a crash, while 35 per cent believed refresher driving courses would be a good idea.
The results stem from a survey of 546 New Zealanders who had hired a car in the past 12 months.
It comes as the country faces another road toll similar to last year's blowout of 379, a marked increase from 2013's record low of 253 deaths.
But the AA says it won't be advocating for any of the ideas just yet, stating road safety was a complex issue and increasing penalties and introducing regular licence re-testing would have little benefit.
Emma Quantrill of Canstar said it didn't matter how people looked at the road toll, the country had one of highest rates of road deaths in the OECD.
"For many, the current maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $20,000 is simply not enough."
Sixty-six people have already died this year, compared to 63 at the same time last year.
Canstar quizzed Kiwis about whether regular minimum standards testing for drivers should be implemented, with 32 per cent agreeing.
However, more than three in five - or 61 per cent - thought overseas drivers were ill-prepared for New Zealand's conditions, up from 54 per cent last year.
"New Zealand's crash statistics are brutal and our research shows that people think stronger deterrents may be an option to improve road safety.'
However, AA's road safety spokesman Dylan Thomsen said their Research Foundation had shown there was an even split on the main causes of fatal crashes - recklessness and people simply making mistakes.
"Half of them involved drivers doing what we call reckless or extreme acts, so that's your drink driving or drugs, driving at really high speeds, and the other 50 per cent tended to be everyday ordinary people going about their business and having made a mistake, having missed seeing something.
"That's why we don't think that just penalties are going to solve everything."
Increasing the penalties for bad driving simply didn't add up, he said.
"If you think about somebody crossing the centre line, if you do that it could result in you or other people losing their life so people's lives are on the line.
"Then you think that if they knew they could get fined more or lose their licence that they would take more care? It doesn't quite add up. They're potentially risking losing their lives and lots of times there's just people making mistakes."
As for overseas drivers, Thomsen said implementing licensing had been looked at and ruled out given the millions of people who flocked to our shores every year.
"This is an issue that has had a lot of focus for years now ... but it's not practical or possible when you have 3.5 million visitors a year coming into the country ... trying to put in some sort of testing system it would be virtually impossible that could deal with the number of visitors that come through."
He said there had been big changes in educating tourists - from their time on the plane to picking up their rental cars, they were reminded about road safety.
"The small percentage who end up in a crash ... they generally crash for the same reasons as New Zealand drivers do."
However, the country's roads still needed work.
Currently there were still too many - 40 per cent - of the country's highways categorised as a two out of a five-star rating.
Barriers, including wire, concrete or Armco, were all found to help avoid head-on crashes.
Although hated by motorcyclists, wire roping was also more cost effective - about a quarter of the price compared to any other type.
New Zealand still had an older than average fleet of cars compared to other countries around the world - an average of 14 years compared to 10 in Australia.
"Even if you were spending very little on a car the difference between getting a one star car or two star car could be the difference between you spending two weeks in hospital or being able to walk away from a crash."
Inspector Peter McKennie, manager: operations, road policing said police can't fix the road toll by itself.
"We need everyone's help to keep our roads safe. Decisions drivers make impact not only them and those in their vehicle, but everybody else on the road as well."
There was no one reason why more lives were being lost, but there were four main behaviours which contributed to death and serious injury on the roads.
They were speeding, driving while impaired - alcohol, drugs or fatigue, driving while distracted - texting, and not being properly restrained.
"Take the time to stop and think about how you behave on the roads. No one wants themselves or their families sharing the road with people who are taking risks."
As for visiting drivers, while there had been a significant increase in the number of visitors to New Zealand with tourism up, there had not been a corresponding increase in crashes or incidents involving tourist drivers.
"The vast majority get through their journey around new Zealand perfectly safely and without incident.
"We all have a responsibility to be mindful of driving carefully and with courtesy at all times," he said.
KIWIS QUIZZED ON CRASHES
• I think overseas drivers should have to sit a minimum standards test before they can hire a car 54 per cent
• I think overseas drivers are unprepared for NZ 61 per cent
• I think that NZ drivers should have to take a regular minimum standards test to try and reduce our road toll 32 per cent
• I think tougher penalties should be introduced for at-fault drivers 45 per cent