Unlicensed Driving Among Urban and Rural Maori Drivers: New Zealand Drivers Study

The study objective was to determine the extent and type of self-reported unlicensed car driving and reasons given for driving before getting a license among Maori drivers in urban and rural areas of New Zealand. Participants included 824 people of self-identified Maori ethnicity. The ages ranged from 15 to 65 years, with the majority of participants aged 15 (37%), 16 (21%), or 17 (14%) years at the time of recruitment. Participants were recruited after passing the car driver's learner license theory test at a driver licensing agency or a learner license course or by the participant responding to a postcard placed at licensing agencies nationwide. All participants completed a self-administered questionnaire that included items for a wide range of personal, driving, and licensing-related variables. The cohort was not randomly selected but included as many eligible participants as possible, with recruitment taking place in urban and rural areas of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Study results found that unlicensed car driving experience was common, especially among rural participants (urban: 65%, rural: 83%). The nature and extent of driving experience and reasons for driving unlicensed were remarkably similar for urban and rural drivers. Females (47%) were more likely than males (37%) to report previous experience of a serious traffic crash. Being stopped by the police for driving unlicensed was not common (24% urban, 17% rural), but for those who had been stopped, the consequences varied by residential location. Driving before obtaining a driver's license was common practice and the amount of driving extensive, for both rural and urban drivers. Furthermore, contrary to common perceptions in New Zealand, the need and opportunities for driving were similar, irrespective of place of residence. This suggests that similar issues may need to be addressed by both urban and rural Maori community road safety providers.


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  • Accession Number: 01148499
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2009 9:22AM