Foreign drivers hit our local roads

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

INTERNATIONAL drivers are free to drive on Queensland roads without requiring any knowledge of our road rules or even the ability to speak English.

With 24,182 international visitors travelling to the Gladstone region last year, the revelation has angered some locals.

Margaret Leggett, publican of the Raglan Hotel, questioned the thought behind letting international visitors loose on our roads.

Mrs Leggett said her hotel, situated on the Bruce Highway, often catered for people from all over the world, some of whom had little idea of local roads or road rules.

'They should at least be given a list of what the road signs mean and that sort of thing,' she said.

A Department of Transport spokesperson confirmed that anyone from anywhere in the world with a current licence in their home country could get behind the wheel on our local roads.

'If you hold a valid drivers licence in any country, you can drive a similar class of vehicle in Queensland,' he said.

The spokesperson added that there was no requirement for the driver to be able to speak or read English.

However, he said, if the driver was in the state for more than three months, they must obtain a Queensland drivers licence to be able to continue driving.

In July last year a Gladstone woman was killed in a car accident because a Norwegian driver was driving on the wrong side of the road. At the time the woman's widower called for tougher restrictions on visiting drivers.



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