Aussie MP calls for driving test for international tourists

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CANBERRA: An Australian politician has called for international visitors to the country to pass a driving test before they can hire a car, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Ms Sarah Henderson, a Member of Parliament for the governing Liberal National Party, yesterday announced a push for a more stringent approach to international drivers' licenses.

In addition to implementing a driving test, she suggested that all international visitors hiring a car be required to watch a safety video, Xinhua said.

"It is a real danger that these international tourists are coming across from other parts of the world, getting into a hired car... and they really are a moving time bomb," Ms Henderson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I just do not think it is good enough that there is no verification of someone's driving experience when they arrive in Australia."

She added: "On a weekly basis, we are hearing of incidents involving international drivers on the wrong side of the road, stopping in the middle of the road taking photographs of koalas ... (and) running through stop signs."

Ms Henderson's south-western Victorian electorate of Corangamite is home to the iconic Great Ocean Road, one of the state's most popular destinations for international visitors.

Statistics compiled by VicRoads, the state's road authority, found that 20 per cent of crashes on the Great Ocean Road involved international drivers, Xinhua added.