New Zealand Dog Licences Take On New Meaning
Leading UK car insurance comparison website Tiger.co.uk has revealed that, following successful tests of driving set-ups for dogs, the New Zealand Driving Agency has introduced canine driving licences (CDLs) for dogs whose owners struggle to drive themselves.
18 months ago a charity in New Zealand set up a special driving school for dogs. It was initially set-up to prove how intelligent the animals could be, but the findings were so impressive that the New Zealand Driving Agency has now approved the awarding of driving licences to any dogs that can pass the special tests.
To be awarded a CDL each dog has to pass a set of rigorous tests. These include sign recognition, hazard awareness, driving in dangerous conditions and three point turns. The tests have been designed to be as challenging as the human driving test in order to placate some of the concerns raised by groups who are opposed to dogs being allowed to drive. Several animal rights groups have, however, welcomed this news, heralding it as a breakthrough in canine liberties.
The new licences have already proved to be a lifeline for some of New Zealand’s rural communities. Jasper Murdock, chairman of the New Zealand Farmers Association (NZFA) commented on how it has changed his life. "These CDLs have really revolutionised my life! I am often too busy farming to do my weekly shop, which before the introduction of the CDLs meant that I was eating more and more unhealthily, but now I can order my food using my smartphone and send my dog to pick it up!"
Motor insurance is not a legal requirement in New Zealand which means that the cost of running a car with a canine driver is the same as it is for humans. Furthermore, the cost of training the dog and acquiring the CDL is often covered by local charities.Mike