Convicted Chinese Driver Should Have Received Jail Time

The Chinese driver found guilty of causing a major crash seriously injuring a woman and killing her horse should have received the maximum penalty of three months in prison, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Peng Wang, 28, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court and disqualified from driving for 18 months but the judge said this would not make much difference since Wang ‘will leave for China soon.’

“If that is the case, he should have been given jail time, or certainly at least the other parts of his sentence – 80 hours’ community work and reparation of $25,000 - should have been increased.

“Wang left Auckland journalist Karen Rutherford suffering serious injuries and in her victim impact statement to the court she said after the crash Wang did not come to help her.

“Wang claimed falsely that Ms Rutherford’s horse hit his car rather than him crashing into Ms Rutherford and her horse.
“He admitted also that he had never read the New Zealand Road Code.

“It is gross negligence on the government’s part that it makes no serious attempt to ensure foreign drivers coming to New Zealand are competent to drive here.

“Last week Prime Minister Bill English even encouraged Chinese tourists not to travel by tour bus around the country but by rental car or campervan.

“It’s time the government showed greater responsibility and supported New Zealand First’s Land Transport (Tourist Driver Rental Vehicle) Amendment Bill which requires rental companies to make sure overseas visitors are competent enough to drive on New Zealand roads,” says Mr Peters.