The days of 15 year olds being able to get drive on New Zealand's roads are numbered.
Prime Minister John Key confirmed on Tuesday that the government intends to raise the driving age from 15 to 16 years old.
The change is likely to come into effect before the end of the year in a bid to cut the number of teenagers involved in road accidents.
The measure is part of the government's Road Safety Strategy, due to be officially released on Wednesday, which outlines a range of measures aimed at reducing road deaths.
"It'll take some time to go through a select committee process and for the law to be changed ... but it will be this side of Christmas if it occurs," Key says.
The government says young drivers have become a lethal statistic, with 67 deaths and 506 serious injuries in crashes in the year to last September, involving at least one driver aged between 15 and 19.
Key says there will be no exceptions to the new rule, even in rural communities.
He says one reason for this change is the comparison of accident rates between New Zealand and Australia. He says the accident rate of 15 to 19 year olds is 60% higher in New Zealand than Australia.
Key also says the alcohol limit for young drivers is a factor in the accident rate.
It is thought that Cabinet will look at discussing a zero alcohol tolerance for teenage drivers in an attempt to reduce the road toll.
Overall public support appears widespread, except among teens, some of who are slamming the proposal.
James Sleep, from the youth union movement Stand Up, says the proposals discriminate against young drivers and will make life tougher for them.
He believes it will limit their access to education and other services, particularly in rural areas.
Student's Against Drunk Driving (SADD) is also criticising the plan.
SADD national manager Julie Elliotte says it will not do anything to keep teens safer.
She says a better way of keeping youth safe is to increase the length of time drivers stay on their learners and restricted licenses.
And the Automobile Association is also not convinced the driving age is the problem, they want to see young drivers supervised for longer.
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