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Govt trials tourist driver safety device

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/07/2016

Tourists driving in the South Island will soon have a helper to keep them safe as the government trials a new piece of technology.

On Saturday, Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced the trial of bluetooth devices which will be put into rental cars and deliver safety messages on trips between Christchurch and Queenstown.

The devices will issue audio warnings to drivers on the popular route and, because they're triggered by roadside transmitters, won't need mobile coverage.

About 50 of machines will be set up in Go Rental vehicles from Saturday.

"This technology has the potential to improve safety outcomes in remote locations, which are draw-cards for many overseas visitors," Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss said.

If the trial was successful it could be expanded to other routes and a mobile app developed to make it more widely available for all drivers, he said.

The messages delivered from the devices will include information about New Zealand road rules, suggestions for places to take breaks and road conditions among others.

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