11 Jun 2015

'Keep left' stickers removed - coroner

12:24 pm on 11 June 2015

A coroner has highlighted the problem of people removing the "keep left" stickers from rental cars used by tourist drivers.

The issue was picked up in the investigation into a crash last December near Kumara, on the West Coast, which claimed the life of Lijun Ma.

Coroner David Crerar said it was not clear if it was a factor that the driver, Zheng Nana, was used to driving on the right-hand side.

She had been studying in Australia for six years.

However, the Tasman Police's serious crash unit found the rental car was missing its dashboard sticker advising the driver to keep left, and the owner agency had said it was not uncommon for car renters to remove them, Mr Crerar said.

The police recommended the New Zealand Transport Agency take action.

Ms Nana pleaded guilty in the Greymouth District Court to careless driving causing death and injury and was disqualified from driving for two years.

Earlier this week, Chinese tourist Jing Cao was sentenced to 18 months' jail over a crash which killed five-year-old Oamaru girl Ruby Marris and seriously injured five others.

Cao is appealing his sentence.