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Old 12-29-2009, 02:40 AM
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ribeiroantonio ribeiroantonio is offline
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Default Driving on Fraser Island

Just on today's news.

The driver of a four-wheel drive that crashed on Fraser Island killing a Japanese tourist was shown an English instruction video when he hired the vehicle but his understanding of the language was "not 100 per cent".

A hired Landcruiser carrying eight Japanese tourists overturned on the island's Eastern Beach earlier this month, killing a man and injuring his travel companions.

Through a translator at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Takashi Nukutou, 29, told an inquest into the death that his Japanese licence, which he had held for more than 10 years, allowed him to drive a manual and he had driven a 4WD in Japan.

He said he had driven in snow but never on the beach.

Mr Nukutou had been in Australia for two months on a working holiday visa at the time of the accident.

The inquest, that began on Tuesday in front of state coroner Michael Barnes, was urgently convened to secure the evidence of the driver before his return to Japan.

There have been 41 serious 4WD accidents on the island between 2003 and 2009, with the majority involving foreign drivers and an even larger portion involving vehicles with more than nine seats.

The government was due to bring in tougher regulations regarding troop-carriers in 2010 but is now considering whether those restrictions need to be strengthened.

The inquest continues.
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