Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Call to reduce legal blood alcohol limit supported

9 July 2008

Media release


Waitakere supports call to reduce legal blood alcohol limit

Waitakere City Council’s Culture and Community Committee today supported the call from national lobby group Point Zero Five to reduce the existing blood alcohol limit for drivers.

Led by the Alcohol Healthwatch charitable trust and regional road safety stakeholders from the New Zealand Police, councils, ACC and others, the Point Zero Five group is advocating for the current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 per 100 millilitres to be lowered to 0.05, in a bid to reduce alcohol-related road deaths.

After hearing a presentation made by Superintendent John Kelly, the Road Policing Manager for the Waitemata Police District, the Committee unanimously agreed to endorse Point Zero Five’s policy.

Auckland, North Shore City, Rodney and Franklin have already signed up to support the group’s work and Manukau and Papakura are expected to come onboard shortly.

Superintendent Kelly told the meeting that alcohol is one of the biggest contributing factors to New Zealand’s road toll and that alcohol-related road fatalities continue to be a serious issue in Waitakere.

Statistics show that between 2003 and 2007, there were 196 crashes in Waitakere involving drivers who were over the legal limit. Recent road safety campaigns in Waitakere also indicate that drinking and driving is on the increase among women and youth, he said.

Superintendent Kelly reminded councillors about Waitakere’s ‘Safe City’ status and said supporting a call for a lower BAC limit would increase the safety benefits to local residents”.

“Research has shown that important driving skills, including vision, steering and braking are adversely affected by even small amounts of alcohol. The most effective measure for seeing a reduction in our road toll is to lower the blood alcohol concentration to 0.05g,” he said.

“Reducing the BAC limit to 0.05g will result in a great number of benefits; a decrease in road fatalities and injuries, a decrease in the total number of road crashes, fewer drunk drivers on our roads and reduced costs associated with alcohol-related crashes.”

Superintendent Kelly referenced international evidence which indicates that lowering the BAC to 0.05g has seen positive results. In Queensland, for example, there has been an 18 percent reduction in fatal collisions and a 14 percent reduction in serious accidents, while Austria has reported a 9 percent decrease in alcohol-related crashes and Belgium an 11 percent decrease. Cologne in Germany has seen its number of alcohol-related accidents halve.

“Lower blood alcohol limits encourage drivers to keep a better count of the drinks they consume in order to stay below the limit,” Superintendent Kelly says.

According to an Alcohol Healthwatch paper, if New Zealand adopted a 0.05g limit, the country could expect to see a reduction in the number of drink drivers on our roads, leading to up to 1280 fewer serious injuries incurred from alcohol-impaired driving.

Committee chairman, Councillor Judy Lawley, says building a safe city which supports the health and wellbeing of residents makes the Point Zero Five initiative “a logical move”.

“Within New Zealand there has been growing interest in this issue and public attitude surveys suggest that the majority of New Zealanders recognise the dangers of drink-driving and already separate the two activities,” she says.

“However, we are currently one of the few countries that have failed to keep up with the international trend to lower adult BAC levels. For the safety of our people, it’s time we caught up.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election