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

 

Petition presented on roadside drug testing


The introduction of roadside drug testing is critical given the escalating road toll and the Government’s liberalization of drug laws, Nelson MP Nick Smith says.

Dr Smith received ‘Mathew’s petition’ on Parliament’s steps today. The petition from Karen Dow seeks the urgent introduction of random roadside saliva testing for drug impairment.

“I commend Karen Dow on her brave advocacy in memory of her son Matthew who would be celebrating his 25th birthday today were it not for the reckless actions of a drugged driver.”

Matthew Dow was killed in a head-on crash on the Appleby straight of State Highway 60, near Richmond, on December 31, 2017. The driver of the car that hit him, Alicia Fulcher-Poole, had been smoking meth and cannabis, and was seen driving recklessly prior to the crash.

Karen Dow launched Matthew’s petition at the site of the crash on the first anniversary of her son’s death last year.

“New Zealand urgently needs to introduce roadside drug testing to address the increasing road toll and to protect motorists from the effects of the Government’s reforms that allow easier access to drugs,” Dr Smith says.

“The current law and enforcement for drug-impaired drivers is ineffective and weak, compared to that for drunk driving. In 2017, drug-impaired driving is cost 79 lives, compared to the 70 deaths caused by drunk drivers, yet there were only 200 convictions for drug-impaired driving compared to more than 16,000 for drunk driving.”

“This petition rightly seeks the introduction of random roadside saliva tests for drugs on the same basis as breath testing for alcohol. These saliva tests are working successfully in Australia, the UK and Canada, and are urgently needed here.”

“The Government’s position on roadside drug testing is compromised and confused. The Minister in charge of road safety, Julie Anne Genter, is opposed because of her Green Party’s liberal approach to drugs.

“Police Minister Stuart Nash has promised action but is yet to deliver on the promise he made to TVNZ at the petition’s launch last year that a discussion document on the issue had been approved by Cabinet and would go out to the public in early 2019.

“National wants roadside drug testing introduced as quickly as possible. We will be supporting Matthew’s petition. My National colleague, Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott, has also relodged his Members Bill to get progress. The Bill was voted down by the Labour, Greens and NZ First parties last October. The Government again blocked the Bill’s introduction today when I sought leave to introduce it following Question Time.

“It was highly unusual for the Speaker to intervene and block the introduction of National’s Bill on roadside drug testing. It was normal for the Speaker to put such leave to the House.

“The Speaker had no business in blocking the introduction of the Bill that would have made out roads safer, particularly with the Government liberalising access to drugs. It is worse that he has named me and removed me from doing my job.”

“National will do everything possible to address this serious problem, and get drug-impaired drivers off our roads.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels