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Laws will have a positive effect on road safety

17 January 2006

New laws will have a positive effect on road safety

Twelve new transport laws came into effect yesterday.

The law changes include a new ‘three strikes and you are out’ automatic and graduated regime for repeat drink-drivers; the power for Police to serve a notice of licence suspension at the roadside; and the lowering of the thresholds for immediate licence suspension for exceeding the speed limit and blood alcohol level.

“The new laws will have a positive effect on road safety. They correctly target drivers who are repeat offenders and drivers who drive at extreme speeds, putting both themselves and others motorists at risk,”says AA Motoring Affairs Manager Mike Noon.

“Driving 40 kilometres per hour above the speed limit is well above the speed considered to be safe and responsible by ordinary motorists. The new Police powers to suspend a driver’s licence for 28 days, for individuals travelling 40 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, sends a very clear signal to potential and repeat speedsters. Travel at excessive speeds and you will lose your licence.”

“That said the AA does not support the 40 kilometres per hour being further reduced. If the limit for licence disqualification was reduced to 30 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, innocent motorists would be at risk of being caught out and losing their licence if they missed a speed sign that changed the zone from say 100 kilometres per hour to 70 kilometres per hour.”

“The new limit is about right, but we would not want to see it any lower,” says Mike Noon.

“It is heartening to see more serious penalties, especially for those who are repeat drink and drive offenders. The AA welcomes the more serious penalties. In past surveys, AA members have indicated there is little or no tolerance for repeat drink and drive offenders. Our members are supportive of stronger penalties and loss of licence for these offenders.”

“The AA is concerned that drivers may not be fully aware of the law changes. After all, the new laws should act firstly as a deterrent for poor driving behaviour and motorists should have the opportunity to fully comply with them. It is therefore very important that government agencies thoroughly promote the law changes so that people do not get caught out. Equally we encourage drivers to inform themselves as quickly as possible about the new laws,” says Mr Noon.

A comprehensive list of the law changes can be found at the following website: www.landtransport.govt.nz

ENDS


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