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Government Announces 225 Strong Highway Patrol

Government Announces 225 Strong Highway Patrol Group

A road safety package of $152 million road over four years will include $76.5 million to fund a 225 strong specialist Highway Patrol group to police New Zealand's state highways.

Minister of Police Hon. George Hawkins said the Highway Patrol will mean a highly visible Police presence on New Zealand roads.

"This Road Safety Package announces the Government's commitment to a visible approach to highway and traffic policing.

"A specialist Highway Patrol group will be a deterrent to speedsters and will also provide targetted law enforcement designed to ensure our roads are safer.

"New livery for Police vehicles is being designed and will be applied to new Police vehicles before this year's Christmas period. The vehicles will be clearly marked so that they can be easily seen," George Hawkins said.

This Road Safety Package includes plans for:
 A 225 Highway Patrol group within New Zealand Police
 More money for community driver education initiatives
 Greater emphasis on Maori and Pacific Island driver education, as part of the Government's "Closing the Gaps" initiative
 More compulsory breath testing – particularly in high risk rural areas
 Tougher enforcement of speed restrictions and seat belt rules
 Providing safety information for those buying new cars
 Improvements to the monitoring of commercial vehicles.

The Highway Patrol costs per year are: $10 million in 2000/01, $22 million in 2001/02, $22 million in 2002/03, $22.5 million in 2003/04, and $23.5 million in outyears.

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