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We’re still waiting for your answer, Minister

At a time when there are growing calls for measures to encourage New Zealanders to drive safer cars, including within the Labour-led Government, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has still not explained why he’s moving in the opposite direction, National’s ACC spokesperson Tim Macindoe says.

“Several years ago the previous National Government introduced a Vehicle Risk Rating mechanism to provide an incentive for people to purchase cars with enhanced safety features.

“Under National’s scheme lower registration fees currently apply to the safest cars on our roads. Mr Lees-Galloway has cancelled this incentive despite ACC crash statistics showing that safer, modern cars are significantly under-represented in New Zealand’s serious road trauma costs.

“I applaud NZTA’s current advertising campaign with the tag line ‘the safer the car, the safer they are’ and it’s inexplicable that a Government Minister is undermining it. New Zealand roads can be dangerous, as can other drivers, we should be encouraging Kiwis into safer cars, not the opposite.

“The Minister has been asked on several occasions to explain his decision and what evidence he considered when reaching this conclusion, but Mr Lees-Galloway has repeatedly failed to provide any data.

“It’s hard to see any explanation other than he didn’t request any.

“Mr Lees-Galloway must release any data that he relied upon in making his decision, otherwise his claim that ‘there is no evidence’ that the Vehicle Risk Rating mechanism created incentives for safer vehicle purchases is hollow.

“This lack of attention to detail is becoming a trend for this Minister, who has also made controversial immigration decisions without considering important evidence. It’s time he stopped cutting corners and undermining the road safety campaigns that are making a real difference to the lives of Kiwis.”

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