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Land Transport staff gone fishing

Land Transport staff gone fishing

Candor Trust Media Release

Candor Trust is perturbed by Chester Borrows revelation that 6,000 suspended drivers are still preying on innocent road users, because no-one's bothered serving them with papers suspending their licenses - since 2003 in some cases.

The Trust believes Labours plan to extend the demerit system a smidgeon is worth a try, and will certainly be more effective to rein some dangerous drivers in than the prevailing fines based system.

However it clearly requires a functional bureaucracy, and enforcement regime.

In the absence of swift certain penalties the situation will spiral in to completely unmitigated anarchy. Something we already have to a degree, and need to escape - roads being the favorite setting for discount homicide in NZ today.

Mr Borrows asks a valid question in seeking an explanation from Labour about how the demerit system can qualify for expansion, when they can't even do the job under current provisions.

A better question though might be to ask just when road safety is going to become a priority, rather than just a talking point.

If it were a priority Land Transport would have carried out the policy dictated by Annette King last December to condsuct a drug driving education campaign in 2007 - and done so as she requested "certainly ahead of the introduction of new legislation".

If it were a priority then virtually the same goals as Government and NGO's have ben working to achieve by 2010 would not just lately (in panic) have been postponed to the nethernether land of 2040 (200 killed per annum by then).

If it were a priority NZ would not have the dubious distinction of being among few OECD lands to by 2007 have only maintained road safety levels at the exact same exposure risk (danger level) as existed in the year 2000.

The average was a 22% improvement in killer and serious injury statistics. New Zealand has not even reached the safety level of Australia 7 years ago when they had 9.5 deaths per 100,000 citizens, coming in at 10.3 last year.

If we had matched Australias performance last year (7.6/100,000) over 80 more Kiwi's would have lived. Had we matched the best Countries - many of which have worse conditions than NZ does, you could double that.

Who is responsible for non delivery of the various policy promises and of suspension notices by LTNZ. Such a "gone fishing" attitude would not be tolerated if it were non molestation orders under discussion.

In many instances licence revocations would be equally as important to preserve security. It often appears to road safety groups who go knocking on LTNZ's door that the lights are all on, but no-body is home.

This should come as no surprise - numbers of staff dedicated to road safety have reputedly dwindled as Green concerns have swamped the Department's workload. Remaining senior staff seem to be dead wood.

They clearly are not earning their salt, as the major campaigns they've run challenging speed and drink driving are proven by Independent reports, and the related headstone sales, to have failed to improve road safety for 3-5 years.

According to Mr Borrows Government figures reveal that while 4,444 drivers currently have their licences suspended, there are another 5,843 drivers who should have had their licences removed but haven't.

Never mind the logistics of implementing the new demerits system, Candor would like to know what Labour plans to do to remove the current licences from an apparently teeming population of technically unlicenced menaces.

And if or rather whern these people kill as a result of not receiving a suspension notice in the next month or two or rather year or two, which LTNZ staff members can we haul before the Coroners Court's to explain themselves?


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