Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Government Apathy Over Road Safety

"What a disastrous road safety week, reflecting lack of Government involvement", says Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds who would like to join the road safety charity Brake in calling for "a road safety overhaul" and goes further to suggest "to put people in place who can sort out this debacle."

NZ School Speeds has been pushing for consistent speed limits outside schools of 30km/h at peak times and no more than 60km/h at other times of the day, to "change the culture of our drivers". The theory being that if drivers learn to be considerate to our most vulnerable road users, they will become more considerate drivers.

Driver education in New Zealand is still well below standards of other countries, where for years learner drivers have gone through professional driving instruction as well as classroom study. Learning bad driving habits from caregivers is often the only driver learning that teenagers get and it shows in our devastating road toll. Rees suggests that, "laws need to be put in place to teach drivers what speeds are safe in different situations.

"The theme for road safety week was watch out for kids, but apart from a brief statement from Craig Foss, the Associate Minister of Transport at the start of the week they did nothing to sort out the shambolic inconsistencies that our most vulnerable road users have to contend with. It seems that all this week staff in the Ministry of Transport have been quietly sweeping road safety of our most vulnerable road users under the carpet, yet they need to be accountable.

According to Ms Rees, "with inconsistent speed limits of up to 100km/h outside schools in rural areas the message to drivers is don't worry about slowing near children. Then drivers come across a school bus and at the last minute, but often too late, they see that they are expected to slow to 20km/h when it stops to unload.

"Hopefully no distracted child has run across the road and their journey continues and they come across road works and find that here they are expected to slow to 30km/h for grown adults.

"100k outside a school, where children are playing meters from the fence, then out of the blue 20k for children getting off a bus and then 30k for grown adults. Confused?!

"Then on past another school where perhaps there is a speed limit of 60km/h whilst children are let out of school. The likelihood of a child surviving after being hit by a car at this 'reduced speed limit' is slim. Meanwhile the driver must be thinking: "What the heck?!"

"Yes what the heck?! If those in charge of the Ministry of Transport are incapable of looking after road safety issues and don't make roads safer with consistent rules, then remove them and start with individuals who can."

© 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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>





InfoPages News Channels