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Road safety package a backdown, not a crackdown

Tony Ryall National Police Spokesman

16 December 2003

Road safety package a backdown, not a crackdown

The National Party is awarding the Transport Minister the prize for the most embarrassing backdown of the year with the release of his road safety package this afternoon.

"Paul Swain calls it a crackdown, it's a backdown - and a major one at that," says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

"The Transport Minister staked his reputation on a raft of road safety measures to crack down on speeding and drink driving. National told him these would not work, and this package proves it.

"The plan to introduce hidden speed cameras, the plan to lower speed camera tolerance levels, the plan to slap demerit points on speed cameras, the plan to lower the blood alcohol limit - he's abandoned the lot," says Mr Ryall.

"National warned the Minister all along that these sort of measures would divert police away from the real target, the killer driver.

"What has changed with speed cameras? If the plan is to target known traffic blackspots, that's fine, but the record to date shows that cameras are more about revenue collecting than road safety.

"Paul Swain's grasped at straws with this package, and missed. What he should have targeted is police visibility, driver fatigue, seatbelts and tougher drink driving measures," says Mr Ryall.

Ends

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