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Insert ticket levies for autocide compo

Insert ticket levies for autocide compo

The passing of the Sentencing (Offender Levy) Act is historic say Candor, as no prior legislation has enforcibly reduced the trauma crime victims inherit. But it will all be window-dressing; unless thought is given to boosting offender levies, so that the homicide victim majority (road mauled) can gain official ie fiscal recognition.

The previous Government repeatedly looked askance, failing to enshrine any victim rights for Kiwi battlers, as required by UN resolutions of 1985, and continues looking away, as it desperately seeks to divert attention to the ACC debacle, rather than working to polish the Offender Levy Act.

NZ Offenders are getting off light with their victim surcharge, as in California the victim compensation scheme is funded by fines ranging from $200 to $10,000 on felonies and up to $1,000 on misdemeanors.

If the new legislation is to succeed, in helping relieve multi-generational suffering caused by the worst violent offences, the Hon. Simon Power has his work cut out, over coming months. It is vital that the initiatives target all homicide victims, rather than just headliners.

The test of this Governments mettle, which purports to have so much concern for serious crime victims, will be to see if they can properly define homicide, and then by extension ably recognise most homicide victims.

Homicide ='s the killing of another by an intentional or irresponsible act. The killing of another by operation of a motor vehicle; generally the driver’s acts must be highly negligent; for example, in a motor vehicle crash arising from the intoxication of the driver (Websters Law Dictionary). Victim ='s target of an attack, or one harmed by a crime, tort, unfairness, or other wrong.

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Homicide + victim ='s a person harmed by a criminal, unfair or wrongful killing, including one caused by an intoxicated driver.

• National's court attendance grant of $124 per person per day for up to five adult members of a homicide victim's family, is admirable only so long as the homicides include those committed by drunk and drugged drivers, say Candor.

• There should be an increase in the discretionary grant for families of homicide victims with financial difficulties to $5,000 for all homicide victims, including those due to drugged or drunk drivers. Currently Victim Support viciously excludes them from qualifying.

• In fitting with overseas precedents, this benefit should not be means tested, and there must be an appeals process for denials which ought never occur on a first application.

• A "homicide support service" will provide four support co-ordinators to work with Victim Support. This is obscenely inadequate given there are around 200 DUI homicides yearly atop murders, and that Victim Support may not be the preferred contact.
It would seem preferable to expand ACC homicide counselling cover to the families of drink and drug driving homicide, enabling provider choice. Or to extend the cover of these homicide support consultants to cover support of alternate counsellors eg multi cultural counsellors.

How are victims of impaired driving homicide treated elsewhere?

All US States provide for mental health counseling in the case of a death. California is limited to 40 sessions for direct victims; 30 sessions for child derivative (indirect) victims, and homicide survivors; and 15 sessions for adult indirect victims

Victims have lawyers funded to a basic level or may use discretionary grants for the purpose using legal aid rates.

More appopriate terms are recommended by the WHO for Police and media such as "road violence", "killing", "crash" not accident, and proper dealing by the Courts that treats road violence as criminal not just happenstance.

Candor's Spokeswoman, Mrs Ford, says that while National is well intentioned, it needs to keep up with International play. Murder 1 is not the gorse of homicide causing generational handicap, but rather it is a rarer exotic. Impaired driving homicide is the most sizeable social curse, considered as premeditated murder in some jurisdictions, and foreign Justice systems have responded to victim's.

Candor think it should be obvious that threatening to take 10 of the worst offenders cars under the boy racer laws is posturing that won't deliver for victims, instead a better message can be sent with each offence, by saying "you will now pay a tax towards compensating road victims".

"We have a tip picked up from Maryland, a leading State in drink and drug research and policy responses. Add a levy to traffic fines, and you'll soon have a hefty compo fund sufficient for DUI victims. We propose a victim levy of $5.00 per traffic offense, doubled for subsequent ones within 2 years"..

At 700,000 speeding tickets and many intersection cruisers about to come of age under the new red light quotas you have a tidy start up - it is only fair the endangerers carry their own weight or pay it forward, as Breweries and Drug Dealers and victims didn't make them "drive". The Trust will put this proposal to the Justice Minister, as he is understood to now be investigating the tenuous position of impaired homicide victims.

ENDS

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