Brown calls out Labour for failing to implement roadside drug testing

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Pakuranga MP and National Party transport spokesperson Simeon Brown. File photo supplied

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown is calling out the Labour Government for not going ahead with randomised roadside drug testing of drivers as planned.

Government Ministers Poto Williams and Michael Wood announced in March last year random roadside drug testing would come into force from 2023 to deter drug-impaired driving following the passing of the Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment legislation.

“Our Government is committed to reducing the serious harm that comes from driving under the influence of drugs,” Wood said.

“In both 2020 and 2019, over 100 people were killed in crashes where a driver was found to have had drugs in their system.

“This legislation directly addresses these preventable crashes, and will lead to safer roads for all.”

Brown, the National Party’s transport spokesperson, says the Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ campaign is “once again proving to be all talk and action”.

“The legislation required to introduce randomised roadside drug testing was passed almost a year ago, giving the Government more than enough time to set up random roadside drug testing in line with its targets,” Brown says.

“But it has since been revealed the Government has failed to get the necessary test kits for this drug testing program to begin.

“It is simply not good enough and it is Kiwis that will suffer the consequences of this failed rollout.”

Brown says not only does randomised roadside drug testing act as a deterrent to drug driving, but it also directly saves lives on the roads.

“It is crucial that setting up randomised roadside drug testing be a priority for the Government.

“While Transport Minister Michael Wood continues to seek more advice, every day that goes by without random roadside drug testing is another day that puts New Zealanders’ lives at risk on our roads.

“National is committed to delivering real outcomes when it comes to safety on our roads.”

Brown says if National is elected to Government at this year’s general election, it will work with police and other agencies to ensure programmes such as randomised roadside drug testing are rolled out promptly.

“Kiwis deserve a Government that actually delivers on what it says, especially when it comes to road safety.”

According to the Ministry of Transport, the Road to Zero strategy sets out its vision for a “New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes”.

It’s based on Vision Zero, an approach first launched in Sweden in 1997 and adopted by countries such as Norway, the US, and UK, the ministry says.

“It is based on the fact we are human and make mistakes so, while the road system needs to keep us moving, it must also be designed to protect us.

“Adopting this vision means no longer viewing the deaths on our roads as a ‘toll’ we’re prepared to pay for mobility.

“Systems cannot be designed to prevent every crash, but they can, and should, keep people alive when crashes happen.

“Loss of life is not considered to be an inevitable and acceptable part of the aviation and maritime sectors.

“Vision Zero applies that same expectation to the road system.”

Advertise with Times Online