At 11:11am on Wednesday the 27th of June 2018 on State Highway 3 just outside Waverley, a car travelling south crossed the centre line and crashed head-on into a vehicle journeying north.
Seven people were killed. It was one of New Zealand’s worst road accidents.
The four elderly occupants in the northbound car all died on impact. The driver of the southbound car and his two month old baby daughter died at the scene. The mother and her eight-year-old daughter – who was not wearing a seatbelt – were airlifted to hospital with critical injuries. The young girl died the next morning.
The driver of the southbound vehicle had smoked three ‘cones’ of synthetic cannabis on the morning of the fatal crash – before setting off on the journey from Stratford to Wanganui.
At Hawera, they picked up more cannabis and sat in a park smoking, while the little girl played. They were still smoking while ordering takeaways at a McDonald’s drive-through. A witness says the driver was slurring his words and making “inexplicable” changes to his food order.
The driver was on his learner’s licence and already had more than 100 demerit points. Shortly after resuming the journey, he lost control of the car, crossing the centreline and colliding with the oncoming vehicle.
The family of the elderly couple who died in the crash were devastated by the accident and are calling for the random drug testing of drivers on New Zealand roads.
One of the sons lives in Victoria in Australia where random roadside drug testing is commonplace. He is extremely critical that it is not in place here: “We will as a family fight for this in the name of the innocent people who were killed in this accident, as a result of a driver under the influence of drugs.”
New Zealand Police undertake around 3 million random roadside breath tests a year for alcohol. In 2017 this led to 25,543 convictions for drink driving.
But when it comes to detecting drugs an ‘impairment’ test is used. This means the Police can only pull over motorists they suspect are driving under the influence of drugs. Trained officers are then required to carry out the test, which involves checking a driver’s eyes and coordination. If they fail, a blood test is required. As a result of this complexity, in 2017 there were only 540 convictions for drug impaired driving.
In comparison, Victoria has operated a random roadside drug testing programme for over 15 years, with the number of roadside tests approaching 500,000 per annum.
According to the Victorian Transport Accident Commission these tests are conducted from Police booze buses, as well as from marked and unmarked patrol cars, motorcycles and mobile intercepts. The Police have the right to pull drivers over at any time to test for traces of illicit drugs including cannabis, methamphetamines and ecstasy.
Saliva samples are analysed at the roadside. Drivers with a positive result are asked to repeat the test, and if that is also positive, the sample is then sent to a laboratory for confirmation. The lab test results form the basis for charging the driver.
The penalties for being caught with illicit drugs in their system can include the completion of Drug Driver Programs, fines, demerit points, license suspensions, or criminal convictions.
With the potential for cannabis to be legalised in New Zealand after the next election, the call for the random roadside drug testing of drivers is growing louder.
Last year a paper that was submitted to Cabinet noted that our present drug testing regime was ineffective as a deterrent: “The low number of Compulsory Impairment Tests completed limits the opportunity to achieve a general deterrence effect, meaning that the perceived and actual risk of detection is minimal. A University of Waikato survey of drivers in 2017/18 found that 60 percent of drivers thought people were likely to be caught by Police for drunk driving but only 26 percent thought people were likely to be caught for drugged driving.”
This helps to explain why the number of road deaths from drugged drivers now exceeds those from drunk drivers, with 79 people killed by drivers impaired by drugs in 2017, compared to 70 alcohol-related deaths.
The Cabinet paper explained that over recent years the number of road deaths in New Zealand has been rising: there was a 49 percent increase in fatalities in five years from 253 in 2013, to 378 in 2017. Of the drivers killed in those accidents 29 percent had used alcohol and 52 percent had used drugs: 27 percent cannabis, 10 percent methamphetamine, and 15 percent other drugs including pain killers like codeine and tramadol, and sedatives like zopiclone, clonazepam and diazepam. Of the drivers testing positive for alcohol, over a quarter had also used cannabis.
Drug use is now the major threat to public safety on our roads.
There is no doubt that the introduction of random roadside breath testing has been largely responsible for a significant decline in alcohol related road fatalities. In 1990, alcohol was involved in 42 percent of fatal crashes, while in 2017, it had fallen to 20 percent.
Going forward there needs to be a similar shift in public attitudes towards drug-taking and driving. Not only does smoking dope then driving need to be seen as socially unacceptable, but cannabis users need to believe that there is a very good chance that they will be caught if they smoke then drive. This will no doubt involve intense and highly visible roadside drug testing.
While the Green MP who is responsible for road safety – Associate Minister of Transport Julie-Ann Genter – was initially reticent over the introduction of random drug testing for drivers, she now appears supportive. That could be because public concerns over the danger that drugged drivers pose on our roads is growing and turning people against the Green Party’s plan to legalise cannabis.
In fact the Government is now moving swiftly to attempt to address growing public concerns over increasing cannabis use. They appear to want to set the country up for a “yes” vote in next year’s legalisation of cannabis referendum. This includes the large investment in mental health that was announced in the Budget to address a chronic shortage of services including for drug addiction.
The Government’s intention is to answer the legitimate concerns being raised about the link between mental health and cannabis use by saying that support measures are in place. However, they should be focussing on limiting drug use to avoid the problems, rather than trying to treat them once they exist.
To progress their liberalisation agenda, the Government is decriminalising drugs use, by making it a health issue, rather than a crime.
This decriminalisation of drugs is being introduced through the back door by incorporating the necessary changes into an “omnibus” bill – which is usually reserved for amendments that are not controversial – instead of through its own legislation.
New provisions are being added to Section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, which deals with the “Possession and use of controlled drugs”. These changes will give the Police the discretion to not prosecute someone for the possession and personal use of illegal drugs if a health-centred therapeutic approach would be considered more beneficial – or if there is deemed to be no public interest in a prosecution.
The reality is that this Labour-New Zealand First-Green Party Government has gone soft on drugs through decriminalisation in order to pave the way for cannabis legalisation.
One of the international jurisdictions that has led the way in the legalisation of cannabis is Colorado, in the US.
This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is the former District Attorney for Colorado Bob Troyer, who was appointed in 2016 and outlines the impact of the State’s disastrous experience with drug liberalisation:
“In 2012 we were told Colorado would lead the nation on a grand experiment in commercialized marijuana. Six years later — with two major industry reports just released and the state legislature and Denver City Council about to consider more expansion measures — it’s a perfect time to pause and assess some results of that experiment.
“Where has our breathless sprint into full-scale marijuana commercialization led Colorado?
“Now Colorado’s youth use marijuana at a rate 85 percent higher than the national average.
“Now marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up by 151 percent.
“Now 70 percent of 400 licensed pot shops surveyed recommend that pregnant women use marijuana to treat morning sickness…
“And now Colorado has a booming black market exploiting our permissive regulatory system — including Mexican cartel growers who use nerve-agent pesticides that are contaminating Colorado’s soil, waters, and wildlife.
“Marijuana commercialization has led Colorado to these places.”
Bob Troyer explains that the commercialisation of cannabis did not result in the expected major boost of tax revenue because the meagre gains were more than “washed out” by the costs of public health, public safety, and regulation.
Nor did it eliminate the cannabis black market. In fact, Colorado’s black market exploded after commercialisation as sophisticated international drug traffickers and money launderers moved in and rented premises so they could grow the drug under the cover of legalisation and sell it out of state for many times the price.
Those promoting commercialisation promised that alcohol use would diminish; instead it has climbed.
Young people, whose brains are most vulnerable to addiction, are not protected by the laws, but are targeted by commercial producers who make most of their profit from heavy users. Goods designed to hook young users such as marijuana pizza and high potency gummi candy are heavily promoted, along with marijuana-consumption devices that avoid detection at schools like vape pens that are made to look like high-lighters and eye-liners.
Bob Troyer says, “I’m not sure the 55 percent of Coloradans who voted for commercialization in 2012 thought they were voting for all this”.
Canada is another country that recently legalised cannabis – in October last year. A newly released federal study shows an escalation in use, especially by teenagers and young people. There was also a significant rise in the number of people driving after smoking dope.
In considering cannabis legalisation, the dangerous side effects need to be clearly disclosed – facts the Green Party and other pro cannabis campaigners are not revealing.
Driving after smoking cannabis doubles the risk of a car crash. The danger is even greater if smoking cannabis is combined with drinking alcohol.
In terms of mental illness, cannabis use doubles the risk of psychosis and schizophrenia.
Cannabis can be as addictive as heroin or alcohol and can lead to hard drug use. One in ten adult dope smokers become addicts. For teenagers, one in six who regularly smoke cannabis become dependent on it. The impact of cannabis use on a teenager’s developing brain is profound – it can cause long-lasting damage, affecting cognitive abilities such as learning, attention and decision-making, as well as academic performance at school.
In terms of the risk of lung disease, smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking up to 5 cigarettes.
And in terms of cancer risk, smoking cannabis is far more harmful to human health than smoking tobacco – smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes.
The hypocrisy of the Government turning a blind eye to the cancer risk of smoking cannabis, while at the same time promoting the goal of a Smoke Free New Zealand by 2025, is reprehensible.
No government should be allowed to treat its citizens with such contempt – and any that does should never be trusted at any level.
Is all of this what we really want for New Zealand?
The Ministry of Transport’s consultation paper, asking for public feedback on whether the random roadside drug testing of drivers should be introduced, can be seen HERE. Submissions can be emailed to the Ministry at email@example.com and must be received by 5pm Friday the 28th of June 2019
THIS WEEK’S POLL ASKS:
Do you support the introduction of the random roadside drug testing of drivers in New Zealand?
*Poll comments are posted below.
*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.
THIS WEEK’S POLL COMMENTS
|Should have been introduced years ago. But our kindergarten minded labour politicians would not know how to introduce such an event. But they know how to look into it so that a decision could be made soon, whenever that is. Ie. I have no idea when or how to make such a decision.||Allan|
|Any attempt to reduce the use of drugs should be supported||Michael|
|It is my belief that drug-driving causes more carnage on the roads than drink-driving. It also accounts for the erratic, selfish & unthinking driving seen on our roads. And the fools want to legalize cannabis!!||David|
|I believe it should be mandatory with all police stops and I would support the Death penalty for Meth dealers.||Rod|
|legalizing cannabis should not proceed.The evidence strongly supports this.||Paul|
|We have got to get the road toll down||Ray|
|If any company exposed their employees to the chemicals that smoking cannabis puts into their bodies, Health and Safety would have a field day.||Geoff.|
|Labour’s pouring more money into Mental Health and yet wishes on the other hand to legalise marijuana and let’s not talk about road accidents by those who use drugs.||Maureen|
|How is it that tobacco smoking is wanted to be eliminated whilst the Gvt wants to allow drug smoking/taking –the mind cannot fathom their wisdom (though the present Gvts wisdom seems with the fairies etc)||Marylin|
|Then if under the influence & caught a second time crush their vehicle which here in Rotorua likely will not be registered or warranted||John|
|If the answer is increased government/state powers then we are asking the wrong question. I absolutely do not support any increase in police power to randomly pull over any driver without (provable) probable cause and definitely not for a lengthy ‘impairment’ test. Our police already have too much leeway into what they can subject the public to, for instance the example given in the article above to, “give the Police the discretion to not prosecute someone for the possession and personal use of illegal drugs if a health-centred therapeutic approach would be considered more beneficial”. To me, this bestows a power on individual officers that is unlawful if we are to be equal under it. I do not support legalisation of drugs until we eliminate state-funded healthcare and welfare as the two are incompatible in that the safety net takes away the repercussions of one’s chosen lifestyle/behaviour. But, I do believe – as do many on the right – that we need to have an ‘honest conversation’ about ‘illicit’ drugs (i.e. the ones that the state has deemed illicit, presumably not the myriad prescription drugs they approve of and fund). To have this honest conversation though, we need to include the ramifications of expanded state control over drug production (including cannabis as I note the govt has already started funding corporate enterprise in this field) and supply, ramifications of expanded police powers and harassment and most importantly, to start being honest about the facts. I feel the article by guest commentator Bob Troyer is misleading in many respects, for instance, are pregnant women really being prescribed ‘marijuana’ or CBD ointments/vapour sprays? Are CBD vapes more or less damaging than a pregnant woman who takes prescription meds? What are the clinically tested effects of CBD on epilepsy? (Answer as far as I can tell, not known yet). I don’t see the harm in opening up access to the cannabis plant to scientists to be able to answer these questions and I am concerned that a blanket (and frankly, hysterical) reaction from the right will cause a huge rift rather than a middle ground on which to sensibly look at the issue of decriminalisation which is not going to go away.||Randy|
|random implies targeting … this will alienate a sector of society causing less respect for order and rule of law||PJ|
|For all the same reasons as for alcohol. Keep our roads safe. Anyone who departs on a journey, no matter how long, should have an expectation they will return unharmed||Kevin|
|cut down the risks||Marie|
|The problem is not the testing it is the drug! The fact is that society is unable to understand that cannabis is a form of smoking! The legal relaxation of drug use is countering the fact that the government is borrowing $5 Billion every year to make socialism workable! As Margaret Thatcher said,”Sooner or later you run out of spending other peoples money! Advice to NZ – Don’t leave it too long to face the realities.||Frederick|
|The Green party are increasingly causing great harm to our country and society with their cannabis legalization, zero carbon & increasing costs such as egg production. NZ needs to be warned about these dangerous & toxic people Davis, Ghahraman, Swarbrick, Sage, Logie, Hughes, Genter and Shaw(Greens) who have never been voted in by anybody. The Health system is already overwhelmed and David Clark(Labiour) is incompetent. My GP says medicinal pot does not work except in some minor diseases such as multiple sclerosis so we don’t need any of it.||Monica|
|Yes I support it. Too many drugs in society.||Jan|
|Introduce drug testing a s a p and as a frequent road user I am not prepared to be a victim of a Drugged driver and the more reason that I drive a Toyota Land cruiser. The green party are a very dangeries group of idiots and their followers are all a bunch of fruit loops that have never seen the real world for what it is.||Ken|
|Absolutely – there is no justification whatever for drug driving any more than there is for drink driving. Test them and then shoot them if positive!||David|
|NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO||Vernon|
|Yes, and the penalties should be tough. Policing these personal irresponsibilities are a further weakening of the nation’s taxpayers thus conditioning them for dependency on a future dictatorial rule.||Don|
|Long overdue. Same category as booze bus random testing, widely used in many countries.||David|
|This Labour Government is using the legalisation of cannabis as another ploy to gain popularity with voters and like the rush to remove firearms, which in itself is the right thing to do, it is being rushed through so they can win those votes in the 2020 election. Nelson has had several disastrous road fatalities caused by drugged drivers. It is proved that consumption of ‘pot’ leads on to harder drugs. I owned a rental house which a tennant who initially appeared reasonable, used for meth causing thousands of dollars worth of damage and eventually disappeared owing me thousands in rent and a damaged property. Needles to say I no longer own a rental after 50 years as a landlord. No I won’t be voting for legalisation or Labour and especially not the Greens. I find the TV police series on Victorian drug testing interesting and successful. I do support the prescribing of medicinal cannabis.||Chris|
|Yes it is a no brainer||Robert|
|It is a no brainer to ignore drug driving. Research the Victoria, Australia experience.||Colin|
|sooner the better||Wally|
|Public safety on the roads should be of far more concern than the climate change fiasco||Catherine|
|Definitely They wont catch them all but its the right way to go.||ron.|
|Drug use is an insidious pastime, which is not yet fully recognised for the damage it can cause. I believe it is a punishable crime, not a sickness.||Mika|
|If A police officer dose not have tangible and demonstrable grounds to believe an offence has been committed then he /she needs to stay the hell away from me.||Norman|
|It’s a no brainer.||Ronmac|
|Do not legalise marijuana||Gareth|
|The whole idea of using cannabis is to get high which has the effect of inhibiting reaction, judgement and the ability to assimilate quickly information and react to it. It is exactly the same as intoxication through alcohol so why allow it?||richard|
|God help this country if we don’t get rid of these bloody lunatics.||Jim|
|While in the medical profession I have seen the effects of marijuana on teen age children. YES to road side testing.||Wendy|
|Victoria Aus, conducts just on 500,000 road tests a year (RDT). Their population approx 6.4 million, NZ approx 4.5million. It is a tongue swipe saliva test and cost is irrelevant – it is time. It takes around 5 minutes for the result. If the driver wants a second test they require 1 ml of saliva and the result takes up to 16 minutes. In North-and, I can imagine a huge line of pulled over cars ……||DICK|
|the least that should be done||konrad|
|The sooner the better||David|
|Yes, without a doubt this is demonstrably the next measure NZ should adopt to try to do something positive about the very high rate of accidents (and deaths) on our roads. What bothers me, thougn, is the state of mind of walkers/pedestrians who bowl happily onto the road, heads down, tapping away with the spare thumb, on their phones, and looking neither to right nor left as they walk straight into the traffic. I have lost count of the number of people to whom I have tooted, and if my window is open, also yelled at, to LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING PLEASE. I refer now to my area of residence, the EasternSuburbs of Auckland. I wonder what it’s like in areas of less inhibited drivers??? We know we have good brakes, but must we ask the impossible on a daily basis?||MABEL|
|high dopers are just as bad a drunks||Wayne|
|Each time I drive, I am already sharing the road with individuals under the influence of DRUGS and ALCOHOL and run the risk of being involved in a accident with those so influenced – why in the name of Wisdom, Commonsense & Sanity would I want to increase that risk!! which undoubtedly is what will happen if ANY DRUGS ARE LEGALISED.||Carol|
|If this Id10t Government legalises Marijuana the Police will more than need random roadside Testing. The Stats from Colorado do not make good reading. For example twice the road deaths, directly attributable to Marijuana. What the hell are these People in charge thinking. Perhaps there is a Criminal Charge they can be prosecuted with ,for Public endangerment.||Geoff|
|Are the supporters of this ludicrous idea of legitimising cannabis blind to the irony of, on the one hand, taking this action while, on the other, they spend millions on trying to deter tobacco smokers? It is crass stupidity. The number of deaths quoted as being attributable to tobacco smoking are highly dubious, while the number of road crashes due to tobacco would be infinitesimally small. And then there is the irony of testing drivers for alcoholic impairment – but not for drugs. Again – crass stupidity. But – hey – Comrade Ardern and her Commissars aren’t “about” logicality and/or principle (which they sadly lack) they are all about big gestures, huggies, and the advancement of socialist control.||Ron|
|A thousand times yes; and I wish any drug affected parliamentarians and the sycophantic press would take note.||Rob|
|Any way to lower the Road Toll must be taken.||Don|
|Yes yes yes. It’s been a long time coming. It should have been here 20 years ago!!! But if if found to under the influence what sort of penalty will the judges dish out…home detention? Remember they can only test for 1 type of drug not multiple. Those who smoke drugs and drive should be classed as as manslaughter||Kristene|
|Having a son who began smoking cannabis at a very young age, then going on to battle and conquer several addictions I can attest that legalizing cannabis use is not what we want for the youth of this country. I implore people, please dismiss the ill-informed commentary of the likes of Genter and Swarbrick. They will not be there to be accountable for the consequences of such liberalisation.||Anon|
|Yes , I do support the introduction of road side drug .testing. But this is – at the end of the day – just another band aid to deal with a massive underlying problem we have with drugs in general. As the example of Colorado shows us, nothing good will come from this legalize cannabis bullshit. The agenda behind all this is not to help people with mental or medical issues- not at all- it is to rot the brains of not only an entire generation of young people but help to destroy the very fabric of society . And one of the strongest foundation a strong society is to have healthy minds.Mens sana in corpore sano or a healthy mind in a healthy body is not something the red green brigade wants us to have. They have a very different and sinister UN agenda .Drugged up people do not need free speech either. Nor are they interested in doing their bid to make this a better society. And the gangs- with a wink and a nod from the tribal ‘elite’ will continue to sell drugs of all sorts to help speed the deterioration of our country and let the hardworking taxpayers bleed for this unholy agenda.||Michael|
|Drug users are losers! Immediate confiscation of all vehicles in the hands of Drink or Drug Driving Convictions. No exceptions!||Ken|
|Why legalise a known source of driving ability impairment? Crazy.||Don|
|If we are serious about road safety; the statistics show this is a major step to stopping the increase in fatalities.||Peter|
|They no not what they are getting into. It looks like we are going have a lot of Zombies driving around here in NZ.||Tony|
|I am seeing drug use all around me in my home area with parents supplying the money to support their teens habit and said teens not looking for work but don’t go to school either. Very sad.||Laurel|
|If it is good enough for the work place – you have to be pretty dumb to think it is less important on the roads.||Maurice|
|I voted labour NZ 1st. However some of what they are doing is just as stupid as national party actions while in power.||Ian|
|Absolutely I support the introduction of random drug testing. The stupid greens who support the decriminalization of Cannabis need their collective heads analysed to see if there is a brain that actually works inside it. If the decriminalization is passed then when all the problems from Colorado end up here they will want rehabilitation programmes to help the stupid people who want the so called freedom to use these potentially lethal drugs||Colin|
|Random drug and alcohol testing of drivers already on the road will only catch the tip of the iceberg of those using impairment substances and should not be on any road or be in charge of any vehicle. Those caught with any of these drugs must be prosecuted and banned from driving any vehicle on public and private roads . A meaningful deterrent must accompany the use or abuse of these mind altering substances.||Ced|
|only logical, with or without the present govt’s dangerous moves to legalize drugs||Lionel|
|Absolutely. Drugged drivers are not OK on our roads||Carolyn|
|so long as there are penalties at least equal to drink driving||Steven|
|Should have been in existence years ago. Look at the UK and Australia, No problems there at all. You use, you lose licence and get fined.||Benjamin|
|Much needed and lets hope severe penalties are imposed.||Alan|
|As there is an easy way to test for drug and alcohol use, as in Victoria, for goodness sake do it here!||Juliet|
|Absolutely! Why has it taken so long? Ban all drugs and have serious penalties, especially for dealers.||Frank|
|it can not start soon enough.||John|
|Absolutely. The road toll must be reduced. Let%u2019s not pussy foot around with the niceties of the way we do things here.||Terry|
|HELL YES and not to random or seldom either.||Donald|
|I wonder where the NZ Police are doing their alcohol testing on our roads. During 12 years spend in Australia, it was common to have to stop and be tested. In fact I was stopped twice in one day in a small town in South Australia. Ten years back in NZ, and I drive long distances on our North Island highways. I have been stopped twice. Once in Hunterville, where all the cop wanted to check was our rego and WOF. No breath testing. Second time was in Matakana, some distance from SH1. And that included a breath test. Nowhere else. Big crashes in the Taupo/Tokoroa areas. Very very rare to see even a cop car. Not one test, and we drive that section of road every two weeks throughout the year. So I return to my question. Where are the cops doing these tests?||John|
|maybe the country should have a program where we exchange police officers with another country to see how we stand in comparison||Bill|
|Without a doubt, this must happen.||Barbara|
|Our Labour led coalition Govt are really two faced. They talk about banning smoking tobacco after 2020 and yet in the next breath they are condoning smoking cannabis which still causes lung cancer.||Wayne|
|Why random roadside testing wasn’t introduced years ago is inexplicable to any reasonable person. Random testing should be introduced as a matter of extreme urgency in the interests of the safety of all road users.||Les|
|Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!! – as soon as possible.||Grahame|
|The research done in Canada on the use and effects of marijuana makes frightening reading. If any company subjected their workers to a substance which has the same effects as this, Health & Safety would press for jail sentences for the management.||Geoff.|
|The sooner this happens – the better. Keep our roads drug free||Brian|
|Should have started doing it years ago||John|
|should be compulsory on all checks||Rex|
|Lots more testing required, and the sooner the better. The country does NOT need any extra cannabis being grown or sold.||rod|
|YES, and if they do I am looking forward to seeing all the mad Greens going to jail.||Athol|
|Yes. and a ban on commercialisation of cannabis. Why cant drug lockouts like alcohol lockouts be fitted to all vehicles. Question: What will happen when flying cars enter the environment.||David|
|ANYONE taking a mind altering substance and then driving is creating an accident waiting to happen||Jock|
|DEFINITELY – it’s way past time for this. But this government has been withdrawing funding from our police force until there’s not enough officers to fill the extra duties – like all our other public services – going,going, soon to be gone. We need to get a vote of NO CONFIDENCE AND FORCE AN EARLY ELECTION before our nation is destroyed, beyond a point of no return where nothing can be improved.||CM|
|Yes for sure if these so called drug users think they are the perfect drivers to go out & kill or maim people while driving,they deserve the full force of the courts||Rex|
|Any thinking person can see the problems ahead.tackle the problem at source not the results at mental health||Bev|
|Absolutely. Long overdue and if Australia can do it surely we can do it with some urgency. The evidence is quite clear. Driving and drugs are a lethal combination.||Norm|
|Please no cannabis||Laurie|
|I made a submission prompted by this website and link. Thanks for informing us.||Nigel|
|The indoctrinated GLOBALIST NUTTERS that are ‘running’ the country, can only see the benefits of destroying the thinking ability of Joe citizen by drug use. They are too evil to even care about the disastrous health issues, both mental & physical.. Any opposition will be shut down as HATE SPEACH As an example,. New Conservative have already had facebook pages closed..||A.G.R.|
|This is an insane piece of proposed legislation. We are totally in support of random roadside testing||Brian|
|Colorado’s drug casualties certainly prove legalising drugs is extremely dangerous.||George|
|It’s a no brainer. Testing for drugged drivers is a must||Pete|
|It one thing to have random drug testing, but if there is no appropriate penalty if driving when positive, what%u2019s the point? In the main our driving regulations are simply ignored by at least 50% of drivers (speeding, use of a mobile, running red lights, tailgating, dumb over taking, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs) I believe this is an AT (Auckland Transport) initiative now they hoping everyone driving at 30kph, with a large number of drivers stoned, this will scare the rest of us off the road, which cleverly meets the Greens long term goal! Rob||Robert|
|Another no brainer||Peter|
|I am very concerned about drug driving and will not be voting to legalise cannabis.||Kate|
|No brainer. It could be a worse problem than alcohol impaired driving. Certainly a much bigger killer than so called terrorist threat. Spend some of the $1Billion gun confiscation on drug driving instead.||Geoff|
|Drunk or Stoned. Both a danger on NZ Roads Testing for dope well over due.||Jeff|
|Obviously drug impaired drivers are lethal and should (a) be pulled off the road (b) face jail time (c) loss of licence to drive. until they have completed drug rehab (which can be done in prison). A second offence would result in loss of licence for at least 12 months, 3rd offence loss of licence for ever.||Dianna|
|I would rather it did not need to come to this. Stupid greens wanting more freer use of dope.||Tim|
|We have enough of a totalitarian police state taking over as it is. The ‘system’ is out of control and corrupt enough as it is.||Bryan|
|It is sheer lunacy to liberalise cannabis, and even more so to ignore the crashes caused by drug-driving, and drunk/drug driving. We MUST introduce drug driving tests as well – and the sooner the better.||Judi|
|Absolutely. Jarrod Gilbert,the sociologist, proposed that rich people should pay higher speeding fines. While speeding by anybody is not condoned, he should do his research properly. He would find that it is the poor and uneducated that have the most accidents and that feature most prominently in infringement and injury statistics.||Bruces|
|It is going to be essential! More deaths occur now from drugged drivers, this will sky rocket if Government legalizes cannabis use after the next election. I urge all voters to say NO, in the upcoming referendum!||Hugh|
|Yes, I support random roadside drug testing. I am also vehemently opposed to the legalisation of cannabis .||Peter|
|I am voting No to cannabis decriminalisation||Levonne|
|it is a mind altering substance and maybe worse than drink driving||Robin|
|The statistics show that even before cannabis is legalised, drug driving is the major cause of fatal accidents. Drug driving MUST be introduced!||Sylvia|
|Overdue, Truckies have to.||Ian|
|of course they are just as dangerous behind the wheel||Allan|
|No Way, will bring Havoc to our already sad Maori family harm, and to our young easily lead teenagers||Clint|
|We must do everything possible to stop the escalation of drug use in NZ.||Maurice|
|Absolutely -asap. The legalisation of cannabis would have disastrous consequences. Why can’t the Left wing politicians take note of the fall out in other countries which have experimented with this?||Mary|
|I cannot believe we as a community can be conned into allow the legalisation of Cannabis use. Somehow the New Zealand public need to be mobilised to oppose this lunacy. We never hear from the leader of the opposition and it appears we in middle class new Zealand have no voice to oppose this lunatic Government and its crazy liberal ideas. God help the next generations of New Zealanders.||Albyn|
|I fully support that, the sooner the better||Theo|
|Makes more sense to me than lowering speed limits. People on drugs have very poor ability to drive and can easily cause accidents accidents||Peter|
|It is incredible that anyone of sound mind should want to legalise any mind altering drug. They all seem to be happy to quote that we have alcohol so why not cannabis? It is a pity that we cannot fire any politician who votes for legalisation.||Richard|
|Absolutely. If the stupid Greenies get their way and legalize the stuff we Must have random testing AND severe penalties for driving under drug influence.||Graeme|
|I vote yes, but its giving the police the same stop and search the nazis had.||Bill|
|Sooner the better please.||Ray|
|No – deal with the problem at its source, rather than enacting more restrictive legislation, which will further encroach upon our rights and freedoms, to no useful purpose. The Green Party’s drive to legalise cannabis amounts to throwing petrol on a fire in an effort to put it out. Any person who votes for them in our next election (along with the rest of the Coalition of Losers) should be classed as mentally incompetent, in my opinion. As to Governments treating people with contempt – what law-abiding firearms owners are currently enduring gives credence to your statement and serves to illustrate that our so-called “leaders” cannot be trusted.||Scott|
|Start now rather than wait for the epidemic.||Graham|
|It’s absolutely necessary||Williams|
|Appears common sense||David|
|The government are disgraceful and should be ousted asap. Their decisions are unbelievably dangerous to everyone.||Valerie|
|Absolutely, but how stupid to legalize cannabis and then increase costs to ensure safety on the roads , hospital care etc. Cannabis should not be legalized in this country and those found using it should be heavily fined||Tom|
|There are far too many drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol||Nancye|
|Of course there should be random roadside testing for drug use. Little chance of it happening though. The police through their Minister and and financial constraint are not even doing the alcohol testing nearly as often as they used too and that was little enough. Perhaps if the Police spent a little less on culture awareness and special treatment they could afford more roadside checks.||Bruce|
|If we legalise cannabis, it will be a million times worse!!||Jo|
|definitely, and perhaps the results will help authority to concentrate on prevention of consumption which causes road deaths, either directly or through encouragement to speed.||Alan|
|Without question. Legalising cannabis will be a road to disaster – literally. I cannot comprehend what motivates this government to even consider introducing recreational usage.||Chris|
|Got to have a deterrent.||Andrew|
|Surely this is a no-brainer! Why would we support something that can only increase death on our roads, and more people with mental health issues. Just more cost everywhere to our systems.||Peter|
|Yes Yes Yes. NOW||Stan|
|Enforcement is one of the main methods of combatting drink/drug driving||John|
|Irrespective of whether cannabis is legalised or not the incidence of drug driving now exceeds that of alcohol so random testing must be introduced.||Les|
|The aim is prevention and this can only be achieved by testing first||Harvey|
|What a question !! OF COURSE !! The record should show DUD , same as DUI and go on your passport. Get fined for drinking 2 beers , but can drive a vehicle bombed out of your mind on drugs !! Only Dummy’s will say NO !!||Pierre|
|I have never understood why this has never been introduced the government had an opportunity last year to vote it in and turned it down, unbelievable!||Digby|
|The sooner the better. Lets get these killers off our roads.||Urban|
|Why make it legal ?||Brian|
|This is urgently needed now.||June|
|Do Not legalise marijuana New Zealand. Stop this out of control govt from ruining our lives especially our young ones. This is absolutely crazy. No! No!||Robert|
|It will become necessary to avoid the growing carnage on our roads.||Darryl|
|I do think that random roadside drug testing is a good idea. It helps to keep our roads safe from these people who will end up killing some one on our roads.||Robert|
|YES and bring in stronger driving penalties and if the fines aren’t paid take there car and sell it or crush it. don’t pussy foot around like they are now. This applies to alcohol as well as drug use when driving.||Richard|
|How can you possibly express concern for the road toll on one hand and introduce an impairment to driving on the other? Madness!||Stuart|
|Drugs cause more road accidents than alcohol which is regularly tested for so why shouldn’t drugs be treated in the same way. This government seems to be encouraging drug use for some perverted reason with increased mental health dollars to try and cope with the sure increase in mental health problems which will arise from increased drug use.||Sarah|
|The statistics are terrifying||Deborah|
|How else to try and get them off the road – we don’t know who is out there as potential dangers to us but any move to get rid of them out of our way is welcomed||Russell|
|Too many drugged up drivers on the road||Kevin|
|here we are pandering to the uninspired employing poisons all designed and legislated by the unwanted incompetents engaged by a few elected due to a coating of enamel||Roger|
|Even more necessary if recreational cannabis is legalised||Keith|
|Drugs should not be allowed at all||Richard|
|Should only stop people displaying erratic driving. Dislike being stopped while sober and minding my own business||Chris|
|Absolutely! Why is NZ lagging so far behind Australia in it’s legislation regarding this? People are dying on our roads because of drivers driving under the influence of drugs.||Jacky|
|Yes definitely, and this problem is only going to get worse if cannabis is legalised.||Kate|
|Muriel Newman’s excellent article deserves wider circulation beyond readers of this column||Deryk|
|What is laughingly referred to as a ‘government’ in this country is engaged, simultaneously, in trying to stop us smoking tobacco, and urging us to smoke marijuana. Total insanity!||TOBY|
|Should have been done years ago ! I will NOT vote to legalise pot until this is introduced at the very least ! Allowing medicinal pot is a different issue & I support this.||Andrew|
|I don’t support random roadside checks but I would like to see proper drug testing brought into the current alcohol testing process.||Darag|
|Of course makes sense.||Roger|
|Most certainly YES. Potheads are a menace to society on their feet let alone behind the wheel of an automobile.||Allen|
|Even if found guilty and a person’s licence is suspended (assuming they have one), that is no guarantee that they won’t simply drive again. These people are very short on responsibility.||Alan|
|we have enough idiots on the road now using cell phones think what it would be like with cannabis as well||John|
|I think it would need to be done in the highest risk areas.||Cyril|
|Same as alcohol already is.||Kirke|
|Can’t think of anything more sensible||Andrew|
|It’s a must||Graeme|
|Without a doubt, before more innocent people get killed.||Joe|
|Drug driving is only going to get worse – high penalties should follow!!!||Bruce|
|It must be done immediately. There is no reason why it cannot be implemented and penalties should be tough.||Frank|
|Yes – both on the road and in the work place! They want to reduce our alcohol consumption, ban smoking, yet legalize the consumption of a drug that involves both smoking and long term impairment! FFS Govt., and Greens.||Bruce C|
|Only when there is good reason, otherwise just another invasion of privacy by the State.||Owen|
|Drugs should not be available in NZ – if they were any good why has the Medical profession not used them?||DAVID|
|This is an absolute no brainer, but as usual our socialist government will hide any, if not all true information on the direct effects that it has on users. In my job , I see the end result of chronic drug use, where users now congregate in the suburbs when once they would have ended up in Lake Alice and been treated. Talk about turning back the clock..||Barry|
|Such testing should be done ONLY IF THERE IS CAUSE!||Isabel|
|Totally logical as drug use and road carnage increases. We must do everything we can to limit and control the use of drugs||Hylton|
|HM forces do not allow drugs of any sort because they cannot be trusted to do their jobs properly and who can trust a comrade to cover him when he is high and out of his skull, these men and women are the cream of our countries and it will never be allowed||Brianb|
|It is a must, both alcohol & drugs||Greg|
|yes they do need more road side testing for drugs to many people getting killed||Russell|
|Of course, anything to stop these drivers under the influence of drugs||Kerin|
|and sooner the better.||Mark|
|Test for 5 years before voting to legalize any drug. Isn’t the government trying to stop smoking?||George|
|I do not support more freedoms removed & steps to a Police State!||Terry|
|We have had random alcohol testing for years so why not have so called recreational drug testing. A good idea.||Elizabeth|
|This is one tested and sure way of reducing our road toll. This government is trying to minimise ( or, hide) the damaging effects of cannabis, etc, on health, welfare and road safety, to promote its own liberal (and scary) agenda – do we really know how far this will go, and what the effects on our country and society will be?||Laurence|
|Absolutely …..Driving with cannabis based drugs in your nervous /blood system is just a “licence” to kill. Any driver found with this should loose their right to drive for LIFE…!!!||CHowes|
|Will help to keep people honest with their own conscience.||Jo T N|
|We are well behind Australia in this. Our ‘Traffic Enforcement’ is very run down.. It is a National disgrace. We need more dedicated Traffic Units out on our roads.||Donald|
|legalised drug use can only increase the road toll and harm as it will add to the idiot factor we already have.||Rick|
|The “soft” approach to cannabis use will prove dangerous. Legalisation will further cripple our already failing social system. The Greens and the government are not our friends, in this, and neither is the MSM.||ND|
|Ban all Smoking of weed/ tobacco vaping/ any type of drugs, they are all harmful to our bodies||Ian|
|The facts show the harm caused. Get tough on recreational use. Controlled medical use ok||Doug|
|far too many dope-heads out there driving around||Erin|
|The level of regulatory stupidity and governmental hypocrisy tells me it i time to remove this group of incompetents from power. It is also time that Jacinda was challenged publicly as to her role in the thoughtless series of moves her government has made as they bend to the whims of labours partners.||Alastair|
|Why the hell don’t we have it. We should also have compulsory car insurance.||Willy|
|Implement any tests to determine if a persons ability to drive safely is impaired||Kelvin|
|I support the random roadside drug testing, because I have worked in work places with those who have smoked marijuana and the results were not good. All were a danger to themselves and those around them. Penalties should be a lot tougher for those caught using it in both the working and public environment.||Reg|
|Why not? If you’re clean you have nothing to fear but at least it keeps the drug crazies off our highways.||Tony|
|No to legalisation: drugs poison the individual and poison society.||Diane|
|The NZ Government are letting our roads become death traps, Under H&S Legislation can’t they we taken to court for providing an unsafe work environment?||Michael|
|Because it is the same as alcohol and they have got away with it for to long||Colin|
|70 % of road deaths where the driver was impaired was caused by drugs not alcohol!!!||Cutty|
|Given the statistics confirming the high rate of drugged persons being involved in fatal vehicle accidents there is no other choice than to introduce this testing.||Gavin|
|It is a no brainer||Allan|
|If necessary, indeed yes. But what will be the penalty? Automatic jail sentences or permanent loss of licence? Meaningless, otherwise.||Jim|
|Much hand wringing over road toll but we’re not doing everything possible to lower it. Really.||Graham|
|Alcohol does as much damage ad Drugs, Drugs at the hIgh end probably more so or the same as alcohol||Carl|
|This bill by the Green Party is one of the worst pieces of legislation ever introduced||Liz|
|We are getting closer and closer to becoming a Police State||Hone|
|Of course they should I bet their are lots of accidents caused by drugged drivers as so many people are using them||Peter|
|A very good idea. Maybe that could be the magic answer to seriously reducing road deaths. Random road tests (and then regular road tests) could manifestly reduce many road accidents – and road rage sometimes causing personal injury. A very good idea..||Stuart|
|Randomly assuming that people are guilty of something and have to prove themselves innocent is a perversion of justice. Why do people accept this invasion of their privacy and violation of human rights and liberty? This delusion that everyone else must be suspected of being a dangerous criminal has gone too far already.||Charlie|
|This will reduce road deaths far more than reducing the speed limit to 80 k will||John|
|Politicians cannot think past the next elections and have no idea of the consequences of their decisions. It’s more about other support||Trevor|
|It’s a no-brainer. Literally, if you happen to be stoned…||John|
|I brainer. It impairs driving so a must||Duncan|
|I don’t want to be killed by a dope head driver!||Mark|
|This is the 20th century what century is jacinda & her govt. living in?Its upto US to email the govt. 2 WAKE UP & LOOK after N.Zealanders,jacinda you talk about caring but you PLAINLY IGNORE that DRUG impaired drivers are killing people & drugs are NOT a health issue NO-ONE forces some-one to take drugs THEY CHOOSE to.WAKE UP.||Cindy|
|This government is so high on its own whaky-backy that it ceases to see the disastrous reality of its screwed up policies.||Robyn|
|Yes for sure, and for goodness sake forget about legalising marijuana. It’s plain nuts.||Raewyn|
|Sick and tired of being held up by current alcohol roadside testing||Anthony|
|Nil Drugs and alcohol should be taken by Vehicle Drivers The cost to the community is far too great!||Alan|
|Legal limit for alcohol and drugs should be ZERO same as for airline pilots.||JON|
|Absolutely – the random roadside testing for drugs should have been introduced years ago. Why were National so scared to do it – surely they weren’t afraid of getting offside with the pro-cannabis lobby. Their failure has cost hundreds of lives.||Phillip|
|If marijuana is going to become more freely available roadside testing is essential.||Christine|
|This government is mad to be even thinking about liberalising drugs. The changes they are making to the way Police deal with drugs is despicable. The gangs will be rubbing their hands with glee.||Don|
|What a shocking government this is.||James|
|The hypocrisy over the smoke free goal and all of the efforts they are making to reduce smoking to save people from cancer and the idea that they will be making something that is 20 times the cancer risk freely available, is unbelievable. How can they sleep straight at night when they are planning to do so much damage to the very fabric of NZ society.||Darren|