The carnage on New Zealand’s roads is continuing, with 326 fatalities last year – seven more than in 2015, and 30 more than in 2014. While the government has attributed the increase in road deaths to the fact that there are more cars on the roads and motorists are travelling greater distances, they have nevertheless earmarked $600 million for improving unsafe roads, especially around the country’s black spots.
Of the fatal accidents last year, the Ministry of Transport found 39 percent of the drivers and 42 percent of the passengers who were killed were not wearing seatbelts. That’s astonishing given the effort that’s gone into educating the public about the safety benefits of wearing seatbelts – namely that they reduce the chance of death or serious injury in a crash by 40 to 50 percent, regardless of whether someone is sitting in the front or the back seat of the car.
As far as the causes of the accidents are concerned, while one in four of the drivers were going too fast for the conditions, drugs and alcohol were factors in 40 percent of the crashes.
Unfortunately, while most motorists are aware of the risks of drinking and driving, many appear to be unaware of the dangers associated with driving under the influence of drugs. In fact a survey of the effects of drugs on driver behaviour undertaken by the New Zealand Drug Foundation in 2009, found that two thirds of cannabis users, nearly half of methamphetamine users, and a quarter of ecstasy users reported driving under the influence.
Environmental Science and Research, a Crown Research Institute that specialises in forensic toxicology, analyses blood samples from drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs for the Police. In 2010 they carried out a study on 1,046 drivers who had died in crashes over the previous five years, finding that 1 in 3 had drugs in their system – mainly cannabis. Their analysis showed that three quarters of the cannabis drivers who died caused the crash that killed them – and when alcohol and cannabis were mixed together nine out of ten dead drivers were responsible for the crash that killed them. A further study, in 2011, of sober drivers who had been hospitalised after accidents, found 29 percent had potentially impairing drugs in their system.
While cannabis users clearly pose a very serious risk on our roads, the drug testing of drivers is rare.
Driver drug testing became legal in 2009, through the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act, which made it an offence to drive while impaired by drugs – whether they are legal drugs, illegal ones, or prescription medicines. Under the Act, the Police have the power to carry out a compulsory impairment test on any driver they suspect of driving under the influence of drugs.
This involves checking the eyes of the driver to see whether their pupils are dilated, asking them to walk along a line, do a turn, and stand on one leg. If the test indicates that a driver is impaired, then a blood test will be required to determine whether controlled drugs or prescription medicines are present in their system.
The penalties for drug-impaired driving are aligned with those for drink-driving and can involve fines, disqualification from driving, or imprisonment.
In reality, because the impairment test requires a trained officer to carry it out, the number of apprehensions for drug driving offences is relatively low. From 2009, when driver drug testing was introduced, to 2015, the number of drug related offences was only 1,683 compared with 195,829 alcohol offences.
Many other countries have taken a much tougher approach to driving under the influence of drugs by using roadside drug testing devices. While the New Zealand Transport Agency looked into the use of these in 2012, they advised against them because they considered they weren’t reliable enough.
Some parts of Australia introduced roadside drug testing more than a decade ago, and in some states they are now catching more people for drugged driving than for drunk-driving.
The United Kingdom introduced roadside drug testing in 2015, with an objective of making drug-driving as socially unacceptable as drink-driving, and they believe their new regime is saving lives.
Under the new law, tolerance limits are set at very low levels: for the eight illegal drugs specified (including cannabis, cocaine, and ‘ecstasy’), the limit is essentially ‘zero tolerance’, and for the eight prescription drugs that are also identified (including those that are commonly used for dealing with conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, severe pain and epilepsy), the limits are set above normal prescribed doses.
The roadside testing device allows officers to use a swab from inside the driver’s mouth to test for the presence of drugs. While these tests will indicate if a driver has taken cannabis or cocaine, they need to be sent to a laboratory to test for the other substances on the banned list.
Motorists convicted of drug-driving under the new law can be prohibited from driving for at least a year, sentenced to a maximum of 12 months in prison, and fined up to £5,000. The penalty for causing death is up to 14 years in jail.
Crucially, under the new law, police no longer have to prove that motorists are unfit to drive to secure a conviction – they just have to be found with drug levels above the tolerance limits.
The policy in France is zero tolerance towards any trace of illegal narcotics. Police also use roadside saliva drug testing and will routinely test drivers for drugs following accidents or any form of road safety infringement. The penalties for any drivers found to have any trace of illegal drugs in their system are severe, and include jail time and hefty fines.
In Germany a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of drugs was introduced in 1998. In the ten years to 2008, 35,000 arrests had been made for drug driving.
In Holland there are specific limits for single drugs, with zero tolerance for the combined use of different drugs, or of alcohol and drugs, since the mixing of drugs or of using alcohol and drugs together, is known to strongly increase the risk of serious or fatal road injuries. Roadside testing is also used.
According to the makers of some of the roadside drug testing machines that are on the market, these devices are being used or evaluated by the police forces of an increasing number of countries around the world including Australia, United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Romania, and Croatia.
While New Zealand prides itself on being at the leading edge of technological advancements, in this area, we are lagging woefully behind.
This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Mike Noon, the Automobile Association’s General Manager of Motoring Affairs, believes this situation is unacceptable:
“No one would be happy to know that the driver heading towards them on the road was drunk. That’s why we use a lot of Police time and taxpayer’s money to try and keep drunk drivers off our roads. But what about if the driver heading towards you was stoned instead?
“The reality is that right now there is very little stopping someone from using drugs and then getting behind the wheel and the Automobile Association thinks that needs to change.
“Since 2011 the AA has been calling for the introduction of roadside drug testing using saliva-based devices and six years on we still are.”
While the Government might argue that $2 million or so is being spent annually by the New Zealand Transport Agency on social media and public service television advertisements in order to change attitudes towards the use of drugs while driving, there is no doubt at all that the roadside testing called for by the AA would be far more effective. By increasing the likelihood of being caught, roadside drug testing would provide a far greater deterrent to drugged driving than presently exists.
Late last year newspapers reported that the Government may be considering a new testing regime to catch drug-impaired drivers. According to the former Associate Minister of Transport, Craig Foss, a proposal was being taken to the Cabinet outlining the findings of a new Transport Agency study.
While testing technology has significantly improved since 2012, when roadside testing was last considered by the Government, it is understood that the saliva tests they are now considering will take up to five minutes – much longer than alcohol breathalysers. As a result, Police are only likely to use the tests if they suspect that a driver is under the influence of drugs.
As well as many cannabis users appearing to be oblivious to the danger of driving under the influence of the drug – especially when used in combination with other drugs or alcohol – many also appear to be unaware of the very serious health risks.
In 2014, the Director of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Professor Richard Beasley, a physician at the Capital and Coast District Health Board and a Professor at the Universities of Otago, Canterbury, and Southampton, wrote an article for the NZCPR pointing out that the research shows that smoking cannabis is far more harmful to human health than smoking tobacco cigarettes. In terms of cancer risk, he explained that smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes, and in terms of the risk of lung disease, smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking up to 5 cigarettes.
In addition, Professor Wayne Hall, a leading expert in addiction at King’s College in London and an adviser to the World Health Organisation has found that one in six teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis become dependent on it – as do one in ten regular adult users; that cannabis doubles the risk of psychosis and schizophrenia; that it frequently becomes a gateway to hard drug use; and that driving after smoking cannabis doubles the risk of a car crash – with the risk heightened even further if the driver has also drunk alcohol.
The reason for this has been well documented. Tests on the effects of drug use on driver behaviour show, that for cannabis users in particular, the detrimental effects on highly automatic driving functions are far more pronounced, than on complex tasks that require conscious control. The reason, it appears, is that many cannabis smokers try to compensate for their impairment by using a variety of behavioural strategies – such as driving more slowly, passing less often, or leaving more distance between themselves and the cars in front. This is the opposite pattern from that seen with alcohol impairment, where automatic responses are less affected than more complex driving tasks.
However, when cannabis is combined with alcohol, the result is the worst of all outcomes, since the alcohol prevents drivers from coping with the more complex tasks, while cannabis prevents them from dealing effectively with the more automatic functions. In addition, the two taken together, may lead to a lack of attention regarding the use of seatbelts.
There is a further problem in that the combination of drugs and alcohol can create extremely serious impairment at quite low drug and alcohol levels, that on their own may be relatively insignificant. As a result, such seriously impaired drivers are unlikely to be detected by Police – unless a zero tolerance limit is set for drugs.
Cannabis is clearly a very dangerous drug, especially when used by motorists. The sooner our Government catches up with what most other western countries are doing, and introduces roadside drug testing devices, the better. When they do road safety will improve and deaths on our roads will be reduced. Those who have a “it will never happen to me” attitude, need a very sharp reminder, that yes, it can happen to them, and that their recklessness can kill others.
THIS WEEK’S POLL ASKS:
Do you support the introduction of roadside drug testing devices in New Zealand?
*Poll comments are posted below.
*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.
THIS WEEK’S POLL COMMENTS
|Why drug testing hasn’t been introduced by now is completely beyond me. This current government really needs to wake up and start acting in the best interests of the public.||Martin|
|Get on with it!!||Jim|
|Drugs are a scourge on our society and a danger. The quicker the better from a 37 year front line police officer.||Dene|
|Yes and about time.||James|
|It is a major anomally that police do not routinely test drivers for drugs. I am cautious of over regulation and understand that lowering the blood alcohol ratio has not lowered related road accidents but rather trapped low level offenders at the expense of high level abusers of alcohol.||John|
|All drugs should be treated just the same as alcohol when it has to do with driving a vehicle on NZ roads.||Wayne|
|This method will keep us safe! But the real issue is inadequate border control and immigration management. To repeat a customs whistle blowers comment, “The biggest drug trafficking problem is P ingredient belts being brought through the borders by chinese females. That is why our young and vulnerable are being targeted – because the shit is available!!!”||Frederick|
|The police should give priority to combating serious crime, rather than playing at being policemen with breathalyzers, etc. It is not worth catching drink/drug drivers when the penalties are so pathetically weak. Confiscate cars, remove driving licences for life if these offences are regarded as worth pursuing!||Tony|
|Thisis a no brainer and should be introduced immediately. We must however regard all gloom and doom prognostications about cannabis with great suspiscion. Every cell in your body has cannabis receptors. Big pharma has vested interests in continuosly releasing information that is anti cannabis as the weed is a serious competitor to their nasty toxic drugs and the weed often works better without the toxic side effects. A better indication of the real truth in this matter is to examine the statistics from Portugal where all drugs where made legal a few years ago. This has bought about a consistent decline in drug induced problems. The same pattern is emerging in the USA where more and more states are leagalising the personal use of cannabis and drug harms are reducing. These are the real results we should be looking at and not listening to shills for the big drug companies.||Ronmac|
|Drugs are drugs,whether it be alcohol or whatever.||Ross|
|If You are stupid enough to take drugs then you are in the same class as those who drink and drive. They must be tested before they kill some innocent person.||Colin|
|The sooner drug testing is introduced the better.||John|
|It’s a no brainer.||John|
|Once again why are our leaders dragging the chain.||Fraser|
|The police state is bad enough as it is…||Anon|
|Obviously more drug testing is needed. It is common knowledge that if you want to create an idiot – then simply put a Kiwi in a car – bingo you have one. Forget about fines and imprisonment – confiscate the car, and if the car belongs to someone else, just imagine how annoyed they are going to be, letting a druggie use their car.||Gary|
|Drugs are worse than alcohol if they are not being tested for driving under the influence.||Murray|
|They have got it in Aussie, first time NZ behind the Aussies in this sort of thing.||John|
|Drug testing on drivers should be mandatory, it is much better than losing innocent lives.||Anon|
|Now more than ever with calls to relax marijuana use & penalties we need to protect the innocent & keep drugged drivers off the roads.||Rick|
|There seems to be little difference to being impaired by alcohol or by other drugs. With the drive for liberalisation of cannabis there needs to be as much effort expended on the detection of persons driving under the influence of the various classes of drugs as there is on alcohol.||Michael|
|Yes, but are the penalties severe enough to deter further accidents? The simple answer to this is NO they are not. Our liberal society continues down the pathway of attempting very unsuccessfully, of trying to convince itself that punishments are evil and that they must be avoided at all costs. (That also means the cost of imprisonment, which has become a major factor in this equation). There is little point in court cases if they hand down sentences which include a conviction for drunk or drug driving, if this is mitigated due to the employment of the person concerned, or indeed any other factors cultural or otherwise! The present suppression of names which alleviates any shame upon the family of the convicted; in effect, diminishes the effect of Naming and Shaming; not only of the offence, but more importantly of the person convicted. The continual media propaganda with which we are assailed with daily, that such and such a road is dangerous is complete rubbish. There are no dangerous roads in New Zealand, only dangerous drivers.||Brian|
|As you say, a lot of people who have been taking either drugs or alcohol take more care when driving, that was always the case. I still think the punishments for careless driving should be more in line with the punishments for dangerous driving. I would be interested to see what if any relationships show up when looking at drivers causing serious accidents and there prior convictions for driving offences.||Jim|
|A ticket is issued if one drives at 5 kph above the speed limit but we continue to allow drug affected drivers on our roads, this is crazy.||Ray|
|Testing for drugs will also raise the awareness of the prevalence of drug abuse in our society. Because of the strict attention to alcohol; drivers are focusing on recreational drugs. This gives them an inflated feeling of safety in driving.||Peter|
|As a minimum, testing should be at least as vigorous as for alcohol impaired drivers.||Keith|
|It’s ABOUT time we woke up & joined the rest of the world in action.||Cindy|
|Need to ensure cannabis testing is valid. Detection of cannabis isn’t proof that a driver is intoxicated.||Ian|
|Most definitely – you don’t know what could be bearing down on you when you are driving to your destination. At least it would help.||Bruce|
|Too many people are killed on our roads. If drunk and drugged can be removed that would be a Godsend.||Elizabeth|
|With higher penalties than noted in your article.||Maurice|
|Well over due for introduction.||Jeff|
|The statistics shout out the need to get drug testing in place and in place smartly. Now the other question is how to lessen the incidence of drink driving. Well, consider this one. If a legally drunk driver has an accident he/she loses their car insurance. Well how about they lose their accident insurance as well for treatment of injuries received by them or others. If such a driver was to receive a bill from the hospital for the cost of their treatment and that of others injured they would think twice especially when hospitalisation is close to $1000 a day for an overnight stay. Let’s get the penalties into perspective. So much of the penal system is completely out of whack in relation to penalty versus crime.||Kevin|
|Yes, the Ausi. police roadside test successfully, for drugs as we see in their TV programmes so our police should also. Now that the lower drink levels have effectively made most of us think twice about whether we have even one drink before driving the only other law to change is the stupid 4kph lattitude allowed before a speeding ticket is issued at holiday times which means that most of us have to spend more time looking at the speedometer than we do looking at the road and traffic around us. It encourages many of us to travel well below the open road limit, thus causing irritation to other road users who seem happy to pay for their tickets.||Chris|
|Why are we so slow to act on this issue, when it is clearly the cause of so many road deaths? And why does it need to be a sworn Police officer to carry out the tests? – They don’t need to be that catching drugs at our borders, why on our roads? Especially trained civies could do the job, once the Police have taken the swab, surely!||Ted|
|Driving under the influence of drugs is just the same as drunk driving I cannot understand why it has not been done already unless it is the cost.||Digby|
|Statistics show that many are killed by drugged drivers- the innocent included.||Ross|
|Of course there should be drug testing of drivers. No question.||Mike|
|If the AA wants to be taken seriously, do not use that horrible name beginning with ‘A’ for New Zealand.||Monica|
|Some people will never learn.||Theodorus|
|Why should the rest of the non-user tax payers have to pay for the hospitalisation and care of these people later in their lives?||Rod|
|I have never knowingly used drugs (other than tobacco and alcohol).||Geoffrey|
|Any driver caught drunk or drugged should face imprisonment for a substantial period should any person, knowingly travelling in any vehicle in which the driver is under the influence should also face a period of imprisonment. That would help get road death numbers down.||Bill|
|I also believe there should be zero tolerance setting.||Dennis|
|Of course I support roadside testing for drug as well as alcohol use by drivers. I cannot imagine anyone being crazy enough to not do this, unless they were already heavily doped or drunk.||Rob|
|You Bet, together with 0 Tolerance on drugs and alcohol.||Athol|
|Overdue. Action needed.||Hugh|
|I do not want to share the road junkies or drunks. Deal to them firmly and without fanfare and pussyfooting around their “human rights”. Time to reintroduce the concept of personal responsibility to the thousands or moronic public pests that infest our communities..||Dianna|
|Why is the the Government so averse to this when it is in common use in so many countries. Is there some lobby group holding them back?||William|
|The sooner they bring this in the better off we’ll all be. I was blown away by the figures you released…||Catherine|
|How about we put our resources into something that would actually get some results like stamping out P.||Mel|
|There also needs to be harsh penalties to act as a deterant.||Mark|
|Because it is worse than alcohol.||Helen|
|But only if they increase penalties for driving offences. Otherwise there isn’t any point. We have introduced far too many laws that aren’t monitored and have weak penalties.||Michael|
|An investigation into the measuring accuracy of all roadside detectors AND gas chromatography would prove interesting.||Anthony|
|Yes any trace of drugs or alcohol min of six months jail and 20 strokes of whip. and prevent the driver to never again.||Robert|
|A very important move to have this happen. There are lots of accidents – proven – that are not alcohol related , but ? drugs the cause.||Elayne|
|No more needs to be said.||Rog|
|But only if there is probable cause/reasonable grounds for believing drug use has occurred (same should apply to drink driving). The forced random stopping and testing of innocent people going about their lawful business is the behaviour of a tyrannical police state, conditioning its citizens to unquestioningly accept the theft of the freedoms that their forefathers fought and died for.||ROBERT|
|Yes, about time!!||Ian|
|Absolutely. Any impairment to total contr0ol, judgement, and awareness whilst driving a motor vehicle, is a major threat to MY safety, my family’s safety, and also a multitude of other New Zealanders who have a right to use the roads in this country, without threat from substance abusers.||MervB|
|Of course – alcohol and drugs – no difference – test for both.||Hylton|
|Great idea, so long as they really work.||Sheila|
|It must be remembered, however, that our current road toll is excellent compared with historical values. For example in 1987 there were 795 road deaths, 23.8 deaths per 100000 of population with 2.03 million cars compared with 2015 which had 6.9 deaths per 100000 from 3.5 million cars. Perhaps drivers should be congratulated and encouraged, not beaten over the head with even more reasons to be delayed by anything like random testing. Random testing for alcohol caused gridlock at Mt Maunganui just before Christmas when a cruise ship was in port. So authorities need to be aware of the consequences of their choices, as, of course, do drivers.||Alan|
|Should have been introduced long ago.||Jim|
|Only if it includes medicinal testing. The police dont publish the causes of road deaths and to blatarget drunk drivers is simplistic. Probable suicides, or senility etc are only some causes.||Rex|
|Sounds like a good idea, but what they don’t tell you is that this is not being suggested from a road safety viewpoint, but is actually an attack on civil liberties. The police charge would be driving with an illicit substance in your system, even though you may not actually be impaired by any substance at the time of the test. For example cannabis can stay in someone%u2019s system for six weeks, even though they had never been intoxicated by it, but without their knowledge they had randomly been around someone who had smoked it (eg at a party). If the AA are serious about road safety, it would be far more accurate to impose a roadside sobriety test instead, as there is currently no known test which accurately measures drug impairment. We need to be careful here. This issue is secretly being pushed by lobbyists for the brewing industry, who are tired of being painted as the bad guys and whose product, as we all know, causes far more medical and social harm than all illegal drugs put together. The AA must know that alcohol is the real problem, so it seems rather suspicious that their spokesman is so interested %u2013 surely it couldn’t be that the breweries are somehow making it worth their while?||D|
|Where would you find a Politician with enough Guts or a Nano of Brains too introduce this policy?????||William|
|We need zero tolerance for driving under influence of drugs.||Alan|
|Yes and the penalty for offenders should be loss of licence and a jail term.||Peter|
|Driving while drugged or drunk puts the innocent at risk and in a lot of casses the innocent are the victims so breing it on.||Ken|
|Vastly overdue. I am a retired publican and drugs and alcohol mixed are behaviourally explosive.||Edgar|
|Yes, roadside testing devices for drugs would be a sensible idea. Clearly they will target their areas so they are more likely to find offenders.||Alan|
|It’s a no brainer.||David|
|This is the same as alcohol if not worse. Typical of NZ politicians, as far back as I can remember they are,always behind the rest of the world. What could be more obvious when the increase of drug abuse is becoming epidemic, it follows that abusers will be on the roads, and adding to the carnage.We are inflicted with inept politicians who need to be told what is going on and to do something about it, they cannot be relied on to recognise reality when it is staring them in the face.||David|
|No questions necessary, only; why does it not exist already, and who pays for it.||Menno|
|Better to spend money on preventing drugged driving than trying to catch motorists who exceed the speed limit by a modest amount. These people are often the less responsible people in our society anyway so advertising is often more likely to just go over their heads. Random stopping/testing and if serious the taking of their vehicle would surely have more effect than any amount of advertising.||Peter|
|Of course they want to stop smoking but wa canabis which people smoke which does more damage , this is well over duenting to allow.||Joan|
|Bugger off, we are exposed to enough Govt regulations now. My stance is simply being stopped by police and having to prove one has not been either drunk or drugged out of ones mind pisses me off no end. I have never been within a metre of a whacky backy joint and the only other chemical drug I have been given was pethedine for pain relief after suffering 2nd degree burns. The only way we will stop drugs being involved in car crashes is to follow the president of the Phillipines example and that is to shoot them. Just a tad on the side of extreme I do admit, but the world has shaown us no amopunt of police resources works trying to stop the use of this electric puha, Oh nearly forgot, apparently the plant being sprayed just before harvesting with paraquat seems to have an effect.||Sam|
|Why not as they test for booze I think its only fair.||Peter|
|Long overdue!! Just do it.||Tony|
|Any way to stop the killing of innocent people.||Jim|
|Driving when incapacitated for any reason is irresponsible. Few people will argue with that when incapacitated means unable to stand up. But the “line in the sand” is difficult to define for drugs other than ethanol. (Even more so than with combinations. ) There is nothing like “two beers” that is a practical standard,. In the US I wish our problem drug was marijuana – prescription opiates are far more lethal and damaging familes.||Dene|
|Definitely yes, it’s a must as it affects all users of the roads and more particularly the innocent drivers who have the right to be protected from drivers who either take drugs or alcohol drinks…it should be done now.||Audrey|
|We absolutely support Drug testing of Drivers provided the test is conducted after establishing reasonable cause. What we dont want and dont support is random drug testing, involving long lines of innocent citizens inconvenienced, which not only is an infringement on the freedoms of the vast majority of non drug users, but is all too easily bastardized by over zealous squads looking to complete quotas and collect infringement fines. Justice is defined as; “Innocent until proven guilty”, in light of the fact that bureaucrats cannot be trusted, freedom might be better served by not generating opportunities for administrative abuse.||Richard|
|If it has the same effect as alcohol, why not.||Eric|
|Should have been the law years ago.||John|
|Accuracy is the issue. Smoking cannabis on Saturday does not impaire on Monday. But the test will be positive.||Andrew|
|It has to happen drugs and driving are a danger to everyone. We need roadside testing, it has been shown that advertising alone doesn’t work.||Graeme|
|They need to be off the road.||Ray|
|The legislation is there make the police use it.||Arthur|
|Definitely time it was introduced. Should have been done years ago.||Chris|
|I want to feel safe on the road!||Mark|
|Sooner than later.||John|
|The sooner the Better.||Ross|
|It is hard to believe that the govt has not already started drug testing as suggested.||Richard|
|It is done here in Australia and more are caught under the influence of drugs than alcohol. No one should be driving under influence of any drugs or alcohol.||Chris|
|Most certainly. Testing will at least some idiots of the road and save lives.||Johan|
|It should have been introduced years ago.||Steve|
|Who’s this trying to score political points from? Stick to the issues that matter.||Brent|
|I have personally seen the dreadful effects of drug taking over a period of two years in a foreign country. Yes, roadside drug testing should be carried out regularly in New Zealand. ASAP.||Nigel|
|Yes get that drug testing operating, and use it at random stops. So why would we legalize cannabis like the stupid greens want to do. Look at the problems it is causing in the US and Holland that they didn’t think would happen. Problem was they didn’t think, and didn’t listen to sound advise.||Neil|
|Of course, anything to make the roads safer.||Kerin|
|The sooner the better.||Tom|
|The sooner the better!||Mabel|
|The Feminist ‘challenge and conquer men’ mentality is now ingrained into a whole generation, thanks to the feminizing of our Primary schools; and the Marxist taint of our Universities outside the real Degree courses of the Stem subjects.||Bob|
|There is little difference to the effects on drivers between alcohol and other drugs in relation to driving ability. Driving under the influence of either could be fatal, not only for the driver but to others on the road.||Graeme|
|I believe it is more serious than drinking and driving.||Les|
|Speaks for itself!||Mel|
|There is nothing wrong with our roads, accidents are caused by bad driving. I have been driving on them for 72 years.||Monty|
|A well presented and punchy statement deserving full support.||Victor|
|Most definately. Then bring in the appropriate penalties.||Graeme|
|No brainer really, my family all us the roads as well as yours.||Peter|
|Drugged drivers need to be hit hard. After all their use is illegal.||Willy|
|Yes, zero tolerance.||Ron|
|But note that medicinal cannabis does not contain THC, the psychoactive substance of importance.||Rochelle|
|Good enough for alcohol, good enough for drugs!||Graeme|
|The police need to stop the revenue gathering and concentrate on road safety . Driver Training. Ticketing drivers doing 70-90klm holding up streams of traffic. Drivers are constantly looking at their speed instead of the road causing inattention.||Greg|
|Couldn’t have explained it better than you have in the article. As an older member of society I despair at the divisiveness discussed. Totally out of control.||Di|
|Worse in many ways than alcohol “impaired” drivers.||Andrew|
|The Police are not fulfilling their contract with Transit N.Z.- No wonder they held back $26 million in funding.. We need more Traffic Dedicated Police officers- not as the Police are doing right now REDUCING Traffic Unit staff…||Donald|
|You do know that this crack-down on druggies will just be viewed as another example of maori-bashing and neo-colonialism!||Rodney|
|Very good idea. Druggies are costing NZ society (vehicles & bodies) heaps through aggressive driving. All in favour.||Stuart|
|It’s done with very little extra effort in Aussie.||Geoff|
|Go for the real culprit. Lack of attention caused by the use of eg Cellphones and other attention grabbing actions.||Roger|
|And the sooner the better. It should have been done long ago. I would say people under the influence of drugs are as dangerous or more so than those under the influence of alcohol.||Helen|
|But remember, drugs are another tool, along with P C in the dumb down process required by the socialist brigade. Still don’t believe National sits smugly in that camp?..||A.G.R.|
|A no-brainer. This needs to be done.||Gifford|
|Perfectly obvious why it should be done, as it would tend to be an improving measure. Surely the only complaining ones would be those who have a want to use drugs without consequence in penalties.||Leo|
|….should have been operational Decades ago…!!!!||Chris|
|There are too many on ojur roads who should not be.||Liz|
|Bring it on! It is ridiculous that people can smoke dope and drive without any repercussions.||James|
|I fully support the AA’s campaign to test for drug driving. They are a voice of common sense.||Claire|
|The Government has really dropped the ball on this one – are they afraid of the cannabis lobby???||Graeme|
|Yes, roadside testing devices for drugs would be a sensible idea. Clearly they will target their areas so they are more likely to find offenders.||John|
|Totally agree with roadside testing for drugged drivers. They are a menace on our roads.||Brian|