The new road safety proposals

January 7th, 2008 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

Just before Christmas, the Government announced some proposals for improving road safety.  There’s a lot of them, so worth going through in detail:

  •  to extend from six to twelve months the minimum time under 25 year olds spend on a learner licence – very sensible as allows for more supervision
  • breaches of Graduated Driver Licensing System conditions have penalty drop from $400 to $100 but demerit points increase from 25 to 35 points – excellent as few ever paid fines and demerits are a bigger disincentive
  • a second breach of learner or restricted licence conditions can result in a possible 28-day vehicle impoundment – great – if they won’t obey the law, get them off the road
  • all traffic offenders will be required to pass the appropriate driver licence theory test before their licence will be re-issued – about time, just automatically getting your licence back is too easy
  • a licence suspension for accumulating 100 or more demerit points will only reduce the total demerit points by 100 and will not remove all active demerit points on the licence – also good, as often someone could have 400 demerits and get them all wiped for just a three month suspension
  • penalties for speeding (caught by a cop) decrease in monetary value (now only $50 to $150) but demerits increase (25 to 75 points) – I support the general change but do think 50 demerits for doing 121 km/hr on a motorway is somewhat harsh.
  • radar detectors will be illegal and possession will cost $150 and 75 demerits – I don’t support this (and no I don’t have one). Merely owing a piece of equipment should not be illegal.  And this will just lead to such features being added to cellphones or blackberries, so they are undetectable.
  • failing to stop at give way sign, stop sign and red light will incur 25, 50 and 75 demerits.  A bit harsh at the upper ends but something I generally support – red light runners are a hazard.  I suspect with 75 demerits involved more people will litigate these in future.
  • Failing to wear a seatbelt will get 25 demerits and $50 fine.  The stupidest part of the proposals (which are generally good).  Taking away someone’s licence because they (for example) did not wear a seat belt as a passenger is daft.

Overall the strategy and direction seem sound.  However the exact thresholds and penalty levels may be somewhat too heavy handed and there is some risk of a backlash.  If hundreds of thousands of drivers end up getting suspended licenses because for example they got caught speeding once at 121 km/hr and then 18 months later were pinged for not having on a seatbelt in a quick taxi ride, well it could be as popular as a poll tax.

But overall it should help reduce the road toll, which is what we want.

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67 Responses to “The new road safety proposals”

  1. ghostwhowalks (377 comments) says:

    Making every new car have stability control will have much more effect on all accident injuries/ deaths than probably all these measures put together

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    <i>If hundreds of thousands of drivers end up getting suspended licenses because for example they got caught speeding once at 121 km/hr and then 18 months later were pinged for not having on a seatbelt in a quick taxi ride…</i>

    that’s 75 demerits, you’d need to do something else illegal as well to lose your licence on points.

    [DPF: Oh yes, make that 131 km/hr :-)]

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  3. Manolo (13,580 comments) says:

    The amount of new legislation is staggering.

    What’s next? Law, rules and regulations on how to cross the street safely? How to climb ladders? How to chop wood?

    Nanny State never sleeps!

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  4. Richard (97 comments) says:

    Agree with most of the general drift of the new direction, but the radar detector one is a classic flawed “ban stuff” approach. As you say it will just drive technology underground.

    Of course they will have a real issue banning laser jammers (since laser works on a frequency close to viable light, that is not regulated).

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  5. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    We did a fair bit of driving over the holiday period, as did a number of Kiwis. What shocked me was the number of asshats driving 120km/h+ on the motorways, overtaking and generally driving as if they were looking to die.

    One fool in a orange Ford with the racing stripes missed a head on collision by about 10m or 15m because he was so hell bent on overtaking a queue of traffic across a solid line.

    The reverse of that are the idjits who putter along at 70km/h and will do so for miles and miles and when the one passing lane appears they wake up and discover they could drive 100km/h.

    That is how I got my one and only speeding fine, when a young lad driving between country towns decided to accelerate to 110km/h every bloody passing lane and then dropped down to 80km/h once out of it. By the third one I decided to push and passed him doing ~120, right as a cop car crested the hill.

    However, I like these suggestions in general. And demerits for speeding, even when a person believes they know the road, it’s clear, etc. are still fair. You’re not taking your own life into your hands, but those of your passengers, of other motorists and so forth.

    Demerits hurt more than money. Unless they index the fines to income ;)

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  6. helmet (807 comments) says:

    You can drive safely at 120+ on the motorway, unless everyone else is going 100.

    Demerits instead of cash is a great PR move for the cops. Well done.

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  7. BeShakey (405 comments) says:

    Helmet – unfortunately the evidence doesn’t support that. You personally may be able to drive safely at 120, but it isn’t a good idea to base the speed limit on that (and incidentally most people insist that they are perfectly safe drivers and can break the law it’s just the other nuts on the raod that are the problem). It is particularly difficult in New Zealand where we have some quite old vehicles with less safety features increasing the likelihood of serious injury/death if hit at 120, and ‘worse’ roads (I used quotes because while some of it is infrastructure the fact that our roads are windier also plays a significant part).

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  8. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    more rules, more controls, yup excellent stuff, more attempts to criminalise all new zealanders.

    why don’t they just ban all cars capable of more than 100kmh, or just private ownership of cars while they are at it.

    of course nothing in here about NZs incredibly shoddy badly designed road network.

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  9. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    why don’t they just ban all cars capable of more than 100kmh, or just private ownership of cars while they are at it

    Or, how about those who wish to break the law accept the consequences of doing so? One day while you’re breezing around at 120km/h and feeling all happy and clappy the car you hit might be mine with my family in it. No thank you.

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  10. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    I support the seatbelt change as well, but would have all the demerits come from the driver rather than from the passenger. Not all passengers will have a licence but the driver definitely should. If they are driving a car with 4 people in it and none are wearing a seatbelt, BANG, licence gone.

    It is the drivers responsibility, ultimately, to ensure the car they are driving and everything about it conforms to the law.

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  11. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    “Helmet – unfortunately the evidence doesn’t support that.”

    A crash at 100kph is not going to be much better than a crash at 120kph. Humans are just squishy bags of goop, it doesnt take a large crash to spill the goop.

    You may be refering to studies which have shown that excess speed has been a factor in many accidents. But that doesnt mean it is never ok to travel at 120kph under any conditions.

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  12. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    enjoy your speeding tickets for criminally doing 56kmh or 110 on the open road then pascal.

    Better not have anyone mistake your satnav for an evil radar detector either.

    nice to see kiwblog readers have got all law abiding, shame that the people making all these nice new laws have so little integrity. I seem to recall one rather senior Minister being unable to tell she was travelling at 150kmh. Oh thats right it was the PM.

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  13. Nigel (512 comments) says:

    “all traffic offenders will be required to pass the appropriate driver licence theory test before their licence will be re-issued – about time, just automatically getting your licence back is too easy”

    “All” is a very broad term, does that include speeding tickets, seat belt offences, wof etc.

    P.S. Pascal I feel your pain on the speeding ticket, but I know of people who’ve had it worse, 80-120 speedup of the vehicle being passed, because the passer was in a Aston Martin & he got a ticket for 135, it seems so wrong.

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  14. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “more rules, more controls, yup excellent stuff, more attempts to criminalise all new zealanders.”

    That’s the most obvious angle and normally I would be loath not to question governments integrity concerning diminishing of personal rights, but I find myself forced to be balnced on this occasion.

    Simply put is the road problem design or driving?
    I would suggest driving, esp impatience.

    I will say Police initiative on the roads has been geared more to revenue than safety in their stratedgies, sometimes painstakingly obvious, but I believe these new rules WILL make people think.

    I have to say I’m amazed drink driving is still such a huge problem here and for that reason alone many have proven to be utterly irresponsible with theirs and others lives. Innocence and children are always the targeted.

    Car prices are zooming up shortly, though with the price of fuel as well, many will be marginalised off the roads. Only models from 2000 up will be sold from dealers from this year (I think). I am thinking these dynamics will see police far less busy with paper work, in theory anyway.

    If police are still as busy distibuting demerits and fines after all these conditions are set then yes Deity your original sentence will pan out as true as the mid day sun.

    As far as speed is concerned on open roads, all we need is statistics from Germany from the Autobahn where there is no limit and see how those numbers stack up. If speed kills, Germany could tell us with authority.

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  15. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Bit of a difference in quality between your average Autobahn and state highway 1 hinamanu.

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  16. Brad H (37 comments) says:

    “If speed kills, Germany could tell us with authority.”

    Not exactly, the autobahn design is a lot more safer then our roads. They literally moved mountains to build it. Also not all of the autobahn is speed limit free, and in addition to that you can still get done for dangerous driving, and high speed is often considered dangerous.

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  17. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    yes, Sonic,

    I should limit that comment to controlled stretches of Motorway as with the Autobahn.

    I do find it curious that Authorities never quote fatal statistics from Germany to give creedence to speeding deaths. If in fact there are any.

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  18. uk_kiwi (74 comments) says:

    The problm is our roads are dangerous goat tracks with limited means of safely overtaking, and the car ownership rate in NZ is almost the highest in the world thanks to jap imports.

    Combine these factors with a lack of driver training, macho boy racer culture and lack of alternative means of getting anywhere, and it’s no wonder the road toll is so high.

    Instead of building trophy highways, what about safety improvements. Passing lanes / dual carriageways where needed, barriers and realignments on black spots. The road toll could be lowered much further by engineering rather than unrealistic tough laws…

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  19. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    enjoy your speeding tickets for criminally doing 56kmh or 110 on the open road then pascal.

    No, I will not be enjoying them because I won’t be doing it again. Did it once. Got pinged. That didn’t change my behavior, but the realization that every time I did that I was taking responsibility for not only my life but that of my passengers and that of other motorists did.

    If you feel comfortable with the risk – that’s your choice. But what you’re doing is illegal and you deserve to have the book thrown at you in that case.

    If there are open sections of motorway, and I’m thinking of the Express Ways, that are deserving of the higher speed then perhaps they should look at increasing the speed limit there. But until such a time, the legal limit is 100km/h on most motorways. That is the speed that other, sensible motorists will be expecting others to travel at.

    Not everyone is a balls to the floor, hot footed lunatic. There are other drivers that share the roads with you.

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  20. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    failing to stop at give way sign, stop sign and red light will incur 25, 50 and 75 demerits
    Yes, I hate red light runners. But there is a huge difference in severity of an offence between:
    – starting to cross an intersection when the lights have already turned GREEN for opposing traffic, and
    – speeding up at an Orange light (which is technically an offence), and exiting the intersection before the light turns RED.

    I suggest that the offence needs to clearly delineated to avoid injustice.

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  21. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    There was a comment a while back that:

    “A crash at 100kph is not going to be much better than a crash at 120kph”

    The momentum bound up in a moving thing is in proportion to its velocity squared. This means a crash at 120km/h will probably involve 144% of the energy and violence of a crash at 100km/h. This is not a trivial difference!

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  22. Brian (Shadowfoot) (80 comments) says:

    Maybe some of these are to discourage people driving, just as bicycle helmets discouraged cyclists.

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  23. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Yeah, but fa Pete’s sake, has anyone done any analysis of the correlation between a nation’s road toll, particularly at holiday time, and how adequate its highways are? Does anyone in the NZ government even want to know? For example, it is an international standard that if a road carries over 5000 vehicles per day, that road should be 4-laned. NZ STILL has 2-lane sections of STATE HIGHWAY ONE, that carry 30,000 – THIRTY F****NG THOUSAND – vehicles per day. And all the bloody Napoleons running NZ keep doing is introducing ever more punitive fines for driving offences.

    A far more rigorous driver licensing regime would really, really help too. One of the reasons that Germany has a whole lot of people who rely entirely on public transport, and do not even own a car, is that their licensing standards are so high that a whole lot of people can’t even pass the tests. Anyone with slower reactions and co-ordination problems and just plain inconsiderate attitudes, just aren’t even out there on the road behind the steering wheel at all. But of course Germany now has major problems with dumbass drivers who’ve been licensed elsewhere in the EC.

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  24. Mike (158 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see how they go about enforcing the radar dector ban. A decent radar dector works fine from inside the glove box, are police going to start being able to search any boy racer car, commadore or xr8 on suspicion of having a dector?

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  25. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    “Maybe some of these are to discourage people driving, just as bicycle helmets discouraged cyclists.”

    Very valid point.

    Helmets should only be legal to a certain age.

    The roads are certainly being channeled.

    Perhaps in the future car ownership will not only be a status symbol , it will be a luxury.

    I’ll certainly shock a few ex drivers

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  26. helmet (807 comments) says:

    I sometimes drive a toyota corolla that’s a few years old now and 120 feels plenty fast enough in that. The handling deteriorates significantly above about 110.

    My work car is a commodore, and 120k’s feels the same as fifty k’s in the corolla.

    I can’t afford to pay big speeding tickets so I stick to the limit more or less, but as far as safety goes, 120k’s in the commodore is perfectly ok, given reasonable road and traffic conditions. I’m not overestimating my driving ability here, it’s a fact.

    What really pisses me off is people who tear through roadworks at 100ks flicking a shower of gravel all over my car and chipping my windscreen.

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  27. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    Someone would have to pay for all of these international-standard superhighways, and we all know where the right stands on increased taxation…

    My favourite bit of driving road in the country used to be SH5 from Taupo up to Rotorua and on to Tirau. Then “Progress” bypassed most of the nice twisty bits with a wide, straight-ish, BORING road that puts you half to sleep as you drone through the hills on autopilot (STILL stuck behind a milk/cattle/furniture truck, in spite of the marvellous new highway!)

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  28. freethinker (688 comments) says:

    Speed itself is not dangerous, speed in the wrong place at the wrong time is.A recent TV advertisement telling us to reduce our speed when conditions change is badly thought out, rains stops, sun shines, drive slower – adjust your speed to the conditions should be the message. If the ad’s producers did not see this perhaps they should be remployed doing something less dangerous to us all. The answer is better driving standards attitude and road design,perhaps we should look at the UK were 20 million cars have less accidents per 1000 miles than we do in NZ. Rules that are not accepted by the majority not only fail to work but drive a wedge between police and citizen that ineviteably spills into the citiziens attitude to police and law generally. It is interesting that in the UK the county with the least number of speed cameras had the least number of speed related deaths and that the Chief Constable responsible for speed issues got caught speeding which just proves that all humans make mistakes. If you harshly punish those mistakes you get intolerence of the kind we see expressed increasingly when politicians and police are not treated in the same way as joe public. That police have according to one survey I saw command 68% of the publics trust is perhaps evidence that police should be telling politicians what is workable instead of blindly accepting the rules and enforcing them.

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    Hinamanu has touched on drunk driving and I agree – the number of offenders, many of them repeat offenders, is staggering. But where are the harsher penalties for them?

    Because while it is sometimes okay to speed (I’ve got a ticket for going over the limit on the Wellington motorway/Hutt Road at 3am on a weekday – no cars and a whopping great wall of cement between me and oncoming traffic) it is never okay to drink and drive.

    And Hinamanu touches on another good point re cycle helmets. I’ll accept being told what to do to a reasonable extent in order to protect the safety of others on the road. But that doesn’t extend to telling me to wear a seatbelt or a cycle helmet. Those decisions affect only me (and maybe anyone who gives a damn about my welfare) and no one else. As such the state has no place forcing me to wear them.

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  30. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    I bought 2 uniden radar detectors at $1,000 each, not so much for the detection but because they have GPS built in (before navman etc came out)

    I will now be penalised for having gps! Also having a radar detector is not about allowing me to speed, but as many things trigger it off, including other motorists with a radar detectors it reminds you to check your speed, it actually stops me speeding by providing a reminder to check my speed hasn’t ‘crept’ up.

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  31. Max Call (212 comments) says:

    they should also ban lap belts.

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  32. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Rex,

    you sounding like a liberterian from this side.

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  33. uk_kiwi (74 comments) says:

    RRM said “Someone would have to pay for all of these international-standard superhighways, and we all know where the right stands on increased taxation…”

    It wouldn’t be that expensive to fix the blackspots and add a few hundred passing lanes/dual carriageways, but the cost of roadworks has skyrocketed with the skills shortage and the oil price. The Nats will probably sell the roads to the highest bidder, so expect TranzRail levels of maintenance in future…

    IMHO National lost a great opportunity last time they were in power- the rogernomics recession of the early 90s saw 12% unemployment- it could have been a good opportunity for big public works schemes to mop up the unemployed and get mega cheap road / rail expansion… But no, “the market will provide”, the unemployed were left to rot and as a result we have intergenerational social problems and crap infrastructure… Hopefully they won’t make the same mistake if the economy turns to custard again…

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  34. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    The momentum bound up in a moving thing is in proportion to its velocity squared.

    That’s kinetic energy – momentum is merely proportional.

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  35. Max Call (212 comments) says:

    Rex:
    If you are knocked off your bike and sustain a head injury the taxpayer will pay for your healthcare. Which was the reasoning behind the law, I think (preventing head injuries and the cost of them)

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  36. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    Hinamanu: On matters of law and order I most certainly do have a libertarian perspective. We should never be restricted more than is necessary to prevent us doing harm to another. And what constitutes “harm” under present law is often either over-dramatised or complete and utter nonsense. Alas I’m not anywhere near classically libertarian on other issues, so can’t simply run off and join Mr Perigo et al ;-)

    uk_kiwi: An excellent point, and one which I’d entirely forgotten. In the mid-1990s NZ First was proposing that the unemployed be deployed on infrastructure projects (particularly roads) rather than left to stagnate but once they got into coalition with National that, along with almost everything else, was traded for baubles. So it wasn’t only National who lost the opportunity, though as the majority partner they certainly carry most of the blame.

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  37. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    Max Call: And if I’m knocked off my bike onto the cross bar the taxpayer will also pay for my treatment. Must I also cycle in a codpiece? :-D

    Or as a more serious comparison, I’ll happily pay for my own cycle injuries on the day I’m not taxed to pay for someone else’s rugby injuries. Or broken leg from skiing. Or their rescue from the bush.

    We either have a no-fault system or we don’t. Or if we’re going to dabble with minimising risk then we must also legislate minumum standards of moutain climbing and tramping equipment, not to mention make rugby players pad up like those who play gridiron.

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  38. BeShakey (405 comments) says:

    Rex, as you point out we can have a no fault system and still try to minimise the number of accidents. The best way of doing this would be to start by requiring simple actions that require little, and don’t undermine the activity. There are some pretty simple differences between not wearing a seatbelt and the examples you cite. Your injury is because of neglience and simple laziness, few rugby injuries are (and in all likelihood rugby, as a whole, reduces the heatlh budget rather than increases it). Ditto skiing. Rescue from the bush is less obvious, but my understanding is that they didn’t want people to be discouraged from getting help when lost in the bush.

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  39. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    just bring in compulsory third party insurance and watch peoples’ attitudes change as they realise their infractions and modifications will affect their insurance premiums. They will have to anyway at some stage.

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  40. jaykay (3 comments) says:

    ‘We are insane on the subject of road crashes, and as a result of that insanity our whole approach is fundamentally wrong, and we are trying to solve the wrong problem. Our law and propaganda are not really based on the wish to stop crashes, but are solely concerned with revenge on the driver, without respect to whether he is guilty. It is thought that this is all we need do to stop crashes. But it is not, it can only cause more.’

    Not me, but a quote from J J Leeming. If you haven’t heard of him then do a google search.

    I am aware of a number of alleged speeding cases at the moment where the so called evidence is incorrect. The Police are actually relying on equipment that is frequently wrong. One guarantee is that there will be a lot more cases actually getting into court if you stand to lose a large proportion of your licence in one go.

    Punishing drivers for exceeding some arbitrary limit is pointless and irrelevant – I would much prefer that drivers drove to the conditions rather than some speed limit.

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  41. BeShakey (405 comments) says:

    “I am aware of a number of alleged speeding cases at the moment where the so called evidence is incorrect.”

    Of course that isn’t a reason to get rid of traffic laws, simply a reason to ensure the evidence gathered is of a higher quality.

    “Punishing drivers for exceeding some arbitrary limit is pointless and irrelevant – I would much prefer that drivers drove to the conditions rather than some speed limit.”

    Firstly, the limit isn’t really arbitrary. There aren’t any safety reasons why it is 100 rather than 101, but there are reasons it is 100 rather than 180.
    Secondly, while you might prefer drivers drove to the conditions, you have to face the fact it is unlikely to happen enough to be a workable way of doing things.

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  42. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    And since we know that some cars and drivers’ capabilities in particular conditions are vastly superior compared with another’s, why should the able person in the capable car be penalised for driving faster than the twit in the Trekka?

    In a given set of road conditions, there are some cars and drivers eminently capable of driving fast safely (faster than the NZ legal limits). There are other cars and drivers in the same conditions who struggle to drive safely, even at legal speeds.

    I think that prosecutions should focus more on the “unsafe driving” and less on the instantaneous speed.

    Otherwise, we will end up with COMPULSORY speed limit signs before and after sharp corners. Not WARNING signs.

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  43. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    The police have their favourite sections of roads to patrol, these sections are places where the average driver is likely to exceed the speed limit because they believe (correctly I think) that doing so is unlikely to result in an accident.

    Lots of crashes happen on sharp corners, why is it that the police don’t monitor such accident black spots? Instead it’s on the straights that they base themselves.

    Lots of crashes happen in bad weather, so why is it that there seem to be far less police on patrol on rainy days? Is it because police don’t like working in the rain, and people drive slower so there are less people to catch exceeding that arbitrary speed limit?

    IMO traffic policing has more to do with catching people and revenue gathering than road safety.

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  44. BeShakey (405 comments) says:

    Major – the problem with that is practical. If I’m driving at 180 I can simply say that I’m a good driver and it is a fine day. It’s obviously easier to prove after an accident that my behaviour was dangerous than before, but then its too late. I actually agree with you that some people in some places can drive faster than the limit and be safe. The problem is trying to make a workable law that results in safe roads.

    Andrew – while I disagree with you about revenue gathering being a primary goal of the police, the proposed changes reduce the size of the fines which would presumably reduce any incentive to police traffic simply to gather money.

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  45. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    There are between 40 and 65 Murders per year in New Zealand, according to the New Zealand Encyclopedia. Last year the number of deaths in road crashes was 422, according to police data. 422 is a lot more than 65, that is why you see a lot of police cars on the roads.

    The speed limit has to be *something*; I don’t believe increasing the speed limit would make the roads any safer, and having already been the victim of a serious crash that was another motorist’s fault, I for one would rather see the roads made safer than made less safe by a speed limit increase.

    Twice in my “career” I’ve had to get off the road in a hurry because a *vastly superior* (as MajorBloodnok would have it) driver in a high-spec Holden has come around a corner towards me, on my side of the road in a drift because he was going far too fast for a corner, and he needed both sides of the road to get it back under control.

    So there’s just no way that I’m going to accept “vastly superior” cars going at higher than normal speeds around me, I’m sorry!

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  46. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    People who drive without due care cause road deaths, no-one disputes that, the argument is that the police focus on enforcing an arbitrary speed limit irrespective of whether the drivers caught by their enforcing that limit are the ones likely to cause the accidents. As you point out RRM, it’s on the corners that drivers err by not driving to the conditions. A driver travelling at the speed limit won’t get done for speeding – but will certainly crash.

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  47. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    Maybe the Driving Instructors should be looked at. Once around the block, stop on orange, use indicators, don’t exceed 50km and you pass.
    Where is the instruction on using mirrors, forced skid and controlling the skid, using road code rules in an emergency when the traffic lights fail?
    What to do when a tyre blows at 99.9kph?
    Some Driving Instructors struggle to get out of their own driveways.

    Dare I mention cellphones? Automatic call log investigation after an accident.
    It is a license to drive, not to kill. The blame is on the driver who causes accidents, not the road condition, not the cellphone, not the navsat, not the window stuck, not the backseat driver yelling instructions, not the kids throwing tantrums.
    Yep I’m one of those over 50 drivers and I have a STI, something I have worked hard for. So don’t blame the fast cars. Blame inattention and not being responsible for your actions.
    BTW my license classes are 1,2,3,4,5.
    I don’t get fined, I don’t get demerits because I obey the rules.

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  48. helmet (807 comments) says:

    Steve bro, I’m sure it was real real tough getting that STI way back then, but man, things have changed a lot. These days you can get them pretty much whenever you please, student bars are probably the best places to start looking,
    If you got an STI in the car, well done, but it’s not really something to be proud of man, and I hope you make sure your partner knows and always always practice safe sex. Fast cars are a problem IMHO, they seem to attract the STI types real well, but you’re correct, you can’t blame the car, it’s the drivers responsibility in the end.

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  49. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    Helmet,
    STI is a Subaru with some goodies.
    2004 and goes like lightening if I want it to.
    Um still enjoy my Camry as well.
    Ohh it’s blue, Cyah Beep Beep!!!

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  50. thehawkreturns (162 comments) says:

    The changes are a complete smokescren – entirely ignoring the governments intention to continue to do nothing whatsoever in dealing with the recidivists
    who drive drunk and unlicensed without giving a f**k for you me or our families.
    These jerks turn up in court with dozen upon dozen of previous offences.
    Nothing will work except removing them from society for long periods – I would suggest 5 years in gaol.
    Labour won’t change anything relevant like this because drunk ignorant jerks and their families vote for them

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  51. princessp (1 comment) says:

    breaches of Graduated Driver Licensing System conditions have penalty drop from $400 to $100 but demerit points increase from 25 to 35 points – excellent as few ever paid fines and demerits are a bigger disincentive

    Demerit points are not a bigger discentive to younger drivers. The reduced fine will most definatley see an increase in restriceted drivers carrying passengers. most teenagers will disregard demerits , they do not have the same impact that a $400 fine has

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  52. freethinker (688 comments) says:

    GNZ Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Trotters incorrect referencing is pretty inexcusable – Surely Trotter thinks he is a proper journalist?

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  53. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    Hawk,
    Five years inside will not stop them. They get out, steal a car and go for it.
    The ignorant jerks are just plain stupid people who rely on welfare for life.
    Fuckwits breed fuckwits, and the whole world is being taken over by fuckwits.

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  54. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    Helmet that’s just what I was thinking… “a guy boasts he has an STI?!”… then I read Steve’s explanation that someone at Subaru – either someone stupendously ignorant or someone with a wicked sense of humour – has badged one of their cars with this fabulous monicker.

    I like to think it was some underpaid designer hoping that the boy racer type who usually buys a hotted up Subaru would walk up to girls in a bar and proudly announce “Hey, did I mention I have an STI?”, or better yet “Wanna come outside and I’ll show you my STI” :-D

    (No offence, Steve – I’m sure you’re neither a boy racer nor have the other sort of STI. I’m merely intrigued by Subaru’s seeming lack of nous).

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  55. freethinker (688 comments) says:

    Oooooppppppps!! Ignore above

    Lee said
    just bring in compulsory third party insurance and watch peoples’ attitudes change as they realise their infractions and modifications will affect their insurance premiums. They will have to anyway at some stage.

    I agree but bans havn’t stopped the banned driving and neither will compulsory insurance but it will probably improve a small percentage at the fringe which is a good thing. Certainty of being caught is the best deterrent and perhaps if police, following compulsory insurance put effort into checking vehicles for wof/rego which cannot be obtained without valid insurance would be a start.

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  56. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    BeShakey Says:

    There are some pretty simple differences between not wearing a seatbelt and the examples you cite.

    No there aren’t, because all those examples – including seatbelts – infringe on my right to make a judgement as to whether I put myself at risk and to what extent.

    In the case of seatbelts, I happen to believe that, on the balance of probability, they do more good than harm. So I’ll wear one – not because I have to but because I’ve made a rational decision to do so. Equally, I don’t believe cycle helmets do much good and in fact imbue the rider with a false sense of security. It’d be much more effective to stop people riding round with ipods plugged into their ears at a volume so loud they can’t hear the airhorn of the semitrailer that’s about to flatten them.

    Hence I’ve made a decision not to wear either mp3 player or helmet while cycling.

    I don’t need nanny state to weigh these dangers up for me, I’m capable of doing so myself.

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  57. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    The girls are also reponsible for peer pressure.
    “Hey, did I mention I have an STI?”, or better yet “Wanna come outside and I’ll show you my STI” “I’m hot as coz I have this real fast car”
    Enticed then fucken BANG

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  58. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    Rex,
    Correct!!
    don’t need nanny state to weigh these dangers up for me, I’m capable of doing so myself.

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  59. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    Hands up for those who are in the ‘stupid people brigade’ and hands up for those who are responsible for their own actions

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  60. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    It’d be much more effective to stop people riding round with ipods plugged into their ears at a volume so loud they can’t hear the airhorn of the semitrailer that’s about to flatten them.

    When cyclists pay road user charges as in registration they can have the same rights as all others who use roads.
    My levy pays for their inattention

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  61. BeShakey (405 comments) says:

    Rex – you stated I was wrong but never said why. Anyway, I don’t want to get into an argument about the rights and wrongs of liberarianism, it’s obviously a much bigger question than traffic laws. However, it’s clear that our society isn’t modelled on libertarianism. We pay taxes that are used to provide public hospitals for instance. If someone has a crash then my tax dollars are being used to provide their health care (even if they have private cover they are likely to end up in A&E). That is one reason cited for some relatively minor requirements around safety (eg seatbelts).

    Of course if something is required that doesn’t increase safety (you suggest bike helmets might be an example) then that shouldn’t be required. But the reason isn’t because it’s an intrusion, but because the requirement fails to achieve its objective.

    Steve – good argument. Of course you’ll be supportive of road users paying the full cost then. So road user charges will skyrocket, while cyclists get a subsidy.

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  62. cubit9f (356 comments) says:

    Whilst all of these new proposals may have some effect on road safety the programme of road reconstruction is abysmal.

    When will all of the money collected in road transport related taxes and charges actually be used to provide a safer more egfficient road network?

    My first proposal would be that any future reconstruction of any segment of SH1 (and perhaps a few other key SH) should be to a four lane median separated standard. Eventually thay would all be joined up.

    Also Toll, On Track (and any other related party) need to get on with making all rail crossings safer. Talk about a Health and Safety nightmare and seeming lack of responsibility. As an employer I don’t have the luxury of opting out of my responsibilities to ensure that H &S aspects of my business are covered.

    The other issue that needs to be addressed is that towns that create bottlnecks on SH 1 need to be bypassed. e.g. Otaki, Paraparaumu, Taupo, Tirau, (and many others).

    However the easy way is to simply keep using a big stick on all drivers and avoid the difficult issues.

    Also don’t lets hear green style wailing about using public transport. It ain’t going to work. The population base just cannot justify a widespread network to meet the needs of the bulk of the NZ population with their diverse range of transport needs.

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  63. OutboundChicken (3 comments) says:

    Steve – I cycle to work, no Ipod but I do wear a helmet. I subsidise YOUR road use as I own a car, pay my registration (road user charge) fees, take up less space on the road and result in less wear on the road. Anytime you want me to start using applying my full “rights” as a paying road user and cycling in the middle of the road you just holler out.

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  64. jaykay (3 comments) says:

    If there are going to be speed limits then they should be advisory.

    Think about it, why should someone doing a hundred on a busy motorway not be prosecuted, while someone else doing 111 on the same road at 3 in the morning is prosecuted. It’s madness. It would help if the Police actually used some discretion just like they used to in the UK.

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  65. cubit9f (356 comments) says:

    Just build some decent roads. I am struggling to identify a world class piece of high traffic density highway in this country.

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  66. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    My understanding is that road users already HEAVILY subsidise everybody else. What with petrol taxes, car registration, ACC levies etc. I think only between 50 and 60% of the total taxes on road users goes on roads.

    As it happens for our cycling friend above, i own 5 vehicles. I am forced to pay 5 ACC levies. I think I am entitled to a fair share of my road. I would also like the tax I pay for transport to be spent on roads. Proper roads that I can enjoy driving on, with 4 lanes and decent medians.

    Think about it NZ, we have already paid enough to build good roads. It is the Government (and its predecessors) who refuse to provide them, and then turn round and try and criminalise more drivers.

    There are another comment or two above that are well worth pondering.

    That is the number of recidivist drunk and disqualified drivers out there. Not to mention those scumbags driving without insurance.

    More demerit points isnt going to stop a habitual drink driver.

    But what these new changes do is ensure there will be many many more unlicensed drivers out there. 1 speeding ticket and owning a radar detector = walking. I don’t think so.

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  67. OutboundChicken (3 comments) says:

    Deity – I agree that it is stupid to charge one ACC levy (which is basically the entire annual registration fee) for each vehicle you own. But you’d hit difficulties in our “no-blame” society when every man and his dog in a family registered vehicles under the one name and then bitched to the media about being unfairly chased for fines they were not responsible for.

    I am not sure of the numbers but “road” tax does need to be spent on more than just the roads. To be “fair” it also needs to be spread over police, health and whatever fire departments come under at the least. So it is possible that you are not being as ripped off as you think.

    Getting back on topic, personally I think that rather than just removing licences they should have a graduated system where after the first time you exceed your demerits you are no longer allowed to drive a car but you are still allowed to drive any kind of motorcycle, blow your demerits again and say bye bye to the motorcycle and hello to a “nifty-50″, stuff the demerits again and THEN you lose your right to be on the road in a car, bicycle is ok though. Basically continue to let ‘bad’ drivers get around but place them in vehicles that are greatest risk. Heck, they might even learn how to drive properly so when (if) they earn thier full licence back they are not as much of a hazard to everyone else.

    I also think that making people clock up a certain number of hours on a small motorbike before graduating to a car would give people more respect for being allowed to drive a car.

    I think some of the problem is that people see driving a car as being a right not a privledge.

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