Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has backed a coroner’s call to make prisoners serve their driving bans after they are freed, not while they are still in jail.
Coroner Garry Evans’ recommendation is contained in his report into the death of a young woman in a car crash caused by a paroled criminal who was on a witness protection programme at the time.
Debbie Ashton, 20, died when repeat driving offender Jonathan Barclay, a former P addict, smashed into her car while speeding and drunk, near Nelson in December 2006.
Barclay has twice served out driving bans while in prison for more serious offending. Both times he has gone on to crash into other people.
Seems like a no brainer to me.
In a statement last night, Mr Brownlee said he had asked officials from the justice and transport ministries to look into the recommendation. Any change would require an amendment to legislation, which meant it would have to be put before Parliament.
Will the Greens oppose it as they could argue it punishes the criminal twice?