As her family steels themselves for the upcoming first anniversary of a horror road crash which took the lives of three of their own, Shelley Porteous has become increasingly frustrated by the silence she has faced from Government.
She has spent hours of her time investigating and advocating for the urgent introduction of random roadside drug testing in New Zealand but her attempts to seek answers and support from Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter and Justice Minister Andrew Little have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
”It’s just really, really frustrating but you’ve got to keep fighting.”
In June 27, 2018, three of Shelley’s family – Ian and Rosalie Porteous and Ora Keene – died on State Highway 3 near Waverley, along with Brenda Williams, Jeremy Thompson, Shady Thompson and Nivek Madams, in what is the worst road crash on record in Taranaki.
The use of synthetic drugs by Thompson, who was one of the drivers, was highlighted as a factor in the deaths during the May 10 coronial inquest, where it was established the 28-year-old’s car had crossed the centreline and crashed head-on into the vehicle driven by Rosalie.
So why is the Government doing so little?
She and husband Len met with Little on May 17, who told them he would speak to his colleagues to see what could be done to speed up the process to introduce roadside drug testing and get back to them with a reply.
The couple have not heard back from Little or had any response to emails sent to Genter, which sought her views on the issue and why it was not being considered with any urgency.
The Government says it wants to reduce the road toll, but seems to have a blind spot on drug driving.