The voting down of a Members Bill which would have kept our roads safer and saved lives is incomprehensible, Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott says.
“My Bill would have allowed police officers to perform roadside drug testing on any driver who they suspected were driving under the influence of drugs.
“Last year, 79 fatal crashes involved a driver with drugs in their system, compared with 70 involving an intoxicated driver. These figures come from testing that is done by authorities following a fatal crash and we need to get more proactive.
“Police Minister Stuart Nash has previously said ‘As soon as we get the technology in place I think it has got to be rushed out, because people who are high behind the wheel, I think, are just as much a danger as those who are drunk.’
“We now have the technology, so the Police Minister must now explain how he can vote against my Bill when he should have at least sent it to select committee to engage the public on the issue.
“Currently under the Land Transport Act, drug driving is measured by an impairment test that involves an eye assessment and requesting a driver walk heel to toe in a straight line. The current method has some obvious limitations.
“Advances in drug testing technology over recent years including saliva and sweat tests has made roadside testing for drugs much more practical and the Government needs to get with the times.
“All New Zealand road-users have been let down and put in danger by the Labour-led Government today.”