Government failing on road safety targets

The Government is failing to deliver on the agreed targets in the Road Safety Partnership between NZTA and Police, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

Figures released in the NZTA Annual Report show that Police failed to deliver half their target of 3 million roadside breath tests in the 2020/2021 financial year, alongside other failures to deliver on key road safety measures.

“Breath testing is a fundamental tool in maintaining safer roads. It is completely unacceptable that the number of breath tests has dropped to these levels.

“NZTA, who fund Police to deliver on road safety, have a responsibility to keep our roads and drivers safe. They need to get the fundamentals like breath testing right before they start blanket speed reduction campaigns on our state highways.

“Alcohol and drugs were a contributing factor in 47 per cent of all fatal road crashes in 2020 compared to speed, which contributed to 32 per cent of all fatal road crashes.

“The Minister of Transport needs to be asking tough questions of NZTA and Police about how the number of breath tests has been allowed to fall to this unacceptably low level. It’s simply not good enough.

“The Government also needs to pass legislation to give Police the powers to undertake roadside drug testing. This legislation has been sitting on Parliament’s Order Paper, but the Government still hasn’t passed it into law.

“Instead of simply introducing blanket speed reductions across our state highways, the Government’s first priority on road safety should be to actually deliver on the road safety measures that they are funded by our petrol taxes to do.”