Home' The Wellingtonian : May 19th 2011 Contents 8 THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 19, 2011
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Focus goes on blood alcohol limit
By JIM CHIPP
A United Nations global road
safety project was launched at
Parliament last week but govern-
ment policy conflicts with one of
its key measures.
The Decade of Road Safety pro-
gramme specifies a maximum
blood alcohol limit for drivers of
0.05 grams per 100 millilitres as
one of its key indicators.
New Zealand's is 0.08 and last
July, the Government declined to
lower the limit after hospitality
Transport Minister Steven
Joyce said the Government
wanted to see the impact of a
lower limit before making legislat-
To do that we have to have the
evidence of drivers between 0.05
and 0.08,'' Mr Joyce said.
Until the legislation was
passed last week we had no legal
ability to collect that information.
Now we do and police will be
working on ensuring that when
people have accidents they can
measure their blood alcohol and
record whether they are between
0.05 and 0.08.
Over a two-year period, this
will give us a strong understand-
ing of what those drivers contrib-
ute to the road toll.''
Launching the programme, Mr
Joyce said the Government's
Roads of National Significance
would be built to a New Zealand
Road Assessment Programme
four-star rating, meaning they
would have adequate horizontal
alignment, negligible road-side
hazards, a minimum shoulder
width of 1.7 metres, be multi-lane
and be median-separated.
New Zealand's record of 375
road deaths last year compares
badly on a per capita basis with
Australia and Britain.
Legislation passed this month
gives police the power to record
alcohol levels of drivers who
barely pass breath tests after
Police will be able to record
alcohol readings from all drivers
involved in fatal or serious injury
crashes who have a blood alcohol
level of 50 milligrams and 80mg of
alcohol per 100ml of blood.
The limit for drivers younger
than 20 years will be 30mg of
alcohol per 100ml of blood, and
repeat drink drivers will from
next year have a zero limit for
three years after they regain their
Judges will be able to order
repeat or serious drink-drive
offenders to have alcohol inter-
locks fitted to their cars.
Radar jammers will be banned.
On August 1, the minimum
driving age will rise to 16 years.
The maximum sentence for
dangerous driving causing death
will double from five years to 10
years in jail.
Mr Joyce said the emphasis
would shift from fines to demerit
points for traffic offences, because
there was a lack of respect for
fines within some groups in
Particularly for some high-risk
drivers, as we've seen with illegal
street racers, the potential loss of
a car seems to have a far greater
modifying effect than them get-
ting another traffic fine,'' he said.
Care at intersections
Fun and games: Bizarre antics at the intersection of Manners and Victoria
Photo: REBECCA THOMSON
Peter Baird wants people
to take more care at inter-
The Wellington district
road safety manager said
accidents at a few inter-
sections contributed far
more than their share of
the social costs of road
are Taranaki St-
Courtenay Place, Ade-
laide Rd-John St, and
Vivian St-Cambridge Tce.
Wellington city's intersection crash record
has fallen from a 2007 peak of 831 to 495 in
There are so many road users in Wellington,
the one thing that could reduce our rate of
medical services is people having a little more
patience,'' he said.
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