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Upper Hutt Leader : May 18th 2011
3 UPPER HUTT LEADER, MAY 18, 2011 NEWS Phone 528 2331 at any time www.geeandhickton.co.nz GU04 Ray Walker Nat Cert FD Funeral Director Daryl Edwards Nat Cert FD Funeral Director Fast Approval CASH NOW 245 High Street 24 Queen Street Lower Hutt Wainuiomata Phone: 566 0989 Phone: 564 1596 *All Loans Subject to Normal Lending Criteria Loans for all reasons ADELPHI FINANCE LTD The Established Company HN105346/wh Amounts $500 to $5000 Providing Cash Solutions 40 Years of Financial Service Shop 3, 1 Turon Cres, Totara Park, Upper Hutt P: 04 526 2689 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org 2751827BD Half Head of Foils and Cut & Blowave with Natasha $99 PLUS receive a travel size SP Colour Saver Shampoo & Conditioner Limited Stock - Valid until 13 June *conditions apply A decade of driving less dangerously Costly corner: Where State Highway 2 and Akatarawa Rd meet at Brown Owl is one of the two most socially costly intersections in Upper Hutt. Photo: ROSEMARY McLENNAN By JIM CHIPP A United Nations global road safety project was launched at Parliament on Wednesday but government policy conflicts with one of its key measures. The Decade of Road Safety pro- gramme, fronted by former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, specifies a maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers of 0.05 grams per decilitre as one of its key indicators. New Zealand s is 0.08 and in July last year the government declined to lower the limit after hospitality industry lobbying. Transport Minister Steven Joyce said the government needed to ascertain that it was having the impact needed for New Zealand. And in order to do that we have to have the actual evidence of drivers between .05 and .08, cur- rently. And up until the legis- lation was passed last week we have 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 .05 and .08, which they haven t been able to do previously. And that, over a two-year period, will give us a strong understanding of what those drivers contribute to the road toll. The government will then review the blood alcohol limit for driving, he said. Launching the programme, Mr Joyce said the government s roads of national significance would all be built to a KiwiRAP (New Zea- land Road Assessment Pro- gramme) four-star rating, mean- ing they will have adequate horizontal alignment, negligible road-side hazards, a minimum shoulder width of 1.7 metres, be multi-lane and median-separated. Although New Zealand s record of 375 road deaths last year is not among the worst, on a per capita basis it compares badly with Aus- tralia s and Britain s, Mr Joyce said. At Australia s road-death rate there would have been 297 deaths in New Zealand last year, and at the United Kingdom s just 166, he said. The World Health Organisation estimates the annual daily global road death toll to be 3500, or 1.3 million per year, with 90 per cent of fatal accidents happening in developed countries. The economic cost of road accidents is US$100 billion (NZ$126b) a year, globally. Automobile Association chief executive Brian Gibbons said more can and must be done to reduce the carnage, and the association has implemented a $1m research fund, which has so far commissioned two studies. The first will look at driver per- ceptions of risk and whether low- cost changes to road markings or signage can alter that perception. The second, in conjunction with the Energy Efficiency and Conser- vation Authority, will study fuel- efficient driving techniques. The fuel-efficient driver is also a safe driver, he said. Police Superintendent Peter Baird wants people to slow down and take more care at intersec- tions. The Wellington district road safety manager said accidents at a few intersections contribute far more than their share of the social costs of road accidents. Melling intersection and its approach roads, are some of the highest social-cost accident locations in the Hutt Valley, Mr Baird said. The most socially costly inter- sections in Upper Hutt are State Highway 2 at Rimutaka summit and Akatarawa Rd-State Highway 2. Intersection accidents in Upper Hutt have increased 20 per cent to 108 annually over the past five years. Our message is that there are so many road users in Wellington -- whether they are driving for leisure, taking kids to school, working or delivering goods and services -- the one thing that could reduce our rate of medical services, is people having a little more patience. It would mean stopping for orange, or at least slowing for orange, turning your head sufficiently that you could see whether someone is coming or not, he said. In the course of the decade of road safety specific responsibili- ties will be allocated to the key agencies to deliver improved road safety, he said. The intention is not just to wait out the next 10 years and see if changes will occur, he said. As the decade builds we will be measured and brought to account on those actions. Alcohol rules changed Legislation passed last week gives police the power to record alcohol levels of drivers who only just pass at breath tests after accidents. Police will be able to take alcohol readings for research purposes from all drivers involved in fatal or serious injury crashes who have a blood alcohol level of between 50 and 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. From next year, the limit for drivers younger than 20 will be 30mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, and repeat drink drivers will have a zero limit for three years after they regain their licences. 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. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death will be 10 years jail. Transport Minister Steven Joyce said the emphasis will shift away from fines to demerit points for traffic offences, because there is a lack of respect for fines within some groups in society. 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 getting another fine. Particularly for some types of drivers who like to collect their fines and take them off to a judge and say Look, I ll never pay these fines, give me com- munity service , he said. If we can get them into a position where the two things they covet -- their licences and their vehicles -- are at risk, we ll improve the behaviour of a par- ticular group of high-risk drivers who are causing a lot of the carnage on our roads.
May 11th 2011
May 25th 2011