Campaign Against Distracted Government Needed

Published: Wed 12 Mar 2008 11:34 AM
Campaign Against Distracted Government Needed
In response to the latest cellphone drink driving disaster Harry Duynhoven - reluctant to enact legislation midst a blood bath - claims Government will soon launch a campaign about the risk of driver distractions.
Candor Trust remain dubious, given the contents of an Official Information Act request the Trust received just last week. It said that absolutely no work had been commenced on the distractions campaign promised in December 2006.
Just as no work had yet been done on the drug driving campaign, also promised to commence early in 2007, in the 2006 Road Safety Policy document signed by Duynhoven and King.
These much needed initiatives have slipped into the Bermuda triangle.
Vain attempts to locate an Official holding the distractions portfolio by phone in Wellington last week only turned up speed-bots and safetybelt-bots at the Deparments charged with preserving our safety and security on the roads.
New Zealand is now among the bottom of the OECD Countries for progressing road safety.
Due to LTNZ's well evidenced incompetence there has been no downward trend in fatalities for 5 years (10 less killed yearly does not approach statistical significance).
Maori have possibly the highest Indigenous road death rate. Current policy is savaging Maori the most; over 10,000 who are alive today can expect a traumatic road death if nothing changes.
Candor believes New Zealand is now the only "First World" Country recorded on the International Road Safety database to not be making progress.
Road Safety - with all the violent untimely death and all just lacks the same kind of fascination for our politicians that tagging, smacking (far less often fatal to kids), and other distractions have.
New Zealand policy writers at the helm of road safety who've not yet fled the sinking ship that is LTNZ need to focus - to identify in the minds of drivers the discreet problems.
Distractions, drugs and fatigue (all lumped together under the inattention factor) are the leading toll causes. It is grossly incompetent the States inactivity in place of conventional proactivity on these non revenue earning issues.
Simply dealing with all of these negligent easily targeted behaviours under vague "careless driving" charges, when some-one is hurt or killed, is ineffective to highlight the actual problems, and fails to reflect the degree of negligence.
Government needs to communicate a minimum modern code of conduct for road users - with both education and regulation and to stop the cheap talk. For if it plans to leads by example, then given it's frenzy of inattention and lip service then road safety will have no champion.

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