INDEPENDENT NEWS

Unfit drivers set to crucify 5-7 kids - Candor

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2008 04:22 PM
Unfit drivers set to crucify 5-7 kids
Candor Trust
Over the next 100 days, casual drug or drunk drivers will also seriously injure at least 50 minors under fifteen, who regularly depend upon or are exposed to them. Meanwhile "in house" child abuse (often perpetrated by the same demographic) will lead to the death of 7- 10 children. Marginally more than the number waiting to die by drink or drugged driver.
We might have the fourth worst child murder rate but our child road death rate was lately ranked even higher than that. Candor Trust say that if National is interested in reducing NZs horrific child death and injury rates over the next 100 days, then it would address the other prime cause - a close cousin to domestic abuse.
Maurice Williamson said in 2007 that if National were assured of some details the Party would get behind Labours lifesaving drug driving bill. Simon Powers should not be unaware of the other main cause of child death, having asked Parliamentary Questions of Labour regarding the unfit state of drug impaired driving law.
Despite National MPs hearing evidence at Select Committee stage about the runner up cause of violent child death last year - road crash by intoxicated driver, support of this most critical Bill to protect our children from Kaitaia to Bluff was clearly suspended pre-election. How many children died of torturing road injuries due to this populist politicking? In the 12 months, prior to todays date, 26 children under fifteen years of age were killed on our roads, and it may be assumed that 150 odd were seriously injured.
Of these child road victims, the local evidence from NZ Polices Control of drugged and drunk drivers study strongly points to at least 140 of them being the unhailed victims of drunk or drugged caregivers. Each one is as important as Nia Glassie - and as a class their suffering is more easily prevented.
Mr Powers in discussing tougher abuse sentences and sending a strong message noted that he will be haunted by the Nia Glassie case for the rest of his life. How unfair - that media sensationalism of much hyped cases has blinded him to the plight of a large class of child homicide victims - those killed by drugged or drunk driving.
Vehicular injuries are as horrendous as domestic violence ones. Yet no-one speaks for this the large group of child victims, no law protects around half of them (the denied drug drivers victims) from suffering daily jeopardy. No-one laments their clockwork deaths and injuries. These children, acutely aware of their endangerment must find excuses not to travel with reckless caregivers, or bolt from the jaws of their family vehicle and walk home at night.
If an on-road drug testing law did exist, then parents at risk of being abusers could be detected and the social services could intervene - and treatment of contributory addictions could be mandated by the Courts. This is sensible clifftop stuff, able to control immediate danger and offering a valuable in to thwart domestic abuse.
National needs to take a practical approach, instead of posturing and misdirecting its child saving activity within the next 100 days, if improved outcomes for New Zealands' most vulnerable actually are the ultimate destination, not media enhanced vote counts. If the Legislators truly care about having some significant impact on child torment they could make presence of a child in a impaired drivers car an aggravating factor, in far greater preference to offering long stays inside for the rarer form of abuser - the child basher.
Tougher sentences for vicious caregivers, delivered after the fact, will clearly only increase the code of silence around child abuse. The risk is also run (as with rape victims) that offenders will make a really good job of it by killing victims if they'd be as well done for a penny as a pound.
Prevent - don't pontificate Mr Powers. If you want to reduce the net harm and suffering among Kiwi kids the place to get started is at functional roadside checkpoints, not with upping the Porridge budget. All MPs familiar with the facts (most by now) have guilty knowledge that checkpoints are only doing half the job. This due to deprioritisation of the drug driving bill, Land Transport Amendment Bill Number 4. The Bill requires passing under urgency for the kids sakes,
The high unnatural death statistics for NZ children, aren't likely to ever be addressed while gross media distortions of the issue prevent Kiwis from eyeballing a leading cause. That being complacency over the effect of drink, drug and fatigue impaired driving - and particularly failure to Police drug driving. Not in 100 days or 100 years will tougher sentences for child bashers address that.
National would be grossly remiss to evade the fact that it now rules a Nation of impaired drivers torturing  kids with tonnes of steel, not one of Ma and Pa smackers "going loco" with wooden spoons. So lets get real about cause and effect, ahead of thinking about urgent 100 day plans in climates of carefully generated moral panic. Is National going to stand up for ALL the at risk little people where it counts, at the checkpoints, or just for the famous headlining ones.
ends

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