Farrar criticises Genter for not solving National’s transport safety mess quickly enough

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, January 5th, 2019 - 119 comments
Categories: blogs, David Farrar, dpf, Environment, greens, Judith Collins, julie anne genter, making shit up, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport, twitter, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Yesterday David Farrar blogged about how Greens minister Julie Anne Genter said that she could do nothing about the road toll for many decades.

The article accused her of being impotent as a Minister but it mysteriously misquoted her by leaving out the word “substantial”.

The Herald article actually said this:

It will be “many decades” before New Zealand sees a substantial change in the road toll, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

Her comments come after New Zealand experienced its highest road toll since 2009, with almost 400 deaths last year.

There were nine deaths on the road over the Christmas holiday period; three fewer than over the same period last year.

Genter said the Government was in the process of implementing its road safety strategy – a strategy she said would save lives.

But this would take time, she said.

“The reality is these things take time and [there’s] a huge amount of road upgrades that need to be completed.”

In December last year, the Government committed $1.4 billion to making roads safer.

The policy, called the Safe Network Programme, aims to make 870km of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening.

That policy strategy will be in place in 2020, but Genter said it would be a process of “many decades to substantially bring down deaths and serious injuries on our roads”.

The headline as well as Farrar’s post was, what is that word, inaccurate. The Herald article clearly referred to substantial reductions and the text of the article repeated this. But Farrar did not use this word in his heading or in his comments.

And it will take decades to improve safety. After 9 years of wasting huge amounts of money on roads of National TM significance it will take many years for the planning, design and implementation of these safety projects.

Judith Collins chimed in:

Genter responded in that very gentle way which shows her politics:

And Sam Learmonth has suggested that blame for our appalling statistics should lie elsewhere:

https://twitter.com/samlearmonthnz/status/1081004329853583361

The full text of the article written by Sam can be read here.

Surely it is too early for National and its cheerleaders to be blaming Labour and the Greens for a problem of National’s creation?

It appears not …

119 comments on “Farrar criticises Genter for not solving National’s transport safety mess quickly enough”

  1. Bewildred 1

    She is simply back pedaling from her silly zero road death target, she chose to politicise it, as are the other naive coalition targets ie billion trees, 100k kiwi build houses They now all look really silly in hard light of day. If Genter was smart she should have set a target on road deaths per billion km travelled or like? a much more meaningful measure, she chose the emotional target as it suited here at the time and now must live with it Wondering how long you are going to stick with 9 years of neglect to defend the government Micky vs more critical analysis of its performance

    • Robert Guyton 1.1

      What Pete said at 11:09 am. I glanced at Farrar’s low-brow post and recognised the dishonesty of it straight off.
      People comment on the suitability of your “handle”, Bewildered.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Mildewed ideas, by the little person sitting on the sidelines and moaning. The worst sort of citizen really, putting up with slackness and sadness when his side is in power, pulling down the MPs trying to make reparation and improve when they get in.

      • Bewildered + 1.1.2

        Let them comment Robert, I am indifferent either way 😊

        • patricia bremner 1.1.2.1

          “Bewitched bothered and bewildered am I..” Ella was great!! Try the line previous

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2

          And that is your problem – you refuse to hear that which you don’t want to and so you fail to learn.

    • Sacha 1.2

      “her silly zero road death target, she chose to politicise it”

      It’s called leadership, Mildred. Other nations have set the same goal of zero deaths (which seems the highest you would want to morally stand behind): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

    • lprent 1.3

      Bewildred:

      If Genter was smart she should have set a target on road deaths per billion km travelled or like?

      You really are a stupid dimwit. Probably a fan of such measures. However we all know exactly how they end up. Just look at another fan of such techniques. Nick Smith, who I view as being the former liar in chief of the National Government, was a prime example of another fan of such techniques.

      When river and lake water quality was deteriorating, according to the existing measures as a direct response to the cabinets policies on restraining dairy pollution of waterways, he (as the relevant minister) set an objective to fix the water quality standards. So he made the standards easier to pass – way worse. That meant that he could show a steady improvement from the previous higher standard.

      He was forever setting goals when minister for increasing the volume of housing, would announce fanciful objectives for the new housing to accommodate the immigration rush that National triggered. Those initiatives should have come to fruition in the last few years. Guess what – he appeared to have been so interested in sprouting numbers that he forgot to actually arrange for any to be built.

      as are the other naive coalition targets ie billion trees, 100k kiwi build houses They now all look really silly in hard light of day.

      But I can see you are accustomed to being a lying simpleton. Just like David Farrar, you deliberately and selectively leave out the relevant material. This allows you and him to lie by omission.

      These were promoted by the parties in the coalition as being the objectives that they are working towards. Like making safer roads, they are all given time periods. The 100k kiwibuild are over a decade. I think that the billion trees was even longer. Same for fixing the dangerous roads.

      They were never going to do everything in one year. It takes time to divert resources, to plan how to achieve such shifts in policy, and to draft and make any changes in law and regulation go into effect. This is the nature of government.

      In another two years it becomes worth looking for an actual start in getting results, and even then it is mostly if the coalition is starting to ramp up. This is the nature of large projects.

      But I’m sure that your faux fact production will be undiminished. However bear in mind the I don’t like lying fuckwits – I tend to moderate them if they just run nPR lines with false facts. I treat them as deliberate lies and their authors as trolls.

      But I suspect you already know that. David Farrar’s site is full of the lying arsehole commentators who were unable to back their assertions with facts here and who got booted for such lying. If you want to make assertions back them with links, or express them as being your own simpleton ideas so that we can laud your stupidity.

      • Bewildered 1.3.1

        It’s all about the trend line for these goals Lprent, none of them look very promising or anywhere near achieving their goal, thus big fail to date Who gives a fk about Nick Smith, he is long gone, such arguement are simply play on 9 years of neglect mantra or whatabputism, not critical analysis of government policy against stated objective

    • Puckish Rogue 1.4

      Basically she over promised and is now in danger of under delivering

      [lprent: Hah! That is complete bullshit You know how long roading projects take. Perhaps you could show me where JAG promised a immediate diminution in the toll for the 2018 year of road deaths and injury. Because that is what you are suggesting.

      Or I can find an alternative action if you cannot find some way to correct your assertion. ]

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.1

        Not a promise (see my comment @8). An “investigation”. Sounds like someone suggested a policy goal & she told the officials to go away & research the viability. Many months later, we still await the result, and any actual policy to be adopted by the coalition in consequence…

        • lprent 1.4.1.1

          Existing transport works have already contracted – they are usually confirmed at least a year (and usually more like 2-3) ahead for the major contractors. There are penalties for the breaking or modification of contracts – so it is seldom done.

          If you consider that the start of 2018 is year zero. What you have to look at is the pipeline of transport projects being awarded as contacts now to start breaking ground in about 1-2 years.

          And that is assuming that the pre-contract work has already been done. Which by the sound of it hasn’t been a priority or budgeted much for since 2009/10 budget.

          An “investigation” is exactly what is called for because it is a change in the way that transport projects are evaluated from the existing system. If you ever have a look at the existing systems that are done on a cost-benefit system that overvalues some transport users.

          For instance if I was after a zero car/bike death policy, I’d immediately look at taking high axle trucks off the state highway roads and putting them on their own roads. That is because they are involved directly and indirectly (because of their road maintenance costs) in a excessively high number of car/bike deaths. Not because they have more accidents – just that they kill more people than other road users.

          It will take a long time to work through the changes required by NZTA to how to change their evaluation system.

      • Robert Guyton 1.4.2

        We’re rooting for you, Pucky! Come back to us with the goods, if you can!

      • Puckish Rogue 1.4.3

        https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/high-number-road-deaths-unacceptable

        “The road toll has been going up over the last four years and is now the highest it’s been since 2010. My number one priority in the transport portfolio is to bring the road toll down.”

        https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/no-loss-life-acceptable

        “As part of the development of a new road safety strategy the Government will investigate setting a target of zero road deaths,”

        She over promised by talking about a target of zero road deaths (which will never happen) and is currently under delivering because the road toll went up this year from last

        • Draco T Bastard 1.4.3.2

          She promised what she could deliver.

          And you’ll note that the deaths went up under National. Really, they should be proclaiming their achievements rather than getting in the way of others trying to achieve theirs.

          • Herodotus 1.4.3.2.1

            I think you mean “went down “instead of “went up under National 🤭
            Easy to mis type ! ha ha
            National were in power from
            “19 November 2008 to 26 October 2017”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_National_Government_of_New_Zealand
            https://www.transport.govt.nz/mot-resources/road-safety-resources/road-deaths/annual-number-of-road-deaths-historical-information/

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.3.2.1.1

              Not according to the graph that DPF provided at the top of the page.

              • Herodotus

                Sorry I must be missing something – Basing National being in charge in 2009 until 2017. In 2009 the point is well above the “1” in 2017 the point is below the “1”, to me that shows a drop ?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You’re missing trend lines.

                  The trend was down until 2013 and then it started going up which would be about the right time for National’s policies to take over from the previous government’s.

                  • JohnSelway

                    National in Government between 2009 and 2017. 6 out of the 10 lowest years for road deaths were between this period Draco.

                    2013
                    2011
                    2014
                    2012
                    2015
                    2016

                    I have no love for National but you are clearly wrong here. Note the trend?
                    11, 12 ,13, 14, 15, 16….(not in order obviously)

                    They didn’t go ‘up’ – the remained low and stayed low “which would be about the right time for National’s policies to take over from the previous government’s.” as you put it

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ah, I see you’re doing the same as Herodotus and ignoring the trend lines.

                      Between 2013 and 2017 of the DPF supplied graph the trend was up. Right there in blue and white.

                      The trend from previous government (and the one before and the one before going back to 1989) was down. This reversed after a time under National in line for their own policies to take over from those of the previous government. Such policies as under-funding the police.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Draco, 6 of 10 of the lowest road tolls were under the previous national govt. Thats really quite impressive – I’m not sure what else you are looking at but that’s all there is to it. The graph doesn’t say what you want it to say and the facts are still the facts. Even if you ignore it..

          • Infused 1.4.3.2.2

            So did the population. This is stupid

        • Robert Guyton 1.4.3.3

          “…the Government will investigate setting a target…”
          You kidding us, bro?
          Is that what you’ve got?
          All of it?

      • Ed 1.4.4

        To change patterns is no sudden fix.
        The flow on effects of Genter’s fine reforms will be seen years from now.
        2018’s terrible road toll is the result flow on from years of neglect by the National Party.

        • Puckish Rogue 1.4.4.1

          “To change patterns is no sudden fix.”

          Bollix, the chart above shows what can happen in a year

          “The flow on effects of Genter’s fine reforms will be seen years from now”

          Well isn’t that convenient

          “2018’s terrible road toll is the result flow on from years of neglect by the National Party”

          Nope sorry, under National more people were able to afford cars so more people were driving

          That last one might be a bit of a stretch…

      • Pete 1.4.5

        Defectives have JAG promising zero road deaths.

        When Key said something it was aspirational. When the present lot says something about anything it’s a promise that should have been completely carried out by now.

  2. Ad 2

    patrick Learmonth’s point about the duplicity of the MoT could be added to the Terms of Reference to the full MartinJenkins review of MoTs inability to hold NZTA to account in multiple areas.

    MoT are as useless as MfE and MoE and MoH and a bunch of othe 1980s leftover departmenrs that neither regulate nor think nor do.

    and im pessimistic this government has the ability to restructure and re-regulate much anywhere.

  3. NZJester 3

    How dare Labour not fix what took National 9 long years to mismanage or ignore and for National to make extremely worse during the short time Labour has been back in government.
    That is what Farrar is asking Labour to do after previously egging National on to the exact opposite.

  4. Pete 4

    It will be ‘many decades’ before the road toll is substantially reduced, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12185161

    Farrar says that is “Genter says she can do nothing about road toll for many decades.”

    Farrar is a lying, scumbag National Party toad. He hopes the illiteracy and plain dumbness of his readers will equal his animosity towards the those responsible for National not being in power and and his perpetual chagrin that they’re not in.

    Saying that Genter says she can do nothing about the road toll for decades is as accurate as saying that Farrar is not a lowlife.

  5. Anne 5

    C’mon everyone, Farrar is simply continuing the Nat. Party strategy of tearing to pieces every quote/action made by government ministers with complete disregard to the lack of accuracy or coherence in their criticisms. It’s been building for the last six or so months and will get worse.

    They claim its part of their job to criticise, but they’re taking it to a whole new level… misrepresenting every ministerial statement. 90% of their criticisms are based on fiction – not fact – but they will get away with it because so many people don’t seem to know the difference.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Genter’s crisp answer to that comment by Farrar would be to say that she hasn’t employed Mr Farrar as her speech writer or media advisor, and would require someone of higher integrity. And also he is part of the National Party apparatus and therefore does not have the required hold on NZs problems and how to solve them or the commitment to improve NZs systems and wellbeing.

  7. cathy 7

    how can anyone take Farrar seriously? he’s been discredited ages ago.

    mind you, so have most of the nasties front bench. i guess that stuff doesn’t change.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Looks like a perception/reality thing. ““As part of the development of a new road safety strategy the Government will investigate setting a target of zero road deaths,” says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.”

    Taken from the govt website announcement in April, linked by Farrar. If any govt action resulted, Farrar doesn’t refer to it, so I presume we’re still waiting. Perhaps waiting for Labour leadership? Those who think the coalition is Labour-led may answer yes. I predict they will cautiously refrain from doing so.

    If lack of govt action is the reality, hard to blame Farrar for seizing on the comment from JAG instead as the basis for spinning reader perceptions, eh? Was the looney notion of zero road deaths hers? Can’t assume that. A Labour source is more likely, but could be a public servant advice thing (probably both).

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        Interesting, thanks. Seems the concept has been widely-adopted as an aspirational goal, and the implementation has validated it on the basis of death-reduction. The graph showing trend-lines for various countries is illustrative of this.

        Basically, then, zero deaths is viewed as a target in the long-term. As long as no angst is generated by failing to reach it, the delusional aspect is tolerable.

  9. cathy 9

    “The full text of the article written by Sam can be read here.”

    different Sam?

  10. The Chairman 10

    One can’t help but wonder how much impact Labour and the Greens Budget Responsibility Rules are having on holding back roading improvements?

    If we detract the attempted political point scoring by Farrar, are “decades” to substantially bring down the road toll really a time frame we on the left are all comfortable with ?

    • Sacha 10.1

      Late last year this govt announced $1.4b in road safety improvements. The previous Nat govt actually cut the same budget allocation and built duplicate highways instead. Great if you were in construction and finance and provincial trucking.

      Reducing driving deaths needs more than roading work. Changing social tolerance for bad and incompetent driving behaviour does not happen overnight.

      If the current govt had not tied their own hands behind their backs, progress could certainly be faster. Any extra funding would always be competing with other demands like health, housing and education.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        “Late last year this govt announced $1.4b in road safety improvements.”

        And as a result of this level of spending we are going to have to wait decades?

        “Reducing driving deaths needs more than roading work. Changing social tolerance for bad and incompetent driving behaviour does not happen overnight.”

        Totally agree, but decades? Changing social tolerance for bad and incompetent driving behaviour also requires the Government to invest to help bring about the culture change. So again, is lack of investment holding back the pace of progress?

        “If the current govt had not tied their own hands behind their backs, progress could certainly be faster.”

        Indeed. And it seems a number here expected (or would have liked to have seen) far more from National over their nine years, yet seem to be happy to wait decades when it is Labour that is in power.

    • lprent 10.2

      There really isn’t that much of a choice.

      If you look at the length of time that NZTA roading (or any transport) projects take to go from approval to actual implementation, it could almost be measured in decades as the unit. Offhand I can’t think of one that hasn’t taken at least 5 years to go from announcement to completion – and those were pretty minor.

      You’ll note that I’m not even bothering to look at the pre-announcement planning that goes in advance of projects.

      Most of this is simple scheduling and scaling issues. I remember when the burst of equipment landed on the wharves for the roads of significance for National electorate votes (ie RONS), and that was about 2012, about 3 years after the announcement in 2009.

      But the timeline isn’t hard to see. Just look at the RoNS projects that were rebadged in 2009. (my italics for the ones I drive)
      https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/research-papers/document/00PlibCIP061/roads-of-national-significance

      Puhoi to Wellsford (hasn’t been built)
      Waterview Connection (Auckland Western Ring Route) (announced about 2005, completed 2018)
      Auckland’s Victoria Park (announced 2004 completed 2012)
      Waikato Expressway (ongoing since 1992, since hasn’t been completed)
      Tauranga Eastern Corridor
      Wellington Northern Corridor
      Christchurch motorway projects.

      • The Chairman 10.2.1

        Yes, I can appreciate that roading improvements don’t happen overnight and things do take time, but decades seems excessively long.

        As with most of the other problems the country faces, insufficient funding is a drawback slowing progress. And I think we are seeing this here in roading too.

        So rather than get caught up with the political point scoring (which is largely a distraction) we need to focus our attention on what is holding improvements back. Applying pressure on the Government to sort it.

  11. Siobhan 11

    National (amongst others) would lose their minds if Labour enacted the policies required to achieve Sweden’s low road toll… As would half the nations voters.
    In Fact a good number of NZers seem to think reduced speed limits are a personal insult and really just a revenue gathering exercise for NZ Police

    https://www.euronews.com/2018/02/20/how-sweden-became-the-eu-s-road-safety-champion

  12. Tuppence Shrewsbury 12

    You’d think that if JAG had a goal for zero road deaths, the impact would have been a reduction in deaths. Not an increase. I hardly think you can blame national for deaths increasing when they haven’t been in power for 15 months.

    Apart from building better roads, what other strategies were put in place to lower the road toll. i’m looking around and i can’t find any that don’t involve multi year roading projects or simply not driving.

    neither of these are feasible to reduce the road toll to zero if it’s increasing year on year

    • Sacha 12.1

      You need to learn more about lag time in transport policy.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 12.1.1

        So no strategies except building roads and not driving. cool.

        Time lag would be an ok excuse if this was january 2018. but it’s not. it’s 12 months later and things have gotten worse

        • Sacha 12.1.1.1

          Please do even the most basic homework before you come here flapping your gums. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12117007

          • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.1.1

            Ha! Gum flapping is such a vivid inner-eye image!

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 12.1.1.1.2

            Read that ages ago. Long on spending, short on strategies outside of building / fixing roads and not driving to reduce the road toll.

            • Ed 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Sweden has amazing solutions.

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                Give me one Spanner

                • Ed

                  Here are 6 suggestions from Sweden.
                  My source is the Economist, hardly a left wing bastion.

                  1. 12,600 safer crossings, including pedestrian bridges and zebra stripes flanked by flashing lights and protected with speed bumps, are estimated to have halved the number of pedestrian deaths over the past five years. ”

                  2. “Strict policing has also helped: less than 0.25% of drivers tested are over the alcohol limit. Road deaths of children under seven have plummeted—in 2012 only one was killed, compared with 58 in 1970.

                  3. Roads in Sweden are built to prioritise safety over speed or convenience.

                  4. Low urban speed limits.

                  5. Pedestrian zones.

                  6. Barriers that separate cars from bicycles and oncoming traffic have helped.

                  https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2014/02/26/why-sweden-has-so-few-road-deaths

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    Hmmm, the only one there that isn’t fixing roads or not driving is the stricter policing at point 2. But i’ll give it to you.

                    • Ed

                      OK, I have provided some ideas.
                      You have come on this site to debate.
                      What ideas do you have to significantly reduce the road toll?

                    • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                      I agree with your and Ad’s solution. They’ll work as non construction related strategies to reduce the road toll. They’re fast, easy and will have some effectiveness straight away

                    • Sacha

                      “the only one there that isn’t fixing roads or not driving is the stricter policing at point 2”

                      Lower speed limits (4) are neither of those things, yet you left it out ..

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Here

                  Could you image the screams of communism and revenue gathering if the government tried this here?

                  NYC marks 5th straight year of declining traffic deaths

                  Mayor Bill de Blasio is touting the reductions as a victory in the city’s Vision Zero plan, which involved lowering speed limits, redesigning streets and upping enforcement of traffic laws.

                  All the things that, from what I can make out from their insistence on MOAR ROADS, their preference for higher speeds and insisting that speed cameras are for revenue gathering, National is against.

                • Gabby

                  With no nuts a Spanner is useless tuppers.

        • lprent 12.1.1.2

          I don’t think that they are planning on building too many roads. Fixing the existing ones appears to be the priority.

        • Ed 12.1.1.3

          You have no idea what you are talking about.
          There is a lag.
          Do some research before talking gibberish.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 12.1.1.3.1

            No shit Ed. Roads aren’t built overnight. Especially on the public dime in NZ.

            I’m asking for effective strategies outside of building / fixing roads and not driving that will reduce the road toll. They may take time to be at peak effectiveness, but they should be making some impact after some months of implementation.

            instead you seems to think it’ll just happen if you wait it out for these magical strategies.

            You really are a spanner. No real arguments, just regurgitating other people’s utterances

            • Ed 12.1.1.3.1.1

              And what do you?
              Think up your own totally original ideas?

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                I think JAG’s goal is admirable. I’m not knocking that.

                I’m knocking the fact there is No strategy outside building new roads, fixing existing ones and people not driving

                I deduced all that by myself from the information available and formed my opinion and i’m yet to see you show me a strategy from JAG except for waiting out the lag.

                Now that you’ve been shown how to form an argument from a set of information that is your own how about learning from this. Not just dumbly saying “Sweden has amazing solutions”

                We aren’t Sweden moran and they haven’t been emulated here

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I’m knocking the fact there is No strategy outside building new roads, fixing existing ones and people not driving

                  So, that would be three strategies then?

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    with no results to show for them.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We’re still operating under National’s strategies.

                    • Tuppence Shrewsbury []

                      But there’s been a year to implement Ed’s and Ads quick strategies or something similar? Why is that?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Just running off and doing shit without knowing WTF you’re doing is usually bad. I know it’s what National does as they spout BS and make things worse but that’s just proves how doing things out of ignorance makes things worse.

            • Ed 12.1.1.3.1.2

              Easy fixes.
              Lower the speed limit by 10 km/hour tomorrow.
              Ruthlessly enforce it by strict policing.
              Make public transport free.
              Close the left lane of the motorway to cars.

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                all good fixes. And so easy, yet the government hasn’t done one of them in 12 months. And there’d be no lag either with these or Ad’s solutions below

                But we can’t criticize JAG for not having done them cos national. Thanks for debunking Mickey’s entire article in one comment.

              • Ross Francis

                Lower the speed limit by 10 km/hour tomorrow.

                A silly idea as it doesn’t take into account the cost involved with such a change. And of course the large majority of road deaths are not caused by speeding. Addressing the road toll shouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      I hardly think you can blame national for deaths increasing when they haven’t been in power for 15 months.

      Actually, we can and should as they’re the ones who set the standards for the previous 9 years which saw those deaths rising.

  13. In Vino 13

    Here is how I see National’s misersably ignominious record on Road Safety:

    1) They mounted a deceitful campaign based on ‘research’ to justify lowering the alcohol limit. This made it look like they were actively doing something. In fact, changing the limit with the stroke of a pen cost next to nothing, and the new $200 fine for between 50 and 80 meant an increase in revenue.
    2) The research was largely deceitful because vital information about the countries they were fond of quoting (mainly France and NSW, Australia) was withheld. In both examples, the lowering of the limit had no immediate impact. But in both cases the number of alcohol checkpoints on the roads were later considerably increased. It was these enforcement measures that actually caused the improved stats., not the lowering of the limit.
    3) National then proceeded to underfund the Police to the point that here in NZ, the number of alcohol checkpoints was substantially reduced instead of increased. This was all so that National could pretend to be good economic managers by producing a surplus in their budget.
    As a direct result of this blunder, the number of alcohol-related road casualties has risen instead of dropping since the lowering of the alcohol limit. A wonderful First for New Zealand!!
    This shameful record is entirely National’s doing, and National should be getting bawled out for it.
    Misquoting Genter to criticise her is utterly laughable from a party with the above record.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      In Vino
      As far as you know do bad drivers get an attempt at re-education with compulsory workshops on how to drive better, and particularly how to manage themselves so they drive safely and well?

      I seem to remember that these might be ordered in Court but that there is no control and no sanction if they are not complied with. Hence a proven charge of bad driving would result in some penalty, but no attempt to improve, change the habitual behaviour of the driver, and there are many who have had multiple charges, even death, still appearing before the Courts as bad drivers, or drunken and bad drivers.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        And that is part of NZ’s poor culture. Many people simply don’t like being told that they’re wrong and will do nothing to improve themselves when it’s pointed out to them.

        These are the type of people that will call speed cameras revenue gathering especially after they’ve been the ones caught breaking the law.

        • greywarshark 13.1.1.1

          It depends how and when they were caught, having picked up an extra 10 ks going down a hill with a cop car or camera at the bottom. And the fine is enough to be a problem, the authorities like to bang it on. It’s context.

          • In Vino 13.1.1.1.1

            Greywarshark – my reply to your question would be that without strict policing and enforcement, all other measures are futile. You can lower alcohol limit to zero, but unless you drastically increase the number of checkpoints, people will do as they want, and alcohol-related accidents will stay. You can also lower the speed limits as much as you want – but unless people get consistently caught and pinged, general behaviour will not change.
            National made what is probably a world-wide first for NZ by lowering the alcohol limit and then causing an increase in alcohol-related casualties. Those who were cynical about the benefit of lowering the limit have been proven absolutely correct, even if nobody likes to say so.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Exactly.

      National has governed in such a way that has directly led to more deaths. This could have been easily expected and probably was. If it was then they should be done for one form of murder or another. Negligent homicide seems the most likely though.

  14. Darien Fenton 14

    I did a stint as Transport Safety spokesperson for Labour ; then Transport spokesperson. What I found was that the RONS were more important to National than any other considerations including Cost Ratio Benefit Analysis. The money that was being spent on high level roading could have been used to reduce the road toll 100 times over. The Nats “Safer Journeys” road safety programme was a figleaf and AA went along with it. And finally, my campaign for Safe Rates for Truck Drivers. Ignored, mocked, too hard, too dominated by the RTF who to this day moan about the shortage of truck drivers and want to import more drivers, who are not employees, but contractors, who have to buy their own truck at huge cost and pay all the maintenance costs. Courier Drivers are another group : just finally, finally making the headlines.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Contracting is, IMO, often used to shift the cost of doing the job onto the worker in such a way so that the company can pay less than minimum wage and even less than what the job costs to do. We see this in the way that Chorus used contractors who then get subcontractors who often get even more subcontractors.

      It’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘self-employed’ people need to be canned. People can still own their own business but that business will have its own IRD number and it will employ them at the market rate for that position.

    • alwyn 14.2

      “The money that was being spent on high level roading could have been used to reduce the road toll 100 times over”.

      Really?
      Are you seriously that if the RONS hadn’t been developed and the money spent on road safety measures then the death toll would have been down to only 4 deaths per year?
      If that is not what you mean what were you really trying to say?

  15. McFlock 15

    Wasn’t Collins the one who thought NZPolice were too focused on speeders and traffic infringements around 2011? ISTR some nat minister moaning about hard working NZers getting tickets…

  16. Ed 16

    The comments on this post so far prove Micky’s point.

    “Surely it is too early for National and its cheerleaders to be blaming Labour and the Greens for a problem of National’s creation?
    It appears not …”

  17. mary_a 17

    And Natz solution for possibly achieving less fatalities on the roads is … ?

    Thought so … zilch!

    But hey, it’s so much easier to have Natz mouthpieces like Farrar deliberately distort and mangle minister JAG’s statement on this issue for maximum negative impact! What Farrar said, bears no resemblance to JAG’s comments whatsoever. Just throwing rocks at the coalition government to score points for the sinking, vindictive Natz!

    IMHO for all its worth, there are many factors involved in road fatalities. Human attitude behind the wheel being top of the list, combined with lack of adequate roading to cope with the ever increasing volumes of traffic (result of over migration perhaps?), along with failed public transport infrastructure. Improving rail services would be a sensible area to focus on. To correct these issues is something which is going to take a little time to achieve. Can’t be done in a year, as Farrar et al thinks it should have been!

    • Ed 17.1

      No they have a plan – it is to cover the country in 2 lane highways, with no cost/benefit analysis attached.

      They have another plan.
      To cut back on spending on the police.

      And another plan.
      To bow down and scape to the logging, freight and liquor industries.

      These are all plans.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 17.1.1

        pretty hard to put those plans in place from opposition. What’s Lab / Greens plan except for fixing roads, not driving and waiting out the Big, Scary Lag?

      • Sacha 17.1.2

        “they have a plan – it is to cover the country in 2 lane highways”

        *Four* lane highways. That’s how woefully ignorant about BCRs they are.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      And Natz solution for possibly achieving less fatalities on the roads is … ?

      National and their coalition partners put in place policies that increased the road toll.

  18. Ad 18

    my suggestions for faster traffic safety changes:

    – lower speed limit in top 8 urban centres to 40. And to 30 in cbd’s as Auckland is doing. includes freight.

    – heavy trucking at night only: 7pm-6

    – ban imports of all Anscar 1 and 2 star cars

    – special costly licenses for all cars 20 years or older with

    – increase penalties for fleet-owner directors to include multi-year jail tariffs and require NZTA to prosecute rather than “educate”.

    – zero alxohol limit for all drivers, with keys confiscated. same for all other imparing drugs.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 18.1

      Maybe increasing the provisional driving requirements to have a mandatory taught time that could be provided through schools by the government as well?

      When you say fleet owner directors though, what do you mean by that?

      • Nic the NZer 18.1.1

        If a senior firm officer or director is responsible for running the business in a way which encourages the employees to violate the law, they are also able to be criminally responsible for those infringements. They can even be responsible if they know violations are occurring, but fail to act to discourage (or in some cases report) them.

    • Nic the NZer 18.2

      – “zero alxohol limit for all drivers”
      Blood Alcohol tests have a problematic false positive rate here.

      and yes, I fully endorse the position that you need an agency to actually criminally prosecute certain officers for many infringements.

    • Ed 18.3

      These are excellent ideas Ad ; the only downside is that some will penalise the poor.
      So to mitigate this, make all public transport free and close down the left lane of the motorways to cars to make public transport quick and convenient.

      • marty mars 18.3.1

        Yes and make it compulsory to sit and be tested on a renewed licence every 3 years. The hassle value of that will reduce the number of drivers – add carless days, massive extra costs when more than 2 cars per person, multiple toll roads, instant fines for only one person in the car and so on. Free public transport or even PAY people to take it – vouchers, discounts etc.

        Why do this? We want to reduce car usage, reduce frivolous use and incentivise public transport.

    • Herodotus 18.4

      The building industry will love your comments, so no delivery of concrete, sand/metal, precast panels/beams or steel ?

      “If a truck is carrying 5 cubic metres, then the weight of the concrete is approximately 2.35 tonnes/m³ (5m³ X 2.35 t = 11.75 t) and the truck weighs 10 tonnes giving a total of about 22 tonnes.”
      http://www.stevensonconcrete.co.nz/concrete/frequently-asked-questions/

    • Draco T Bastard 18.5

      ban imports of all Anscar 1 and 2 star cars

      What the hell is one of those?

      special costly licenses for all cars 20 years or older with

      Agreed. Cars that old simply don’t meet modern safety requirements.

      • Exkiwiforces 18.5.1

        Try my 1ton British Tank (2011 Landrover) and then jump into the wife’s DMAX or any modern car and then compare the difference. 😁

    • greywarshark 18.6

      Don’t agree with zero alcohol limit. A fairly low limit, but it is a small number who cause the serious offences. Often tiredness. Go on encouraging eating while drinking, and having a glass of water after the first drink.

      All those who commit offences should have to attend a driving course and self management course, or lose their licence or when they are just repeat offenders, go to jail for a couple of nights if they don’t make alternative arrangements for the classes that they can’t attend for some reason.

      A different approach to drivers, encouraging skill, alertness, pride and awareness of others on road, to be courteous and not just with the idea that everyone else is an idiot as I have heard from many.

      One aspect of this courteious approach.is that approaching intersections a driver should drop speed about 10kms and watch the intersection to fit in smoothly with other drivers who might be in line waiting for a chance to move. A small drop in speed, gives a driver on the right to move and clear. Shoving across at 50 as if it is an open road situation is not good for traffic flow, and isn’t sharing the road fairly.

      Drivers waiting for turn looking to the right for space, should keep alert and when a car indicates it is moving straight to the road beside them. driver should be ready to move off.

      Drivers waiting to pull out into traffic, should signal right turn and then watch all points necessary and be sure that while they concentrate on cars clearing from one point, that a previous clear road hasn’t filled up again.

      Drivers should be happy to keep at legal or near speed, and not rush to fill any gap that occurs in a line of traffic; the gaps give other drivers a chance to go across or turn left into the line.

      And blow the costly licences. Those with old cars need them. Just keep the warrant of fitnesses checked. This attitude is so hard-line authoritarian, it is real centre Labour, without thought for the tons of people who are on those low wages that Labour held the door open for.

      Infused reminded me of the sociological chart I have compartmentalising everyone according to their ideas and visions. Infused could be Hi-throttle Highwayman with The view of present and future – Paving the nation. Proposals for Future: Re-paving the nation!

  19. Infused 19

    It started increasing with this zero tolerance bullshit. Imo too much resources are being spent on advertising and such. Build better roads

  20. Sacha 20

    For anybody still interested, here is a well-informed article – and comments section – about the recently-announced NZ road safety package: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2018/12/17/road-safety-programme-announced/

  21. Ross Francis 21

    To be fair to Farrar – I know, why should I be? – but he is used to National Ministers lying through their teeth. I don’t think he can quite believe that Ministers in this Government are not averse to telling the truth. JAG simply told the truth.

    And as I explained over at his site, last year’s road toll is only two higher than 2017, so the hysteria over the toll is unwarranted.

  22. Pete 22

    The road deaths in Northland are giving the National MPs a chance to go to town about Auckland getting trams and Northland not getting exactly what they say is needed.

    The effrontery would be unbelievable but their supporters were prepared to accept second class citizen treatment for years so that indicates their position.

    The best thing that ever happened for politics in Northland was Peters winning the by-election when he did.

  23. cleangreen 23

    The facts are that if JAG doesn’t get the rail going as prime mover of freight and remove trucks from our crowded single lane winding roads she will not have any affect on reducing the level of truck and car fatal accidents!!!

    NZTA records now have confirmed that they have already signaled a ‘sharp rise in truck volumes on our roads by 2020 to make every forth vehicle on our roads.

    In 2007 the transport agency said one in every sixth vehicle on our roads was a truck, so in 12 years the truck volumes have increased 50%.

    This unchecked increasing truck use is unsustainable and send a signal that “our roads will become truck gridlocked”.

    From the Government roading agency files we have found strong evidence here from the roading authority of unsustainable truck use now in NZ.

    https://nzta1.cwp.govt.nz/assets/resources/planning-policy-manual/docs/planning-policy-manual-chapter-3.pdf

    Transit Planning Policy Manual version 1 Effective from 1 August 2007

    Transit NZ last plan to 2007 has some use. • By 2020; – “ Transit says in this study that one in every four vehicles on roads will be a truck.”

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