RTF supports move to get drugged drivers off roads

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 20, 2019

The Road Transport Forum strongly supports the Government‘s moves to get drugged drivers off our roads, says RTF chief executive Nick Leggett.

“More people are killed on the roads by drugged drivers than by drunk drivers so we have been asking the government for some time to introduce adequate roadside drug testing,” Leggett says.

“Saliva testing for drugs, followed by impairment and blood testing had to happen, so we are pleased to see the Government announce this.”

Leggett says all those in safety-sensitive industries such as transport are very concerned about the government‘s plans to legalise recreational cannabis, and feel it is imperative steps are in place to ensure employers can meet workplace health and safety laws.

“This is one step in that direction. We are also pleased to see stiffer penalties for distracted drivers to improve road safety.”

However, the RTF do not support wholesale speed limit cuts around New Zealand.

“We think roads should be ‘engineered up‘ to adequate safety limits rather than the government just accepting the roads are unsafe and deciding not to fix them.

“Long stretches of road with reduced speed limits will slow down the delivery of goods and consequently, make those goods more expensive.”

Leggett says the RTF has offered to prove this to the NZ Transport Agency by taking them on truck trips to witness the slow down and hear what that means for businesses.

“The roads are the workplace for truck drivers, so no one supports road safety more than us. But we want to see the right risk profiling balance, not a sharp swerve in the wrong direction,” Leggett says.