Lower speed and alcohol tolerances a complete failure: 16 dead


This is such a fast moving situation, we’re now up to 16 fatalities, two more since I wrote about this early this morning.

Can we please dispense with the ridiculous idea that fining good people solves the problem of those that are stuffing it up at the extreme end?

A person has died today from their injuries sustained in a Boxing Day crash, bringing the holiday road toll to 16.

The passenger was travelling on the back of a utility vehicle which crashed in Raglan. Police are not releasing their name or any more details at this stage.

Last night, a motorcyclist became the 15th victim, dying near Arthur’s Pass.

Police were called to the scene just before 6pm on SH73. The victim’s next-of-kin are now being identified.

The holiday road toll is now more than double what it was last year…

Police are blaming alcohol, speeding or a combination of the two as the cause of most crashes.

And none of those were near the new limits.  Nobody died going 101 km/h.

Stop being dumb automatons blaming “speed” and “alcohol” when the real problem is with idiots.

Target idiots, and leave good, law abiding and otherwise non-problem people alone.

Stop using the majority of the population as an excuse to extract their hard earned money from their bank accounts for trivial transgressions while the true idiots are still out there maiming and killing.

Alcohol doesn’t kill.   People who excessively drink and drive do.

Speed doesn’t kill.   People who drive at ridiculous speed for the conditions do.

Idiots are the problem.

Focus on them.


– One News


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  • letrec
    • Wallace Westland

      This should be compulsory viewing for the numpties in the NZTA and the council traffic engineers (I use the word loosely)

      • Woody

        Should also be compulsory viewing for so called journalists and reporters. Clearly regurgitating drivel as presented without a moment of fact checking is endemic worldwide.

        • Tippex

          I’d venture too difficult for your average MSM journo with the attention span of a Newt.

    • Effluent

      Great clip, but sadly, I think that governments in general and NZ’s in particular are just too addicted to the easy money this policy produces, as they can blame the hooligan motorist. Easy to see why the cops don’t fight it, it pays for their jobs.

    • This is the video URL. It should be emailed to your MP and any other politicians that you want to make the point to. Ask them is
      “When will you give us speed limits that raise road safety, not revenue!”

    • Hedgehog

      This is brilliant. Sums up my frustration with the current police strategy.

      • Kerry

        I have a close friend whos a cop,i give him curry about the low limits and even he says they are stupid,but hes writing lots of tickets so his boss is sweet.

    • Geoff

      Brilliant clip, thoughtfully produced. But don’t expect Mr Plod or the politicians to take any notice, they like the income stream. If we got all the unlicensed drivers off the road, and insisted on compulsory third party insurance, it would have more effect than fining drivers for doing 1 km over the speed limit.

  • Tom

    This is one of your best posts. You’ll never hear this on the TV

    • mommadog

      Agreed. Those of us with a brain know its revenue gathering rather than really focusing on the problem of idiots. Yet almost nightly on the news someone in law enforcement or politics talks about how we have to focus on speed and alcohol. They won’t be happy until all law abiding people are travelling at 50 km per hour everywhere and never touch alcohol. In the mean time the idiots will still be killing themselves and who ever they crash into.

    • Vaughan

      Although Ron Mark did speak about this on TV3 a couple of nights ago and made sense.

  • Blue Tim

    From what I’ve seen in the last week and a bit, people are now scared to pass the road hogs (not only camper vans and rental cars either) sitting on 70km/h-85km/h for fear of doing 102 & getting an invoice and lecture for their troubles. I am yet to see these road hogs pulled over and lectured

  • caochladh

    And another thing…..why are we being made to pay for the carnage that tourists and travellers create. How many deaths out of the 16 are attributal to non resident drivers??

    • HSV325

      Perhaps the non resident driver that is involved in a crash of their doing should be paying the hospital bills of any NZ residents plus any associated costs as NZ residents get jack from ACC if you happen to be self employed

      • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

        We kiwis contribute to ACC so get cover. Non residents dont so should have private cover unless an reciprical agreement is in place with their homeland. If you are boozed and a visitor send em home after facing the music.

  • Nige.

    theres no way the government can spin this. Surely there will be some sort of backdown from this stupid stupid zero tolerance airy fairy idea.

    this seriously has been one of the biggest let downs of this National Government.

    • sheppy

      The lower drink drive limit is one of the reasons I almost didn’t vote National at the last election. I knew it wouldn’t acheive anything as it went for easy feel good headlines whilst doing absolutely nothing about those causing the carnage. As for the unbelievable obsession with staring at a round dial inside the car rather than looking where you are going…..
      For those about to chip in saying don’t speed and don’t have a problem, have you heard of gravity and hills?

    • Old Man, Torbay.

      It’s not the Government’s fault. It’s the beureaucrats in the background as they always are regardless of which political party is in power.

      • Nige.

        yeah sure. im just waiting for the “official position” from the government on whether this EXPERIMENT with be discontinued.

        Its their legacey.

  • Bart67

    On Dec 31, in the Waioeka Gorge between Opotiki, and Gisborne, a friend of mine nearly became an addition to the holiday road toll. Someone returning from the Rhythm and Vines festival fell asleep at the wheel, and crossed the centre line, What may have been a head on smash was less serious because my friend swerved his car to take the impact on the drivers side in order to protect his sons. After the impact, the losers in the car that caused the crash apparently refused to help my friend extricate his sons from the car because they were afraid the car might catch fire, so my friend got his own sons out of the car, all he had to do was ignore two broken legs, broken ribs and a broken back, but he did it anyway! My friend is currently in Tauranga Hospital. Hopefully he will be back in Auckland next week to undergo spinal surgery, and hopefully the loser who caused the crash will have a long and protracted series of meetings with various members of the constabulary and judiciary, culminating in a hefty financial disincentive and a short spell at her majesties pleasure! (Yeah, right!)

    • Carl

      A brave man hope his kids were unhurt.

      • Bart67

        A little banged up, but they are ok now.

        • Dave

          Bart, good on you for highlighting this, its the kind of thing that needs a full story, perhaps an article and a report? The offenders need sunlight, and a good deal of it, rather than the Police just focusing on speed.

          Good luck to your friend and family for a speedy recovery.

          PS: I have installed DashCams in the company vehicles just for the type of incident you describe, and its great to check where and the time the vehicle/s were when a client disputes an invoice. They are relatively cheap, and remove most doubt about who caused an accident.

          • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

            I wonder when dash cams will mean lower car insurance premiums. No more lies or uncertainty at who or what went wrong.

          • andrew carrot

            Getting closer to Russia aren’t we! All the same, some of the best YouTube compilations focus on Russian driving habits captured on dashboard cams.

    • Whitey

      I hope your friend has a full and speedy recovery.

    • Rick H

      Falling asleep at the wheel – – -cause of over 80% of open road crashes.
      Not speed, Not alcohol.

      • andrew carrot

        And truck crashes

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Speeding fines are a Tax. Want to go fast? pay the Tax. This is by design with many roads having varying speed restrictions and the road is two lanes each side with a median barrier full of trees (thanks Greens) Oteha Valley Rd on the Shore is a perfect example, although I think this is also to slow traffic down so as not to congest the motorway. There is no reason why Oteha Valley Rd can not be 70kph

  • Vaughan

    The government needs the money to top up the consolidated fund so that we can support the bludgers.

  • BlitzkriegNZ

    I drive at a comfortably safe speed for the road I’m on and it’s conditions when there’s no other traffic, only peek at the speedo if I spot a car coming the other way incase it’s a cop. On the way home to Tauranga from the redwoods today I was quite often doing 120 and eased off around the corners enough to never get any major g force. I was never in danger and I always look out for people who could be about to pull out infront of me so if I was being a good boy and making an effort to keep under 100, I’d be too damn busy watching my speedo to see someone pull out in my way or to judge my speed coming into a tight corner. Too many retards who suck at driving have wrecked it for all of us.

    • Rick H

      There are very many roads in NZ where with light traffic, even 130k is very safe.
      I believe the vast majority of drivers, even if the speed limit in those places was increased to 120k, would still drive at much lower than that in wet conditions.
      Most people want to get there safely after all.

  • Michael_l_c

    If the police back down from speed & alcohol they have to admit to the govt that they have failed & don’t know what they are doing. What is the chance of that?
    Theoretically govt does not interfere with operational policing issues but a strong minister would make their displeasure known.
    There are not 2 simple causes for fatal crashes, start plotting the location on maps and it will become obvious that many are in rural, lightly policed areas.

    • andrew carrot

      Principally, WBOP and Canterbury.

      • Michael_l_c

        I get the tauranga local paper by email & the number of fatals is amazing. At least one a month several of which are from not seeing logging trucks. How much time & effort do the police put into not complying with stop signs etc in rural areas?

  • Toby

    It dawned on me on the way home from holiday yesterday what is going on. I had been so focussed on monitoring my speed I missed that the car in front had started slowing down and all of a sudden I was just about up its Jaxie.

    Normally I just drive to the conditions and my speed can be anywhere between 80 and 120. However constantly monitoring the speedo is a major distraction.

    Perhaps an audible beep such as some cars have would be helpful but I was really surprised at what can happen in such a short space of time as you flick your eyes down to the speedo.

  • Rosco

    My position on this is very simple. We amalgamated two departments – Police and Traffic. I have tried to find out the percentage of our current senior Police who came from the Traffic side – no one will tell me. My opinion is that the majority will be from traffic (a lot of senior Police perfed in the 90’s). What we are seeing is a department that is focussed on traffic rather than old style Police work – wanna guess what the percentage is!

    • jay

      No way you’re totally wrong about that. Almost all the brass that were ex mot are long gone.

    • Michael_l_c

      Very few if any from traffic. Most of the ex traffic have now retired.

  • Rex

    Every night on TV the Police roll out the same people with the same stories about speed and alcohol blah blah blah. Sensible people know that is a load of crok! It is our roads and if the looney Greens have there way they will not be improved. It is overseas tourists. It is a small percentage of recidivist drink drivers who are way over the limit. And it is juveniles who have too potent vehicles. The sooner young people have restrictions as to how powerful the cars they are allowed to drive are, the better.

  • david

    Most of the respondents to this blog think the focus is wrong. But some people insist on saying that the law is the law and it serves you right if you exceed the alcohol or the speed limit. I believe that the purpose of laws is to codify society’s mores. Only people who stray from those mores should be punished. If a law appears to its subjects as arbitrary and unreasonably enforced it is a bad law. You may decide to comply with it. But you should stand up and argue against it. A minor change may be all that is required – few would disagree with penalising people who travel over 100 km/h in a manner or situation that was dangerous or reckless.

  • Bob D

    What the NZ Police fail to understand is that the road deaths, tragic as they are, are now falling within the “very low” statistical range. Smeed’s Law is interesting (chart below taken from a paper that analysed India: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0386111212000180

    Basically, as more of any population owns cars, the fatality rate per vehicle drops. Nothing to do with speed. India is prime example – as the country has become more wealthy, more people own cars, but it takes time before they all know how to use them properly. If your parents never drove, you have little background info compared to those in the USA, for example. China is another example.

    In the graph, NZ must be pushing well to the right, probably off the chart, we have more than 50% car ownership, I’d guess. But a glance at the curve shows that there is little to be gained here – the fatality rate is already so low that we have pretty much reached our limit.

    Of course, we can do more in terms of road design, driver education, etc., but the gains will be small, and statistical variation will still occur. Lower speed limits will not improve things. Ironically, they found in the US in the late 1990s that increasing the speed limits actually reduced the fatality rate per million miles travelled.

  • Magor

    Mean while here in South Africa the road death toll for December up until Xmas day was 1140 deaths – I think we have a way to go in NZ!!

  • Valid Point

    Normally I don’t drive over the holiday period (safer to swim with sharks in a bacon wetsuit) but this year I couldn’t avoid it. Having spent almost 40,000km on the road last year through work travel, it was interesting noting the difference driving last week.

    It wasn’t speed that was the issue. What amazed me was how incompetent or nervous many drivers were on the open road. I can only summise that for many drivers, this period is the only time they spend on our highways.

    For the most part (well, North Island anyway) our main roads are good but with lots of hills, blind corners, long unsighted dips and tight 55/65kph curves.

    The question I have is how well do we teach people to drive these? It’s quite different than driving in the city and needs a different skill-set. Does this need to be the focus rather than punitive measures?

  • You have got to add a thumbs up/thumbs down for your articles themselves. To maintaining speed within 1km/hr means your looking at your speedo at least 50% of the time, itself a very dangerous way to drive.

  • Mikex

    As usual it’s the moderates who have to cope with ineffectual aggravation on behalf of the idiots. I bet the accidents attributable to alcohol and/or speed were not the penalised group of 50 to 80 thingys per whatsit or speeding at 104 kph. More likely it’s the 4 times disqualified p– out of their brain driving bullet proof at 120 kph.
    Why don’t they focus on getting them off the road with real deterents ie. loss of vehicle and lengthy jail time.