Road traffic safety

Stuart Nash is better than this; he shouldn?t be phoning it in

Typical Labour answer to anything: ?spend more money on it.

Stuart Nash is better than this…he really should stop using the prepared press releases the leader’s office hands out for him to issue.

The worst Queen’s Birthday road toll in 27 years underlines the need for more road safety and police funding, Labour says.

Eleven people had died by last night over a harrowing Queen’s Birthday weekend. There have been 152 road deaths this year.

Labour’s police spokesman Stuart Nash said the weekend’s crashes coincided with a funding cut for road safety, and fewer police officers on the road.

“Between 2013 and 2015 the road toll has increased by 68, making us one of the only countries where road deaths are rising.

“Funding pressures from the Budget have forced police to remove 100 police officers from road patrols. That will lead to more deaths on the road.” ? Read more »

Balanced reporting: hate to be on the same side as Moroney, but she?s right this time

We were told that lowering the alcohol drink-drive limit would save lives. Logic suggested this was rubbish and would only criminalise people who would have been fine under the old limit.

Turns out the sceptics were right.

There has been only one confirmed?road death in which the?driver at fault?had drunk enough alcohol to put them between the new and old drink-driving limits.

Labour transport spokeswoman Sue Moroney?said the single death?showed that lower-end drink-driving?was not?a high-risk area, and that a rise in the national road toll showed the Government’s road safety measures were not working.

A total of 320?people died on the roads?last year,?compared with 294 in 2014.?There have?been 52 road deaths?so far this?year, against 49 by the?same time last year.

Before the new limit of?50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, or 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, was introduced in December 2014, the Ministry of Transport estimated it would?save three lives?a?year,?as?well?as?64 minor?and?serious?injuries.

Read more »

Driving merit points: the latest PC “everyone’s a winner” nonsense

I see a newspaper editorial is all in favour of the latest “everyone is ?winner” PC nonsense currently doing the rounds advocating for merit points for good drivers.

Nothing annoys generally well-behaved drivers quite so much as having the traffic rulebook thrown at them for a minor transgression. It offends their notion of fairness and, in the process, erodes their support for the police. The police, for their part, have little option but to issue tickets. Successive governments’ emphasis on lowering the road toll has dictated a low-tolerance approach. It is welcome, therefore, that a way around this unsatisfactory state of affairs may soon surface in the shape of merit points.

The concept will be studied in research about to be initiated by the Transport Agency. It will be part of an analysis of the impact of demerit points since their introduction 22 years ago. The research will ask if they have achieved better driver compliance, whether a merit-based system would be more effective, or whether the two should operate in tandem. Merit points would be gained for the time a motorist has been driving without receiving a ticket. Or they may operate as in Victoria, where tickets can be waived if a driver’s good record is deemed to warrant just a warning. ? Read more »

Something must be done to stop stupid people doing stupid things

I don?t wish to make light of the potential tragedy of having your kid bowled by a car, and thank goodness it looks like he?ll make a full recovery, but why is it always someone else?s fault when people do stupid things, and why is it always the case that ?something must be done??

Then yesterday morning as I was driving to work I saw a nearly identical situation. Where a girl jumped out from her mother’s car, run around the back of it and across the lane of oncoming traffic without even looking, right outside Remuera Intermediate. She ran right in front of a 20 tonne truck who slammed on his anchors and nearly clipped her. She just kept on running and her mother drove off. The look on the truck driver’s face was something to behold. He nearly killed that girl, it was just a matter of a few inches…and she just walked on, and will probably do it again today. I felt for the truck driver because there was no way it was his fault.? Read more »

Back to the Drawing Board

The Southland Times editorial has picked up what Labour has so far failed to…that their election campaign using illegal stop sign?facsimiles?has failed.

It was inevitable, of course. The only real surprise is that it has taken almost three weeks for Labour’s latest attention-grabbing bid to crash and burn.The “Stop asset sales vote Labour” campaign, launched in Auckland on April 4, effectively died of scornful, mocking laughter on Thursday. It should not be lamented, even by the most ardent of Labour supporters.

In itself, there was nothing wrong with the concept and a great deal to recommend it. National’s publicly announced plans to begin selling off state assets if (when) it wins the next general election have found so little favour with the electorate that even prominent business leaders have voiced their opposition.

Handled with skill, finesse and a little luck Labour’s campaign could have been, if not a winner, at least a long poll with which to poke the borax. It could even have become long enough to lever the party back up the popularity ladder. Few will look back with favour on the raft of sales of some of our most valuable state assets in the 80s and 90s by successive Labour and National governments.

So the concept was good. The only parts missing were the skill, finesse and luck.

And that scornful, mocking laughter was very loud at my place.

Whoever came up with the concept of plastering the message on imitation road stop signs should be led away to a disused shed out the back somewhere, put under 24-hour guard and released only after the next general election is over.

Whoever then came up with the idea of selling these signs to the party faithful at $10 a pop should be made to share the shed.

But a desert island, a really remote desert island, should be reserved for the genius who came up with the idea of putting the signs, signs with the same shape and colouring of real road stop signs, along the median strip of a road in the Hutt Valley this week.

And Labour still thinks everything is fine with their campaign and they will continue to run their Ponzi scheme. Sue Moroney was even skiting on Facebook about her illegal sign activities in Hamilton long after the issue was highlighted for all to see.

The Land Transport Safety Authority takes a dim view of any roadside signs that could distract drivers. The regulations are pretty clear: “A person must not install on a road, or in or on a place visible from a road, a sign, device or object that is not a traffic control device, but that may be mistaken for a traffic control device.”

You’d think that even if someone was a sheep short in the top paddock he or she would realise that slapping big stop signs along a busy road might have caused a few problems for motorists, but no.

Up they went. And within an hour, down they came again, courtesy of the Hutt City Council, responsible for controlling the roads in the area. The signs, the council noted in a press release, did not meet any road signage requirements and following a complaint from the public they were removed.

Labour still insists that every thing is ok and they are #winning. Unfortunately, no matter how hard they spin the facts the law is the law and their signs are illegal and can’t be displayed.

Unfortunately, the Labour Party still didn’t get it. General secretary Chris Flatt huffed that it was all a dastardly plot by National Party bloggers and right-wing groups to ruin the campaign. “Any reasonable person would see that the nature of the writing and the `vote Labour’ on there indicates they’re not traffic control devices,” he insisted, and vowed party supporters would continue using the signs, though they had been told to be more cautious near roads.

We have some advice for Mr Flatt: throw the signs in the shed, or ship them off to the island. Consult Marketing, 101. Get rid of the negative Stop the asset sales. Be positive. Try something like Save our assets. On a sign that does not look like a road stop sign, or a give way, or even a pedestrian crossing. Do not erect the new signs anywhere near roads. Let’s try to keep the road toll down.

Perhaps some Labour MPs are getting it, they have started removing the avatar from their Facebook profiles, although their transport safety spokesperson was a little slow to grasp the problem for her. She still has the sign in her profile pictures though making her position on anything remotely connected with road?safety?somewhat tenuous. Especially when there is a photo of her standing ON a road waving an illegal sign.

Darien Fenton - Labour road safety spokesperson breaking the law

Annette King is a former transport Minister, you would think she would get it? Nope, not?likely:

Annette King, former transport Minister ignores road safety

Andrew Geddis keeps pointing out Labour’s folly:

April 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

As someone who has commented on this issue elsewhere, I thought I?d chip in my 2 cents worth on the legal niceties of all this ?(1) The question of authorisation was a misdirect by me, based on low-resolution photos of the signs. I?ve retracted and apologised over at Pundit.(2) The Electoral (Advertisements of a Specified Kind) Regulations 2005, Reg 5 (raised by Cameron Slater above) isn?t directly relevant ? this only applies in the 2 months prior to an election. What it does show, however, is that even during the height of election season political expression has to play second fiddle to road safety issues.(3) The question of using these signs around roadways is not simply ?would a ?reasonable person? really think it is a stop sign?? There?s also an importance in keeping the shape/colour of road signs ?pure?, in that when people see a red octagon on the roadside they aren?t having to conciously think ?is that really a stop sign, or just someone using the shape and colour for a different purpose?? Instead, you want an instinctive reaction ? red octagon, must stop?. So the rule may be over-protective, in that it stops some signs that most people wouldn?t really think are proper stop signs so as to ensure the distinctive nature of such signs remains.Some thoughts, anyway.

There are none so blind as those that will not see.