The problem with National’s drug driving law and the complicity of Fairfax media to fan victim porn

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This is possibly the worst victim porn Fairfax have vomited up for some time

It’s been more than a decade since Malcolm Barnett’s stepdaughter was killed in a road crash by a meth-fuelled driver.

Yet the Taupo man believed police were still not equipped to get drug-impaired drivers off the country’s roads.

He was supporting a new member’s bill which would give officers the ability to conduct roadside saliva tests for cannabis, MDMA and methamphetamine, but said it had taken far too long for preventative steps to be taken.

“Stop dicking around. They [the government] talk about trying to make our roads safer and all the rest of it. Part of the way to make our roads safer is to get these people off the road.”

In September 2005, Krystal Bennett, 18, was driving home when disqualified driver Leah Wai Peneha drove 300 metres down the wrong side of River Rd, Upper Hutt, and into her car while high on P.

The fatal head-on crash saw Peneha convicted of the teenager’s manslaughter, but Barnett was still adamant roadside saliva testing could have prevented the teenager’s death.

After years of campaigning, Barnett has renewed his call for the government to give police the tools to drug test drivers.

“If legislation can only be done at Parliament level, then get something done … give police the power to do it.

“This is not going to save our daughter, but if we can save some other poor bastard going through what we’ve had to, then that’s got to be a bonus,” Barnett said.

National’s Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott’s member bill would allow police to carry out saliva testing when a driver was suspected of being drug-impaired.

He planned to put the Land Transport (Random Oral Fluid Testing) Amendment Bill into the ballot by Tuesday next week.

…ot takes almost half of this story wallowing in victim porn before it even tells you want this story is actually about.

While every lose of life is a tragedy, I’m not sure what the hell the relevance of dredging up a road death over a decade old is other than to generate manufactured anger.

380 people died last year on the roads while 606 committed suicide last year. Thousands more died because of booze and tobacco so to start demanding specific legislation for drug driving because of one death a decade ago seems extravagant in the extreme.

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Here’s the problem. With cannabis being our most used illegal drug in NZ, this test will pick up thousands of drivers who might have cannabis in their system but no driving impairment. That means thousands more clogging our judicial system and thousands being punished for testing positive to a drug test that doesn’t actually show if the person is impaired while driving.

This is the exact same drug hysteria that led to the meth contamination scam in houses that needlessly costed millions.

Giving the police more powers to solve a problem looking for a solution is the worst kind of social policy.

To be effective the test would need to create an impairment level for cannabis, but I don’t think the National Party are even capable of understanding the nuance.

7 COMMENTS

  1. what a lot of nonsense.
    the nationals had years to do something but they know that people on p work harder until they burn out.
    and as to equating cannabis and p then that is just more bullshit to ensure the continuance of cannabis as the cash cow of the justice industry in new zealand. the whole thing is up the wop and the amount of p around is just the amount needed to keep people on the job!

  2. It’s another way to try and suppress cannabis use.

    We are a society that officially only condones alcohol as a drug that is suitable for people to get intoxicated on. Absolutely every other drug is illegal.

  3. Corrupt leadership. We were conned into lowering the alcohol limit (no cost – more revenue) when it was pretty clear that in countries where the limit had been lowered it was actually a subsequent increase in the number of checkpoints that caused improvement. No improvement at all here in NZ – because the last Govt under-resourced Police to the point that we now have fewer checkpoints, not more. Road toll has gone up, and I bet alcohol-related ones have gone up too.
    Same kind of hiss and blow with no substantial policy that might actually cost something.
    I hope that the new Govt will do better.

  4. I reckon a bit of careful digging would find that this is a slight rewrite of a press release, written by a bunch of ex-cops running a drug testing company. The drug testing industry is, for the most part, a useless parasite on our country’s resources, using manufactured angst to make big profits. Think MethCon, and then remember what a con Mike Sabin turned out to be.

  5. As soon as I saw the inclusion of cannabis in the proposed legislation I lost interest in the story.

    Just another load of shit from our “media”.

    You need to see who actually benefits from this kind of story.

    Another distraction effort…

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