Waitomo News : 18-November-2014
WAITOMO NEWS Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9 FROM P1 “Under the act (Psychoactive Substances Act 2013) a psychoactive substances policy is not man- datory, but a policy is considered critical if council wishes to influence the sale of such products within the district.” NOT NEEDED Under the act, the council can create a policy that restricts the geographical location where legal highs can be sold (i.e. not near sensitive sites such as schools and churches), but mayor Brian Hanna says such a policy is not needed in the Waitomo district. “Basically we decided not to rush into creating a policy because we have no problem here now. “Our community was very pro-active and re- moved the problem when the products were still being sold back in 2012. “I’m sure someone in the future will develop something that passes the health tests and we do need to be ready for that, but at the moment a visit from our local sergeants and pressure from the community is enough encouragement for our local shopkeepers to willingly remove the products themselves.” SIMILIAR APPROACH Earlier this year, Waipa District Council adopted its Psychoactive Substances Policy which prohibits the sale of legal highs other than from premises in central business areas isolated from sensitive sites such as schools and churches. Mr Hanna says if WDC is to develop a policy in the future the draft document will take a similar approach. FROM P1 Road policing assistant commissioner Dave Cliff says police welcome the lowered limit and, together with other road agencies, are busy reminding and educating drivers of the impending change. “This new legislation represents a significant opportunity to further reduce the number of people killed and maimed on our roads and lessen the lifelong impact that this has on families and in our communities. “One of the great things is that anecdotally, many drivers already appear to be taking the new limits on board and moderating their behaviour, which is fantastic to see.” However, Mr Cliff warns that police would not be lessening its focus on those continuing to break the law and put other innocent road users at risk. “While we are taking an educational approach to those drivers who currently fall within the soon- to-be lowered limit, those thinking that there will be any softening in our approach to drink-driving overall should think again. “I can assure the public that anyone caught drink-driving and breaking the law can expect to face the full consequences.” Police efforts to educate road users is supported by a nationwide NZTA public information cam- paign beginning this week, including television, ra- dio and bus shelter advertising, along with posters and coasters in pubs and other licensed premises. SHOCKING STATS Mr Cliff says drinking and driving continued to be a factor in about 30% of all fatal road crashes. “For every 100 alcohol or drug-impaired driv- ers or riders who died in road crashes, 47 of their passengers and 16 sober road users die with them. “Over the past 10 years, fatal crashes caused by drink-driving have claimed the lives of around 1100 people and caused serious injuries to another 5300.” Mr Cliff says for every one of those people killed or seriously hurt, there are thousands more families and friends affected – either grieving or struggling to support loved ones who may have been left to cope with lifelong injuries. “The international research is unequivocal – lowering the adult drink-driving limit is a signifi- cant step towards reducing the number of people killed and injured on our roads and the police and its road safety partners continue to be very firmly focused on this objective. “We ask that New Zealanders also keep playing their part to make the roads safer for all of us.” FULL SUPPORT National Road Safety Committee chairman and Secretary for Transport Martin Matthews says the new legislation has gained wide public support with 60% of New Zealanders surveyed favouring a lower legal blood-alcohol limit for driving. “Lowering the adult drink-drive limit was a key strategic action under Safer Journeys, the Govern- ment’s road safety strategy. “International research also supports our expec- tations that, like the zero limit for drivers under 20, this move will make a significant difference in reducing road trauma and will help realise the strategy’s vision of a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury.” Accident Compensation Corporation chief execu- tive Scott Pickering says ACC estimates alcohol contributes to around 11% of all injuries and vehicle crashes on the road are the main cause of serious injuries in New Zealand. “To avoid adding to these injury statistics, we’re asking Kiwis to plan ahead, look out for your mates and don’t drink and drive.” REDUCING HARM The Health Promotion Agency’s general man- ager of policy, research and advice Dr Andrew Hearn says the lower limit would make a signifi- cant contribution to reducing alcohol related harm not only on the roads but across the board. “The introduction of a lower blood alcohol limit is likely to complement new initiatives under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and have a positive effect on drinking culture generally and drink- driving specifically. “It is likely that more people will choose to drink significantly less, or not to drink at all, if they are driving. “Behavioural shifts of this nature are likely to contribute to reduced levels of alcohol-related harm overall.” He says the lowered limits will see New Zealand adopt practice consistent with 89 countries cur- rently enforcing the World Health Organization’s recommended blood limit of 50mg per 100ml or less. ZERO TOLERANCE Road safety charity Brake is also joining police No alcohol “easiest way” Council votes no to formal ‘high’ policy and other road safety agencies in reminding drivers to not drink any amount of alcohol if they are driving. Director Caroline Perry says the lower limit will save lives and prevent injuries on the road and is a step in the right direction to stamping out deadly drink driving. “Thousands of people have need- lessly lost their lives or been seriously injured in drink-drive crashes over the last decade,” she says. “The new lower limit will help to save other families from experienc- ing the devastating effects of road crashes. “We know that there is a huge amount of support for this from the public, who rightly see drink-driving as a selfish, irresponsible act which puts other innocent road users at risk. “We call on everyone to arrange to get home safely by using public transport, walking via a safe route, using a taxi, or having a designated driver if you’re out drinking.” Brake’s ‘Not a drop, not a drag’ campaign calls for zero tolerance on drink and drug driving and asks driv- ers to pledge to never drink or take drugs and drive. > New venue - Mystery Creek Events Centre historic village > Registration is $200 for a team of ten, includes tshirts, entertainment, Sunday team breakfast and your pick of tent sites > Overnight camping coupled with live bands, performers, competitions, food stands, amazing costumes and our survivor celebrations result in a festive atmosphere you do not want to miss Ph 07 903 5816 visit www.relayforlife.org.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org 8389 RFL Ad 3col.pdf 1 16/10/14 8:36 am The Rotar y Club of Te Kuiti are proud to announce they are sponsoring Keegan Grainger Exchange student to Denmark in 2015 How can you help? Rotary are organising an auction to help raise funds for Keegan. November 29 @ 10am (further details later) Can you donate: • Furniture • Appliances • Anything you no longer require Call 07 878 6376 Bruce Spurdle, evenings if you require items to be collected Lower limits – the basics LOWER alcohol limits for adult drivers are being introduced as part of the Gov- ernment’s Safer Journeys strategy, which aims to significantly reduce deaths and serious injuries from road crashes by 2020. From Monday, December 1, the alco- hol limit for drivers aged 20 years and over will be lowered. This change means that drivers aged 20 years and over must not drive if: l the amount of alcohol in their breath is more than 250 micrograms per litre of breath; l the amount of alcohol in their blood is more than 50 milligrams per 100 mil- lilitres of blood. Drivers, who are over 400micro- grams of alcohol per litre of breath, or 80milligrams of alcohol per 100millili- tres of blood, will continue to face crimi- nal sanctions as is currently the case. Drivers who fail an evidential breath test between 251 and 400micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath will receive an infringement notice with a $200 in- fringement fee and 50 demerit points. Drivers who accumulate 100 or more demerit points from driving offences within two years will receive a three month driver licence suspension. An infringement offence will not result in the driver receiving a criminal convic- tion. For drivers under the age of 20 years, the limit remains at zero.