Random roadside drug testing: AA regrets ‘staggering’ delay

The AA has welcomed the Government’s announcement that random roadside drug testing is underway, but says it is “staggering” and “ridiculous” how long it has taken New Zealand to get there.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced yesterday that police will be able to randomly test drivers for drugs on the roads using oral fluid tests. The legislation is expected to be passed by the end of the year, he said.

“The previous government passed legislation to introduce roadside drug testing, however, two years later, no progress has been made because the legislation was flawed and unworkable,” Brown said at the launch of Drug Week. Road safety.

The Government will ask police to carry out 50,000 oral fluid tests a year once the regime is implemented, he said.

The Automobile Association said the move would “fix a gap in New Zealand’s road safety strategy that has been exposed for too long”.

“These tests are proven and have been used in Australia and Europe for years – it is surprising that it has taken New Zealand so long to adopt international best practice,” road safety spokesperson Dylan Thomsen said.

“With drugs implicated in so much damage on New Zealand’s roads, it’s ridiculous that testing has taken so long to be introduced.

“Victoria, Australia, introduced drug testing 20 years ago.

“Too many people are still willing to risk their lives by driving after using drugs or drinking alcohol.”

The tests will constitute an important “safety net,” he added.

“Right now people are dying because (drug drivers) don’t believe they’re going to get caught.”