Wairoa Star Column

“The holiday season is over and my electorate team and I are now back to work. I hope everyone enjoyed the break and is looking forward 2018.
As Minister of Police, one issue that I have had to constantly comment on is the road toll. At 380 deaths in 2017, this is far too high. The sad thing is that a number of road deaths are actually preventable. For example, in 2016, 100 Kiwis died on our roads because they were not wearing seatbelts. That’s an alarming statistic considering it takes about 2 seconds to click it in.

In terms of making our roads safer, Police do work closely with NZTA on engineering and design, education and law enforcement, and injury prevention
We all know that Police can’t be everywhere at once, or control the actions of every driver, so road safety is something we all have to take responsibility for.
My ministerial colleague Julie-Ann Genter, the Associate Minister of Transport, recently announced $22.5 million on the ‘Boost Safety’ initiative. This will come from the existing highways budget and be targeted to improve the safety of 30 rural highway “hotspots” across the country. Rumble strips, safety barriers, signs and different speed limits are only some of the measures proposed to lower the road toll.

This is because we believe that we should be improving our existing highways instead of building new ones. When travelling on our rural and provincial roads we all need to be aware of the dangers and moderate our driving and behaviour accordingly.

On a personal note, it is going to be a huge year, with major plans for all of my four portfolios. It’s going to be an exciting and game-changing year, and I wish you all the best for it.

Stuart Nash MP for Napier

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