Land Transport (Road Safety and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2011» 06/05/2011, Posted by Site Admin
Parliament has passed the Land Transport (Road Safety and other Matters) Amendment Bill 2011. The new Bill includes actions from Safer Journeys: New Zealand's Road Safety Strategy 2010-2020 to improve the safety of young drivers and reduce the impact of alcohol in road crashes. The Bill also provides for the repeal of the Transport Act 1962, includes provisions for streamlining the land transport Rule-making process, improving accountability for towage and storage costs of unclaimed impounded vehicles, and a number of technical amendments to enhance the effectiveness of current Land Transport Act provisions. Provisions in the Bill will come into force through a series of staged implementation times following Royal Assent.
Next steps are for the Bill to receive Royal Assent, at which point it will become the Land Transport (Road Safety and other Matters) Amendment Act 2011.
Main changes in the Bill are:
Safer Journeys younger driver package:
* Raise the minimum licensing age from 15 to 16.
* Provide for the NZ Transport Agency to strengthen the restricted licence test
Licensed drivers aged under 16 at the time the age increases will be entitled to retain the licence that they hold. Other transitional arrangements have also been made. Information on the change to the licensing age and the strengthening of the restricted licence test as well as transitional arrangements for those aged 15 at the time of the change is available on the NZ Transport Agency website.
Safer Journeys alcohol actions and review of penalties causing death:
* Allow police to take alcohol readings for research purposes from all drivers involved in fatal or serious injury crashes who have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) between .05 and .08 (50 milligrams and 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 250 and 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath).
* Allow Courts the option to require repeat or serious drink drive offenders to use alcohol interlocks, after a mandated 90-day disqualification. Interlocks must be used for at least 12 months, and can only be removed where the offender shows a violation-free period of 6 months (reducing to 3 months if an approved alcohol assessment is also completed). Offenders who complete an alcohol interlock programme will be subject to a zero BAC limit licence for the 3 years after the removal of their interlock.
* Lower the youth drink drive limit (applies to drivers under 20 years of age from BAC 0.03 (30 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 150 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath) to BAC zero.
* Repeat drink drive offenders will be subject to a BAC zero limit licence for 3 years following a period of disqualification.
* Provide for infringement penalties (fines and demerit points) for the breach of the youth zero drink drive limits (between zero and the current level).
* Increase penalties for dangerous driving-type offences causing death by doubling the maximum period of imprisonment from 5 to 10 years.
* Allow the NZ Police to apply to a court to have a 28-day roadside licence suspension extended for a further 28 days. This can only be used up to three times in respect to any single suspension.
The Bill also contains miscellaneous provisions.
For further information see: