Mother’s disappointment over stalled progress on drug-driving bill

By July 29, 2020 Recent News

Stuff 29 July 2020
Our additional comment: Nelson MP Nick Smith said the Government was ‘dragging its feet’ over legislation for roadside drug testing. Smith’s Land Transport Roadside Drug Testing Amendment Bill was again blocked when he put it before Parliament.

Nelson MP Nick Smith says he will continue to push for legislation for roadside drug testing, despite his member’s bill being blocked for a third time.

Smith tried to introduce his bill in Parliament on Tuesday, after criticising the Government for a lack of action on the issue.

He questioned Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter as to why no progress had been made on roadside testing legislation.

In December 2019, Genter had said police would be given powers to conduct random roadside drug testing, with the intention to introduce a bill in early 2020 with testing to begin in 2021. Testing would be carried out using oral swabs.

In response to Smith’s questions, she said progress had been slowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Smith presented Karen Dow’s 5000-strong petition to Parliament, which called for urgent legislation to be introduced for roadside drug testing.

Dow’s son Matthew was killed by a driver who was high on methamphetamine on New Year’s Eve 2017.

Dow said she was concerned no action would be taken before the upcoming cannabis referendum, given that nothing had happened since the petition was launched in 2018.