Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Home, straight

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  • Gareth Ward,

    If you follow through to the original blog post off that Ratatat Hype Machine track, there's another remix they've done too - Beanie Siegel and Jay-Z. Great instrumental on that one too (if the rapping is a bit average)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Introduce compulsory third-party insurance.

    ROADS:

    Change give-way rules for turning traffic and pedestrians.

    MOTORCYCLES:

    Introduce a programme of remedial work for motorcycling "black spots".

    FATIGUE:

    Promote more roadside stopping places.

    I like these options, the others not so much.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1887 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Hmmm, I assume they'll slavish follow the Victoria police for roadside testing, just like they do for everything else in this country...
    so from Victoria we read:

    Step 1:
    Drivers will be required to provide a saliva sample by placing an absorbent collector in their mouth or touching it on their tongue until a sample is collected. The sample will be screened at the roadside, with the result determined within approximately five minutes. Drug tests will be conducted by specially trained and authorised police officers.

    So you have to sit around for five minutes while they make up their minds? What a pain in the arse that will be.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The show opens with a pretty frank exchange of views between me and Keith Slater, producer of the TV3 documentary Let Us Spray.

    Am I just projecting, or were there a couple of points where you wanted to scream "stop being so fucking obtuse, Keith" and belt him in the chops with a clipboard? If so, that was an award-worthy display of keeping your shit together.

    BTW, I watched all those ads and came away with an intense desire to drink away the pain. Was that meant to happen?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    [without actually watching those ads yet]

    I get the idea people just assume nasty traffic ads will actually change behaviour. But, psychologically, punishment (and that is vicarious punishment) doesn't work very well. You need show what people need to do instead and reward that (like certain drinking-driving ads at the moment).

    I'm aware that might be harder to do with drugs - not least without seeming to condone non-driving drugs use.

    I suppose the graphic thing serves as a background but it shouldn't be your focus; you do need to run a positive message. Often this doesn't even occur to anyone. Plus, people might actually want to watch nice ones.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I also want to have Marie McNicholas babies -- or put her in charge of Three's news and current affairs operation to reverse the brain drain. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And, just for Danielle, Notorious B.I.G. ‘Party And Bullshit (Ratatat Remix)’.

    Thanks! :) That is rad, particularly the stuff behind the verses! (It's wrong of me to be unreasonably pleased with Biggie's delivery of the line 'bitch is in the back looking righteous', isn't it? Thought so.)

    Also, since I got a shoutout, I will graciously forgive you for not liking Peaches. That first BDO show she did was so great. You can self-consciously transgress all over me if you like, Peaches!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    In addition to the saliva testing in VIC, NSW has been piloting these much more accurate tests for ecstasy. Not sure what a NZ equivalent would be for methamphetamine.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That first BDO show she did was so great. You can self-consciously transgress all over me if you like, Peaches!

    Indestructible eyeworm! :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The government says that they are looking at cutting speed limits, lowering the blood-alcohol limit for drivers and raising the driving age as well as potentially drug testing.

    But in most accidents I read about, none of those things would have made a difference.

    Cutting the speed limit isn't going to stop high speed accidents, since those people are already exceeding the speed limit. It won't to stop some idiotic blinging boy racer losing control at 160 km/h. It won't stop a poorly judged over-taking leading to a head on smash. Lowering the blood alcohol limit/drug testing isn't going to stop anyone who still drink/drug drives now. Raising the driving age? To what? Most people who kill themselves due to poor driving are young men in their twenties, how old do they want to raise the limit to? 30?

    Clive Matthew-Wilson (of Dog and lemon fame) suggests that it is easier to just physically prevent people from being idiots than trying to persuade them with ineffective ad campaigns. He wants to put concrete crash barriers or steel guard rails up on all our motorways. We have around 11,000km of state highways and 82,000km of other roads in NZ. Apparently, crashes cost us 2.74 billion dollars a year.

    So if barriers on state highways and other key highspeed areas could reduce that by even 50% that is 1.37 billion dollars saved per year, or over five years a return on investment of 6.8 billion dollars. Divide that by the 11,000km of state highways and you've around $650,000 per kilometre to play with. I was told that the cheap as chips "Cheesecutter" barriers so disliked by motorcyclists cost around $100,000 per km to install.

    Surely the best option is install median barriers on all our state highways before we embark on more pointless revenue gathering on Remuera road of people who had half a glass to much at the opera? It would be a good little stimulus in a recession, as well.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Tom - research strongly suggests lowering the blood alcohol limit would indeed save lives. The thing we're not doing well in NZ is providing good addiction treatment to recidivist drunk drivers.

    From 1 December roadside drug testing will begin - not using any technology (because good drug tests don't exist); instead police will use something similar to the US-styled subjective tests (touch your nose etc).

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    police will use something similar to the US-styled subjective tests (touch your nose etc)

    Hm. I've always been able to touch my nose, no matter what I was on. (I'm not a big drinker. Or a driver under the influence of anything. But I do wonder how useful that kind of test would be for someone stoned or high.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Pretty much completely ineffective for amphetamines/methamphetamines.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    But I do wonder how useful that kind of test would be for someone stoned or high.

    It will be not much use at all for amphetamines. I suspect the main drug of concern is marijuana. One presumes they'll have to film it for evidence as well, providing a field day for defence lawyers.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I suspect the main drug of concern is marijuana.

    I bet it's totally ineffective for marijuana too...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    No filming. If, based on the subjective tests, they think you're impaired the Polcie can require you (as per alcohol tests) to undergo a blood test. If that proves you had a drug in your blood (no level required, unlike alcohol) you will be charged.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I was told that the cheap as chips "Cheesecutter" barriers so disliked by motorcyclists cost around $100,000 per km to install.

    They are cheap as chips because they have been banned (on safety grounds) by quite a few countries. So the manufacturers are quite happy to offload their unusable surplus at a discount rate.

    Motorcyclists call them cheesecutters with good reason.

    Whether you like the idea of them as a car driver or not depends on how you feel about instant convertibles.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    The tests, apparently, aren't too bad for pot. But the issue of subjectivity still remains. One major concern, as with our current drug law (or most law infact), is the disproportionate impact on young brown (Maori and Pacific) men.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    research strongly suggests lowering the blood alcohol limit would indeed save lives

    Hi Ross. The AA recently argued that that was not the case -- that the relationship between blood alcohol level and crash rates was not very clear cut, and that the evidence for a lower rate being beneficial was not at all clear. Can you point me to some alternate evidence?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Motorcyclists call them cheesecutters with good reason.

    Don't ride a motorbike then.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    That's not exactly a helpful comment, Tom.

    My reply:

    "Tom, don't do X"

    Please feel free to insert your own value of X. It should be something you enjoy doing, but which is arguably somewhat dangerous and not necessarily adding to the sum total of humankind's safety.

    Smoking, drinking, cycling, skydiving. Whatever you like.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Well. I for one think driving with digitally altered eyes is a bad thing. Not so sure about driving whilst stoned on weed, I think the cops already notice if you're driving a 15kph whilst giggling and chowing down on cakes and cheese and tomato sandwiches.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    If, based on the subjective tests, they think you're impaired the Polcie can require you (as per alcohol tests) to undergo a blood test. If that proves you had a drug in your blood (no level required, unlike alcohol) you will be charged.

    Charged - but not necessarily convicted.

    The law still requires police police to establish that the individual charged in a situation like this is incapable of exercising proper control of a motor vehicle.

    I would note that for this offence (breach of section s 58 of the Land Transport Act) alcohol and other drugs are treated the same - neither has a certain minimum level required.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Hi James. The AA are wrong (I cannot understand how they justify their position - they're at odds with all road safety agencies; maybe their position is not based on road safety, but in the interests of their members?).

    I will provide the research and evidence, which is the same Min. Transport and LTNZ (or whatever they are now) have also used in the road safety strategy. I won't do it just yet - I'm not at my desk. But it is compelling. The issue about lowering the level isn't for lack of evidence; it's political will.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

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