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Waikato initiative coincides with lowering of alcohol limit for young drivers
Sunday 7 August 2011, 2:31PM
By New Zealand Police


Starting as they mean to continue is the driver behind a Waikato road policing initiative designed at reducing road trauma amongst the region's newest drivers.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said new legislation coming into effect from 7 August meant the new blood alcohol limit for drivers under 20 is zero and that Police will be enforcing these new limits from that date.

"Currently the Waikato Police District Road toll is 31 deaths from 27 crashes, 11 more than the next highest road toll in Central District and is the same number for the same period last year.

"Of those 27 crashes eight involved alcohol, drugs or both as contributing factors while 10 of the crashes, which claimed the lives of 12 people, involved drivers aged under 21."

Mr Tooman said the issue was all the more topical given a Coronial hearing into a triple fatality crash in Waihi, involving a young driver alleged to have been under the influence of alcohol, was held in Hamilton this week.

"In line with the lowered alcohol limit the age drivers can obtain a licence rose on 1 August from 15 to 16-years-old.

"It's all about reducing road trauma and trying to buy our newest road users some time to build up their experience and skill levels, even small amounts of alcohol can impair the ability of young drivers who are still trying to develop their skills on the road.". INDEX