Sunday, September 16, 2012

Carmageddon Police

It's difficult to treat the NZ Herald's new blab that they are dedicated to investigative journalism seriously when they produce fact-free stories based on a cop pulling numbers out of his arse:
"Between 250 and 300 people are still dying annually on the roads but if we had lowered the drink-drive limit when we could have, there might have been 30 or so of those people still alive every year," said Kelly.
A cop wanting harsher laws for the public? Quelle surprise. Sadly, the police's own research shows Supt. Kelly hasn't a baton to lean on. In my travails wading through the Police's ESR report on drunk and other drug driving which I vommed up here, I tripped over this graph (page 17). It demonstrates that NZ's breath alcohol limit of 80 mg is the right call:

If the cops really want to lower the road toll, a more effective method might be to overhaul police pursuit procedures. This carnage is becoming so prevalent, the Otago Daily Times and the National Library have sections of their sites dedicated to monitoring it.

The police response to these avoidable deaths? They want immunity from prosecution for any collateral damage they cause:
New Zealand Police Association president Greg O’Connor says that police need to be exempt from some laws, and that safety will be compromised if criminals know police won’t pursue them, Newstalk ZB reports.

"In car chases and in fact in many things that police do where they're required to do things that other members of the public will never be required to do, they do need protection," he says.
There's your problem. Police think they're above the law.