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Discussion paper

This discussion document seeks feedback on options for enhancements to the process for testing drug impaired drivers in New Zealand.

Since 2013 the number of road deaths in New Zealand has been rising. In 2013, there were 253 deaths. In 2017, there were 378 deaths – a 49 percent increase over five years.

To reverse the upward trend in road deaths, the Government has put safety at the forefront of all decision-making on land transport. In June 2018, we released the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018 (GPS), which sets out the government’s priorities for the land transport system over the next 10 years. In the GPS, we elevated safety to one of two key funding priorities.

The Government has also commenced the development of a new road safety strategy for New Zealand. This will involve looking at all reasonable options to make our roads safer.

Addressing drug impaired driving is an important objective if we are to make our roads safer. Studies show that many illicit substances and prescription drugs have negative effects on driving ability, particularly when taken in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

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