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Posted: 07-Oct-2020 |
Transport industry organisations are asking people working in the road transport industry to “get the facts” before voting in the cannabis law reform referendum.
In a livestreamed breakfast event from the Remuera Club on Thursday 8 October entitled “Clear the Haze”, Road Transport Forum CEO Nick Leggett and The Drug Detection Agency CEO and Founder Kirk Hardy will lay out their concerns if recreational cannabis becomes legal.
“Because there will be an impact on road safety, and the road is the workplace of those in freight transport, it is our place to ask people to be well informed when they go to vote,” says Nick Leggett.
“The first step is to be clear that this is a vote for recreational, not medicinal cannabis use. Medicinal cannabis is legal in New Zealand via prescription from a doctor. If people tell you they need it for pain relief, or stress, or any other ill, tell them to go to the doctor and get a prescription.
“More importantly from our perspective, we believe the Bill, as drafted, gives no consideration to the principle of safety – on the road and in the workplace. We all share the roads – that’s pedestrians, cyclists, car and truck drivers – and everyone wants their loved ones to come home from work each day.
“Already the number of people being killed by drug impaired drivers on New Zealand roads is higher than those killed by drivers above the legal alcohol limit. There have been years and years of media campaigns to stop people drinking and driving, but still they do it. So, what is planned to educate people on taking drugs and driving?”
Mr Leggett said if a car or motorcycle hits a truck they come off second best, even if they are at fault and the accident is nothing to do with the truck driver. “It’s a basic law of physics with big heavy trucks and lightweight cars and bikes. But any injury accidents – no matter who is at fault – are very stressful for truck drivers.
“Higher risk on the roads also likely means higher insurance premiums across the board – insurance is risk priced and you pay on probability. When households and businesses are already managing tight finances, they shouldn’t be surprised by expenses that should be made clear up front.”
Mr Leggett said it was important for everyone working in the road transport industry to drill down to the unintended consequences of making cannabis legal before voting.