"The next steps towards reducing the road toll heralded today by the National Road Safety Committee can only help with the task of reaching the goal of 300 deaths and 4500 injuries by 2010," Police Commissioner Rob Robinson said today.
"This goal is achievable but it is ambitious. Enhanced enforcement will be a vital component in reaching the goal.
"Although we have made significant gains over the past decade and have saved many people from unnecessary pain and trauma, we need to explore ways of ensuring that those gains are sustained.
Police also welcome the emphasis on engineering and education alongside enforcement. We are reaching the time when itâ€™s not easy to make big gains but a reduction of only one kilometre an hour can save 3-5 percent of the road toll. This means, for example, last year, approximately twenty lives would have been saved if we had clawed mean speeds down by another kilometre.
"Police do not accept any death on our roads as acceptable or inevitable and we believe the public do not either. "
Mr Robinson said, "Rhetoric which alleges revenue gathering around speed enforcement is hollow. Most New Zealanders have at one time or another been touched by the tragedy of a friend or relative being involved in a serious road crash. The higher the speed of the crash, the less survivable it is".
Mr Robinson pointed to the latest Ministry of Justice Crime Victimisation survey indicates that the highest levels of community concern are centred on unsafe and dangerous driving and the fear of falling victim to it.
"Police support the Minister of Transportâ€™s endeavours to facilitate a package of new road safety measures and we are working closely with our road safety partners to provide all the input needed to bring this to fruition," said Mr Robinson.
"All New Zealanders use our roading system whether as pedestrians, cyclists or motor vehicle occupants and I believe we deserve the opportunity to do so safely. In my opinion, this balanced package of future proposals offers this opportunity," he said.