Thursday, January 27, 2022

Road safety is too important to be left to the police

Over the last month we've been hearing more about what a shit job the police are doing on road safety. More ammunition on this has dropped today, in the form of a review of the entire road safety strategy, and it finds that the police just aren't doing what they're funded to do:

Within Police, old school attitudes promoting crime over road safety have contributed to a failure to meet road policing targets. Waka Kotahi, meanwhile, has been unprepared for the “straightforward” realities of infrastructure upgrades to improve safety, the review concluded.


Police is funded to have 1070 staff working on the road, spending at least 90 percent of their time on road policing. General duties staff are expected to spend up to 15 percent of their time on road policing jobs.

But in reality, the report by MartinJenkins said, as many as 30 per cent of road policing staff were pulled onto other duties.

That figure wasn’t concrete, either, because of poor data collection within Police.

It also found that Road Police Managers are highly trained in both road policing and front line duties, meaning they “easily get diverted into other activity when this is seen as a priority”.

And with the organisation promoting crime over road policing, priorities are seldom road safety, it said.

Which seems like an excellent argument for taking the job off police and bringing back traffic cops. That way we can at least be sure that public money will be spent for the purpose it was appropriated, rather than unlawfully diverted for other purposes. More importantly, the job will actually get done, rather than being deprioritised in favour of this bullshit.