Drivers who try to outrun police should have their vehicle impounded and licence suspended on a first offence, Labour leader Phil Goff says.
So far this year 15 people have died on the roads during police pursuits. Police engage in 2500 pursuits every year and one in four of those ends up in a crash, Mr Goff said.
Mr Goff said a Labour government would tighten the laws on failure to stop. Current proposals involve tougher penalties for repeat offenders.
''But I believe that we need to act more strongly on the very first offence,'' he said. '' I say the blame rests fairly and squarely with the drivers who are trying to outrun the police.''
Regular readers (both of you) will know that this is an issue that we are hot on, so it should come as no surprise that we endorse Goff's proposal. We could be cyncial and ask why Labour didn't advance such a policy during its nine-year reign, but it's Friday, and we don't want to appear churlish.
No doubt this is an attention-grabber by Phil Goff with the Labour Party conference happening this weekend, but it is an excellent policy initiative nonetheless. We hope that Goff is able to sell this policy to his caucus and to the party, especially the more liberal, anti-police, anti-establishment element.
We also like the signal that it sends to Police Minister Judith Collins. Goff has effectively promised a bipartisan approach to throwing the book at smart-alec young drivers who endanger the public and themselves in fleeing from the police. That has to be good news, even if it alienates Goff from part of his support base, especially those who blog at The Standard, who are cynical at other parties' attempts to get tough on law and order!