13 Feb 2016

Doubt over tougher fleeing-driver penalties

1:42 pm on 13 February 2016

Most drivers who flee police will not be deterred by financial penalties, an Australian road safety expert says.

Generic police car.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The New Zealand Government plans to change laws to increase driver disqualification periods and lower the thresholds for seizing an offender's car.

The government said the higher penalties were designed to stress that fleeing from a patrol car was not an option.

But Australian engineer and road safety expert John Lambert said he doubted it would make any difference.

Most drivers doing a runner were drunk or high on drugs so would not stop to think about harsher penalties, he said

The police have been under pressure over pursuits that end in people being injured or killed, but were resisting further changes to the pursuits policy.

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