This memorial is dedicated to wonderful people who were needlessly killed on New Zealand roads by recidivist drunk and drugged drivers.
|Krystal Bennett||Mary Radley||Jonathan Keogh|
|Leon Mason||Simon Short
Every day the families and friends of these much loved people are forced to face the reality that their mother, father, partner, son, daughter, brother, sister or friends were killed by drivers who should not have been allowed to drive.
Together we are determined that repeat impaired drivers will be permanently removed from New Zealand’s roads. Our motivation is simple; we do not want other families to have to endure similar tragedy.
On Boxing Day last year we remembered our loved ones by wearing a single white rose. Why white? It is the colour of the all-to-common sight at the side of our roads, the white cross. It is also the colour of innocence and beauty. This is what our loved ones represent to us.
We greatly appreciate the wide-spread support from New Zealanders on Boxing day. Your recognition on White Rose Day gives us great strength as we start our journey down the much safer road that does not tolerate impaired driving.
We believe that New Zealand is at a Cross Roads. New Zealanders can choose to travel down the current road that allows drunk drivers to hold innocent road users hostage, or we can take another road which does not tolerate recidivist impaired drivers and the destruction they cause. This road will represent a much safer, civilised journey for us all.
The offenders that killed our loved ones had one horrific thing in common. They were recycled drunk and drugged drivers. Time and time again they went through the court system and had opportunities to modify their behaviour, but they did not learn from their past mistakes. Instead their recidivistic behaviour meant they went on to become innocent people's tragedy.
In their hands a motor vehicle becomes a two tonne-killing machine. In one hand they hold car keys, in the other is their drink or drug of choice.
Approximately 29,000 drivers were prosecuted for drunk driving in 2006; one third of these are repeat offenders. Today there are over 3,000 recycled hardcore repeat offenders with at least three convictions driving in New Zealand. Multiple convictions are common, some have as many as 12 to 20 convictions. These people represent every family’s worst nightmare.
New Zealand’s roads should be safe, civilised places, but they are not. Until our laws are significantly strengthened and meaningful solutions are put in place, increasing numbers of innocent New Zealanders will have their lives destroyed by recidivist drunk and drugged drivers. Public roads are not the place for offenders with addiction problems.
Lastly, a small request that may save lives. If you encounter driving you suspect is impaired please ensure your own safety first, then report the incident to the Police on *555. If you safely have the opportunity, record the vehicle's description and licence plate number.