South Taranaki District Mayor Ross Dunlop and Whanganui MP Harete Hipango both say the Government needs to take immediate action on the introduction of compulsory random roadside drug testing.
Both are speaking out after reading the coroner's report into the Waverley crash which killed seven people in June last year. During the inquest, it was revealed one of the drivers had consumed synthetic drugs on the morning of the two-vehicle collision.
"This tragedy had a huge effect on the families involved and on the wider community. It's extremely disturbing to find out that the driver who caused the tragic deaths at Waverley was high on drugs," Dunlop said.
"The fact that we have people driving at speed through our community, high on drugs, is frightening. Innocent people's lives are being lost, but the present rules in New Zealand are completely inadequate and I encourage the Government to move more quickly on this."
Harete said there would be more deaths on the roads because of drug-driving if compulsory roadside testing wasn't introduced.
"The current law and enforcement for drug-impaired driving is ineffective and weak. In 2017 it caused 79 deaths compared to 70 caused by drunk driving, yet there were only 200 convictions for drug-impaired driving compared to more than 16,000 for drunk driving."
Both Harete and Ross say they support Karen Dow's petition that seeks urgent introduction of random saliva testing for drug impairment.
Dow's 23-year-old son Matthew was killed in a crash with a woman who had been drinking and taking drugs before she got behind the wheel near Nelson on New Year's Eve 2017.
The online petition can be found on the New Zealand Parliament website: