• Maurice Williamson

The drink-driving television advertisments save a huge amount of lives and must be retained as an important road safety initiative, Transport Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

"I can't believe that Labour would scrap the ads as we have independent research to prove they are a success story."

"Labour Transport spokesman Harry Duynhoven says he wants to bring the road toll down, and then says he will scrap these ads that have already been a major contributor to saving lives on our roads."

Mr Williamson said research conducted by well known road safety experts Vulcan and Cameron showed that measures introduced in 1995 to combat alcohol and speed, of which the ads were a major part, had saved a large number of lives.

" During 1996 and 1997, the reviewers estimated that the campaign had saved more than 100 lives and over 1000 serious injuries. They also estimated that the alcohol campaign had led to more than a 30 percent reduction in alcohol related serious casualty crashes in 1997," said Mr Williamson.

"If Labour are so keen to get the road toll down, they must follow National's example and retain these ads."