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‘Brilliant’ local support for petition

Sandy Dufty and Jenny Fryer’s petition closed on Saturday. PHOTO/FILE

Emma Brown
[email protected]

A petition calling for harsher penalties for repeat drunk drivers and disqualified drivers closed on Saturday with great support shown from Wairarapa but a disappointing response from other parts of the country.

Sandy Dufty and Jenny Fryer started the petition after the loss of their brother and son Lance Fryer in 2003.

Fryer’s life was cut short when he got into a car with serial drink driver Gavin Hawthorn, who crashed on June 4, 2003.

Having already killed four people in road crashes, Hawthorn blew above the limit again on June 7 last year, gaining his 12th conviction for drunk driving.

Dufty and Fryer have been on a mission to make changes to the law by going out and collecting signatures.

Although the online petition gained just 299 signatures, they have managed to get  3495 signatures from both online and hard copy.

“We didn’t just sit on our butts and talk about it,” Dufty said

But they found it difficult in many places to find a place to sit and get signatures.

“It’s very disheartening when that happens,” Fryer said.

However, in Wairarapa they were well supported.

The petition is being sponsored by Alastair Scott who is a big supporter of safe driving.

There are similar petitions to be put to Parliament which they hope will strengthen the case.

Scott said there was to be a “compliance review for drunk driving and other issues, and they haven’t done it”.

He hopes the petition will highlight the issue again.

The online petition is available via the Parliament homepage.

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