Kent County Council has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs.
The ‘hard-hitting’ campaign, which highlights how it is impossible to predict how a drug will affect your driving, has been developed on the back of figures which show that drug driving has led to an increase in serious injuries on the county’s roads.
The campaign film features a young woman behaving as a ‘puppet’ to the drugs she has taken, showing her getting behind the wheel and the life-changing consequences.
The campaign is running throughout November on TV, radio, Spotify, YouTube, digital screens, in pubs and universities and across social media.
The data, published by Kent County Council’s Road Safety Team, shows some motorists are ‘still putting people’s lives at risk by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of illegal substances’.
During 2016, 59 incidents on Kent’s roads were as a result of drugs – including 16 serious injuries and three deaths. Moreover, there have been more than 100 drug-drive related crashes in Kent over the past two years.
Vicky Harvey, road safety team leader at Kent County Council, said: “Drug drivers can suffer from blurred vision, erratic and aggressive behaviour, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, shakes, dizziness and fatigue.
“In such a condition, it is a very bad idea to be behind the wheel of a car, for you, your passengers and other people on the roads or pavements.
“Taking drugs will impair your ability to drive – our message is don’t let drugs take the driving seat; they affect your ability to concentrate, to react in an emergency and to perceive accurately what’s going on around you.”
Chief inspector Richard Smeed, Kent Police, added: “Getting a drug-driving conviction could cost you your driving licence, and perhaps even your job and your home, but worse still you could be responsible for causing someone serious injury or death.
“Motorists who do this need to know that drugs stay in the system for longer than alcohol, and often for more than 24 hours.
“It’s illegal, it’s reckless and it’s wrong. It’s as simple as that.”