Increased levels of enforcement, specialist rehabilitation programmes and more investment in research and data collection are needed to tackle drug driving in Europe, according to a new report.
Published yesterday (8 March), the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) report draws on the latest research to provide an overview of how drugs affect collision risk and the prevalence of different types of drugs in different road users and EU regions.
The report summarises various approaches to combating drug-driving from around Europe and the ways in which they can be used to help tackle both drug-driving itself and other underlying issues related to drug use.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, launched the report with a call for Governments to learn from each other.
According to ETSC, drug driving is responsible for a significant share of deaths on European roads, with psychoactive drugs detected in around 15% of killed and seriously injured drivers.
The report concludes that enforcement, including roadside screening and post-collision forensic testing, needs to be stepped up. It states that the primary factor when it comes to deterring drug driving is perceived risk of detection, but only 11% of drivers think they are likely to be caught.
On rehabilitation programmes for convicted drug drivers, the report says drug driving programmes should be regulated and common standards introduced.
The report also says that education and publicity campaigns designed to reach target groups, particularly young males, ‘must be expanded’.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, said: “Drug driving destroys thousands of lives every year. It’s a complex problem, but one that must nevertheless be tackled.
“Technology can help, but enforcement, rehabilitation and research are also vital to understanding and tackling this evolving challenge.
“Governments can learn from each other, and the EU also has a role to play in promoting common standards, better data collection and research.”
Want to know more about drug-driving and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory