Motoring and safety organisations back new drug drive legislation

12.00 | 3 March 2015 | | 3 comments

Road safety organisations have welcomed the introduction of new legislation to make it easier for the police to detect and prosecute drug drivers.

The IAM described the new drug-driving laws as “a big step forward for road safety”.

Sarah Sillars, IAM CEO, said: “The new law is a real step in the right direction for the eradication of driving under the influence of drugs.

“Many drugs impair the senses to a massive degree – if you are not in full control of your vehicle, you become a severe danger to yourself, your passengers and other road users. It is a self-centred action and those committing it are now being punished with the full force of the law. Now at last, there is a real deterrent.”

While welcoming the new laws, the RAC warned that the new legislation has implications for drivers who use drugs for medicinal purposes.

Simon Williams, RAC spokesman, said: "The introduction of this new offence sends out a clear message to users of banned substances that driving while under the influence is not acceptable and can now be detected with drugalyser devices.

"However, it has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of people who use certain drugs for medicinal purposes. Motorists should keep copies of their prescriptions on them at all times, and discuss the effect of their medication with a doctor."

TTC Group, specialists in driver education, praised the Government for tightening up drug driving laws.

Des Morrison, TTC Group managing director, said: “It will make it easier to tackle drug driving which the DfT estimates leads to 200 deaths each year.

“We have been campaigning for years for action to be taken against those whose driving is impaired by drugs and this new law will make our roads safer. Drug driving will become as anti social as drink driving is now.”

While expressing delight at the introduction of a tougher drug drive law, the road safety charity Brake also called for a halt in the decline in number of traffic police officers.

Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “We believe the Government is doing the right thing by taking a zero tolerance approach; we hope this will make it clear that driving on any amount of drugs won’t be tolerated.

“The crucial next step to back up this and other vital life-saving traffic laws is for Government to give greater priority to traffic policing, to ensure the recent trend of falling traffic police numbers is reversed.”


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    They can do a detection test for 2 at the roadside, cannabis and cocaine, but still have to confirm with a blood test at the police station where they can also test for another 14 and if the blood result is above the set limits it is a prosecution.

    Martin, Surrey
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    According to the press and people in the know this is a badly thought out piece of legislation and brought out before it should be, which at this moment in time can only be used for about 2 or 3 of the known drugs and not the remaining 43 that there apparently are.

    A good intent but failing miserably to tackle the problem. Maybe it will catch up. That said with some 20,000 fewer police officers that we had a couple of decades ago not much chance of having a deterrent effect as one is not likely to get caught.

    Bob Craven Lancs…Space is Safe Campaigner
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    Rare, but I agree with Brake – can we have a big increase in Trafpol please? Otherwise the majority of drug drivers will remain undetected.

    Paul Biggs, Staffodshire
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