A new study by the Get Clued Up campaign has found that almost nine out of 10 students think “it is OK to drive on certain illegal drugs, but not others”.
However, the Get Clued Up team says that its campaign has a dramatic effect on students, with post-campaign evaluation showing that the number who thought it was acceptable to drive on illegal drugs tumbling from 88% to 12%.
The family of Lillian Groves, the 14-year-old girl whose death in 2010 led to calls for stronger drug driving laws, supports Get Clued Up and is calling for compulsory drug driving education in schools.
Natasha Groves, Lillian’s mother, believes greater awareness of the risks and consequences of drug driving among young people is vital. Mrs Groves also thinks education and robust enforcement are the key to help reduce the likelihood of another family having to go through the heartbreak that her family has endured.
Mrs Groves said: “I think every secondary school should have Get Clued Up as a programme on their curriculum.”
Anne Connor, head of Sixth Form at George Heriots School, said: “We have run the ‘Get Clued up’ programme with our sixth form pupils several times and it is excellent.
“It encourages our pupils to think more deeply about the issue of drug driving and raises awareness of the most important aspects.
“Equally importantly, it helps to raise awareness of the dangers of being a passenger in a car driven by an impaired driver and encourages pupils to explore effective strategies on how to handle that situation effectively.”
Dr Rob Tunbridge, a leading expert on impaired driving, added: “These results clearly show the value of education in combating the menace of drug driving.
“We already know from extensive research on drink drive offenders that early intervention to educate these drivers reduces their chance of re-offending by a factor of three. This is why this innovative project is so important and one that I wholeheartedly support.”