Drug Drivers Need to Think Again
Brake, the road safety charity, have released some alarming statistics on drug driving that suggest as many as one million UK drivers may have driven while on drugs in the past year. Three in 10 drivers also admitted that they wouldn’t always speak out to stop a friend driving on drugs.
These findings are very worrying and highlight a lack of awareness about road safety. Currently, there are around 200 drug-related deaths on the UK’s roads every year, although in reality this figure could be much higher as victims aren’t always routinely checked for drugs after crashes.
Driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and impairs driving skills in many ways. Drug drivers can suffer from slower reaction times, erratic and aggressive behaviour, inability to concentrate properly, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, dizziness and fatigue. This not only puts the driver at risk but it also endangers their passengers and other road users.
Changes to the law
The drug drive law is changing next year to make it easier for police to detect and prosecute drug drivers. This law will make driving with more than trace amounts of drugs in your system a criminal offence. It is of course currently illegal to drive whilst under the influence of drugs but the law requires proof that your ability to drive is impaired. Under this new legislation being put through Parliament, levels of drugs in the driver’s system will be measured and if over the limit, the driver will be prosecuted.
Drivers also need to be aware that many over the counter or prescription drugs can also impair your ability to drive. Under the new drug drive law, limits will be set for the amount of prescription drugs legally allowed in your system. It is important to always check with your doctor or chemist how the prescribed or over the counter medicine will affect you before getting behind the wheel.
RED Driving School CEO Ian McIntosh says: “It is shocking that so many UK drivers have admitted to driving on drugs and this shows a worrying level of complacency by drivers about the effects of drugs on their driving. We welcome the proposed changes to the drug drive law and want all drivers to understand the severity of driving under the influence of drugs.”
If you are worried about drug driving you can talk to Frank for confidential advice. Visit www.talktofrank.com or call 0300 123 6600