That is the findings of a report produced by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) one of the most respected health magazines in the world. The report found that almost 1 in 5 people killed on the roads of the UK have traces of unlawful drugs in their body with cannabis easily the most prevalent substance. The report backs up findings from a recent survey of young motorists where over 10% freely admitted to taking illegal drugs while driving a vehicle.
The BMJ are now joining with other bodies in calling for the Government to quickly implement a law making drug driving an offence. There is no current law specifically targeting drug drivers, although police forces and insurance providers, including campervan insurance providers, say this would help them keep dangerous drivers off the road. Transport Secretary Mike Penning has stated that the Department for Transport (DfT) is working as quickly as it can to provide the police with equipment to monitor drivers but it seems a long time coming. A number of road safety organisations believe young drivers may still be ignorant of the fact that the drugs can affect driving, and campaigns based in areas where drugs are part of the lifestyle should be introduced.
Meanwhile Julie Townsend, speaking on behalf of road safety charity BRAKE, said “Tackling drug driving should be a top priority. This report highlights the danger posed by drivers who have smoked cannabis and adds weight to Brake’s calls for widespread testing and prosecution of drivers who selfishly risk lives by taking illegal drugs and driving. We are pleased the Government has expressed commitment to tackling drug driving; we now need urgent action to bring in this desperately needed change in the law – taking a tough, zero tolerance stance – and roadside screening devices to create a strong deterrent against this heinous and highly dangerous behaviour.”