Brake, Direct Line, urge tighter drug driving laws

A road safety charity and a direct car insurance provider have joined forces to urge the government to take action on making drug driving laws tighter and more punitive, discount car insurance experts recently reported.

Motor car insurance provider Direct Line and road safety charity Brake say that action must be taken to protect users of the road, especially in light of new figures revealing one out of every nine motorists between the ages of 17 and 24 have gotten behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs over the past 12 months.  Doing so is currently not an offence, as prosecutors face the burden of proving that the illegal drug caused the driver’s ability to drive to be impaired.

The particular law in question does not make any distinction between illegal drugs and prescription ones, but Brake is exhorting the government to adopt a zero-tolerance approach by closing a loophole applying to illegal drugs.  The charity is also lobbying for the authorisation for police to use roadside testing kits in order to screen those involved in road traffic incidents for the presence of drugs in their system.

Both Brake and Direct Line are asking that the government move forward with implementing the proposals from a drug driving and drink driving review conducted in 2010.  Last year, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond remarked that the Department for Transport would be implementing the review’s recommendations.

The commission found that the number of drug drivers had risen over the past four years.  Additionally, 3 per cent of motorists between the ages of 17 and 24 said that they would get behind the wheel after taking drugs once a month or more, according to the review.

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