IAM RoadSmart has analysed Department for Transport (DfT) statistics and has found that there were almost 2,500 casualties in relation to drug-driving in 2021, representing a surge of over 260 per cent since 2012 and has led to the IAM calling on the government to take urgent action.
The issue has also been highlighted in the courts, as Criminal Justice System Statistics (CJSS) have disclosed that the number of drug-driving convictions has increased year on year, reaching 12,500 in 2019. Worryingly, nearly half (44 per cent) of these crimes are perpetrated by repeat offenders, with many of these cases occurring within one year.
These upward trends come amid worrying reports that, due to inefficient testing protocols, which requires blood samples to be taken by a healthcare practitioner, some police officers are resorting to bringing drug-driving suspects to hard-pressed A&E departments to take a sample.
An IAM RoadSmart survey of 2,028 motorists 1-in-10 respondents stated that they have driven, or been a passenger in a vehicle where the driver has been under the influence of illegal drugs.The survey also disturbingly discovered that 6 per cent of people would be comfortable driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, and 14 per cent of those surveyed stated that they would not stop a family member or friend who was planning to drive while under the influence of drugs.
IAM RoadSmart's most recent annual Safety Culture Report showed that motorists consider drink and drug-drivers as one of the biggest risks to their personal safety – more than other issues such as speeding on residential streets, people driving aggressively or not wearing a seat belt.
Taken from Traffic Safety Roads.