The Scottish Government is being urged to introduce a zero tolerance policy for drug-driving to protect the safety of other road users, a charity has said.
According to Brake, the issue of drivers hitting the road while under the influence of illegal drugs is a major problem that is increasing.
The UK’s most recent figures show that almost 8,000 people were arrested for drug driving between March 2015 and April 2016, and there were 62 fatal crashes as a result of drug-related impairment.
Progressive drink-drive laws
Scotland became the first country in Britain to lower the drink-drive limit in 2014, dropping it from 80mg per 100ml of blood, to 50mg.
Brake are now urging lawmakers to take similar action to tackle drug-driving, following in the footsteps of both England and Wales who introduced zero tolerance drug driving bans in 2015.
The charity says driving under the influence of illegal or prescription-only substances hampers the reaction times of drivers and encourages behaviours that are deemed to be dangerous.
It is urging government ministers to tackle the potentially deadly issue and make it part of the agenda at the Scottish National Party annual spring conference.
Sending a ‘clear message’
Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “As the governing party gathers in Aberdeen, I want to send the First Minister a clear message that her Government needs to root out dangerous and potentially deadly driving by introducing a drug-driving law.
“There’s evidence that the law is working in the other nations of the UK and will work in Scotland.”
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government prioritised lowering the drink-driving limit in 2014 as evidence showed such a policy could help save lives.
“Scotland has long-standing legislation used by Police Scotland, prosecutors and our courts that makes it an offence to drive while being impaired due to drugs.
“We are considering very carefully whether evidence shows that specific drug-driving limits should be introduced in Scotland and this consideration will include evaluation of the evidence of the impact of drug-driving limits that have been introduced in England and Wales.”
Source: Fleet News
Date Published: March 25, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown