Road safety charity calls for zero-tolerance of drug-driving on Scotland’s roads
Road safety charity Brake has called on the Scottish
government to introduce a zero-tolerance policy for drug-driving on the
The call came as the Scottish National Party opened its
annual Spring Conference, in Aberdeen.
In 2014, Scotland led the way by introducing a lower limit than
the rest of the UK, for drink-driving - 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The
rest of the UK retains 80mg limit, which is higher than all other European
Union countries except Malta.
Brake believes it is now time to take the next step to safe
and sober drivers by introducing a similar drug-driving law.
Drug-driving, according to Brake, is a major problem,
hampering driver reaction time and encouraging dangerous behaviours that put
the individual and other road users at risk.
The latest available UK figures, from 2015, show that 62
fatal crashes were a result of impairment by illicit drugs. In a survey, last
year by Brake and Direct Line, 7% of respondents admitted to driving while
under the influence of drugs, with more than half doing so on a weekly basis.
In 2015, England and Wales introduced a zero tolerance drug-driving
ban, making it an offence to drive with certain controlled drugs (both illicit
and some prescription-only drugs) but that law does not apply to Scotland or
Since the drug-driving ban was introduced, drug-driving
arrests have soared in police forces across England and Wales. Between March
2015 and April 2016 almost 8,000 people were arrested for the offence and the
number of convictions for careless driving under the influence of drugs also
rose from 1,039 in 2014 to 1,490 in 2015.
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.”