Having given evidence to the Transport Select Committee in October, it was good to see that their recommendations on drink and drug driving have been published. Reviewing the state of play whilst drawing information from the North Report, the TSC acknowledged that drug driving was a concern, saying:
“Drug driving is as important an issue as drink driving, given the risks involved to other road users, the relative lack of public awareness and the current lack of adequate police enforcement. The government should aim to improve the detection of drug driving so that it is as important a road safety priority as combating drink driving. We recommend that the Government develop a five-year strategy for tackling drug driving.”
They also touched on the subject of type approval – or lack of it.
“It is unfortunate that a drug screening device has not been type-approved seven years after police were granted the legal power to use them. However, we welcome the Government’s commitment to install drug screening devices in every police station by 2012. We will monitor progress to ensure the Government meets its target so that no further time is lost.
Drug screening devices for use at the police station should only be an interim measure. The Government’s aim for the medium-term should be to develop and type-approve a drug screening device for use at the roadside, drawing on experience in other parts of the world in developing such devices.”
Drug driving continues to be a subject that provokes debate in the UK and other countries around the world. As associated risks and effects become increasingly evident, the need for an agreed set of standards over monitoring equipment gets ever more pressing.