On April the 13th, Concateno hosted the family of Lillian Groves, a 14 year-old who was killed by a driver subsequently found to have traces of cannabis in his system. Guests included Lillian’s parents, Natasha and Gary, her grandfather Peter, her aunt Michaela, and the journalist behind the Lillian’s Law campaign, Gareth Davies, from the Croydon Advertiser. The campaign has received widespread media coverage and aims to change UK legislation that will make it an offence to be driving with an illicit drug in the system, rather than requiring proof that a person’s driving was impaired by drug use. A crew from Sky News also came on site to film and observe, as the story is of national interest.
The campaign has been running for 18 months, during which the family has met with members of parliament and has visited 10 Downing Street to talk with the Prime Minister. The meeting was to discuss how Concateno can help and support them, sharing our expertise about countries where drug driving legislation is already being enforced at the roadside, as well as giving an overview on the Alere™ DDS®2 Mobile Test System.
During the meeting we set up a video conference call with Martin Boorman, a Road Policing Officer from the State of Victoria Police in Australia. Australia was the first country to actively enforce a drug driving law back in 2004. The conference call allowed the Groves family to speak to Inspector Boorman and ask him directly about the success that Australia has had in improving road safety with drug driving laws and campaigns. There were many sobering statistics, but the one that stands out is that in the State of Victoria the number of drivers caught driving with illicit drugs in their system halved from 2004 to 2009 from 1 in 44 to 1 in 94. Australia sees drug driving laws and enforcement not as a way to combat illicit drug use, but as a way to improve road safety and change the culture associated with drug driving. The afternoon was used for tours of the facility and live interviews with Sky. At 3:30.
Let us know what do you think about roadside drug testing or a drug driving law? We’ll be posting an update on this topic soon, don’t forget to come back and find out more.