Drug and drink driving 06 Aug 2010

Drug-driving equipment tested as drink-drive deaths fall

RAC Foundation press release – 6th August 2010

Drug-driving equipment rolled out as drink-drive deaths fall

The RAC Foundation has welcomed the Government’s intention to install ‘drugalysers’ at all police stations by 2012 to avoid the need for blood tests to collect evidence for possible prosecutions.

The DfT also announced it was investing £300,000 to develop technology that can test for a wider range of illegal substances than is currently possible as well as developing equipment for use at the roadside.

Commenting on plans to trial drug detection equipment at police stations, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“At last the technology has caught up with the political will and the public mood. The trialling of this equipment shows ministers are serious about tackling the drug-driving problem. Its use will speed up the detection process freeing officers to do other tasks.”

The news on the drugalysers comes the day after provisional figures showed the number of drink-drive deaths in 2009 was 380, down from 400 in the 2008.

New figures also revealed that in the first quarter of 2010 the total number of those killed on the roads was 420, a drop of 24% on the same period in 2009.

Professor Glaister said:

"The dramatic fall in total fatalities is extremely welcome. Death and injury on our roads do not just cause physical and emotional damage to victims and their families, but they also cost the country dear in economic terms. The Government must make sure that in an era of cuts it encourages councils to keep spending on road safety measures so these figures can be at least maintained and hopefully improved on."

ENDS

Contact:

Philip Gomm – Head of External Comms – Philip.gomm@racfoundation.org / 020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448

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