Increasing numbers of drivers are being caught drug driving
Drug driving is increasing with more than half the drivers suspected of being under the influence of illegal substances testing positive. Now some road safety campaigners are calling for all drivers involved in accidents to face drug tests.
Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reveal there’s been a startling increase in drivers taking banned substances such as cocaine and cannabis. Of 2022 people stopped in June 2017, 1084 had illegal drugs in their blood. That’s 53.6 per cent compared with 39 per cent when a similar check was conducted in 2016.
Why are there so many drug drivers now?
The number of drivers banned from the road for dangerous driving rocketed last year. Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) figures show that 5179 drivers lost their licence for driving dangerously in 2016. The figure was up by nearly a third (29 per cent) compared with the year before.
The stats show that young adults between the ages of 26 and 35 are the most likely to be disqualified. The Highway Code states: “In the case of serious offences, such as dangerous driving and drink-driving, the court must order disqualification.” The ban is for 12 months. Drivers can also be slapped with an endorsement on their licence of between three and 11 points. But how long will those points stay there after their ban is over? Here’s all you need to know.
How long are points valid?
Honda and Hitachi’s new breathalyser is the size of a smartphone and works like a modern car’s smart key. (Picture © Honda)
As sure as pubs serve cold beer, drinking and driving are a dangerous mix. The most up to date government figures say 240 people were killed by drink-driving in Britain in 2014, and there were over 5,600 accidents estimated to have been caused by having one for the road. In America, over the same period, nearly 10,000 people lost their lives due to ‘alcohol-impaired driving’.
So it’s little surprise that Honda, the Japanese car maker, has asked itself what technology could do to help prevent drink-driving. The answer, it suggests, is a smart key that can detect excessive alcohol consumption and prevent a car’s engine from being started – all before a driver unlocks the car.