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Drugs rival alcohol in road deaths

15 December 2010

Between 14% and 17% of drivers killed or injured in road crashes have drugs in their system. This is according to a new report from the International Transport Forum: a transport think tank at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report, Drugs and Driving: Detection and Deterrence, is based on roadside tests, surveys and questionnaires from 16 countries. It highlights some alarming facts and shows that cannabis and benzodiazepines top the list of drugs involved in lethal motor accidents.

Jack Short, secretary general of the International Transport Forum, said, “Both illicit substances and prescribed medicine are involved. Current drink-driving measures and legislation do not take this into account.”

The report is published as the UK Government looks to create new legislation to crackdown on drug-drivers, including the use of roadside ‘drugalyzers’.

The Forum says the drug-driving issue is moving up the policy agenda in many countries. A major European Union-funded research project called DRUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines) is in progress across Europe.

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