Drug drivers killing or injuring nearly 30 people every week, records show

DRUG-DRIVERS are killing or injuring nearly thirty people every week – with campaigners fearing an “epidemic”.

There were 1,469 crashes last year involving motorists who were high, records show. They saw 82 people killed.

Separate figures show police are catching 200 people every week who are drugged up and get behind the wheel.

There were 12,412 people convicted last year for a range of drug-driving offences with men in their twenties most likely to be caught.

Records show the number maimed or killed with drugs in their system has nearly doubled in the past five years.

Cops are equipped with high-tech testing allowing a crackdown on those behind the wheel with illegal drugs in their system.

Cocaine, heroin, cannabis, ketamine and ecstasy can all be detected when drivers are pulled over.

But Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at the road safety charity Brake, said: “Driving under the influence of drugs impairs driving and poses a risk everyone on the road and so the Government must take action over any increase in this illegal behaviour.

“We want to see the police provided with better roadside testing equipment, to help them enforce the law and keep dangerous drug-drivers off the roads.

“Education about road safety must start from an early age and be part of the national curriculum so that when young people reach driving age, they have the information to make the right decisions about safe driving.”

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, says; “Drug driving casualties are growing at an alarming rate, and we need a huge effort from everyone to stop it becoming an epidemic.

“As well as stopping the supply of drugs, we also need more roadside drug testing and better education so drivers understand just how damaging drug driving can be.

“Just like drink driving, getting behind the wheel after taking drugs can have catastrophic results. The more socially unacceptable we make drug use, the more chance we have of saving lives.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Drug driving is completely unacceptable and puts people’s lives at risk.

“We have tough penalties to act as a deterrent, which run alongside our highly respected and effective THINK! campaigns.”

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