Half of crash drivers on drugs - study
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 8:25a.m.
Tests on drivers who caused crashes reveal more than half had drugs in their system and more than a quarter had taken drugs not prescribed by their doctor.
The Ministry of Transport tested 453 drivers who caused crashes and found 258 had drugs in their system and of that group 156 had taken drugs not administered by a medical professional, the New Zealand Herald reports.
About 90 of those sent to hospital had taken cannabis and drunk alcohol.
Drivers with more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system made up just over half of those analysed.
The Automobile Association (AA) says the Government should bring in random roadside saliva tests to target drug drivers.
But Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges told NZ Herald the Government would wait for saliva testing technology to improve before targeting drug drivers through random tests.
A review of the technology, revealed earlier this year, found it was not fast enough, was unlikely to detect half of cannabis users and results are not reliable enough for criminal prosecution.
Currently police can test drivers if they believe they are under the influence of drugs and this is followed up with a blood test.
Radio New Zealand reports the ministry downplayed the prevalence of drug driving in a paper which went to cabinet this year.
A large section of information in the draft paper was deleted from the final copy, including results of a study which analysed the blood samples of hundreds of people taken to hospital after crashes, the broadcaster said.
The ministry said standard editing processes were used when writing technical papers to make them more readable.
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27/08/2012 1:59:12 p.m.
Detectable ammounts of drugs and impared by drugs are two very different things.
27/08/2012 1:02:23 p.m.
But the dope heads claim that dope makes them safer drivers!Need more testing, and something more than a study showing lots of people who crash were on drugs and or drunk. ie something to encourage less drug taking.Take the star of Outrageous Fortune, put lives at risk with drunk driving - and gets a tap on the hand of $500 and disqualified from driving a few months, and if she needs to drive to wrok she can apply to have her license back earlier. Thats not much of a detterance.Alcohol gives a level of impairment, as do drugs. Sometimes a combination can be much more impairing than individual factors, eg legal level of alcohol combined with drugs can have worse impairment than an illegal level of alcohol and no drugs. Maybe they need some reaction test introduced, and if you fail the impairment test, your charged for driving while impaired, and its up to the individual to keep themselves not impaired, be it drink, drugs, or even over tired. Now an impairment test can be made by testing reaction speeds - set a level, and if your reaction speeds not good enough, dont drive.
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