Young males to be targeted in campaign against drug driving

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership is working to make drug-driving as unacceptable as drink-driving and targeting young males in a campaign this summer.sussex-police-logo

The partnership says that since legislation was passed last year setting limits for legal and illegal drugs there has been “an apparent huge rise in drivers using their vehicles whilst under the influence”.

It says: “In 2014 there were 55 convictions for drug driving, but 100 arrests were made within the first five months of the law being passed from March to August 2015.

“That said, this rise is mainly due to the new police powers and available technology to test for drugs. Those drug-driving were potentially still doing it in previous years, but with tighter limits there is less freedom to drive impaired now.

The partnership said current statistics for drug-driving suggested it was mainly young males smoking cannabis. Ninety-one per cent of arrests from November 2015 to March this year were males, 60 per cent were for cannabis only, and 49% arrested were 17 to 25-years old.

“These details will direct the campaign against this practice, which will be orchestrated online due to the target audience.”

Behavioural change

Inspector Stewart Goodwin, of Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit said: “The limits for drug driving have been in place for 15 months and are therefore 50 years behind the behavioural change we have achieved with drink driving.

“There is a long way to go, and it won’t happen overnight, but with constant enforcement and continual messaging about the stark risks of driving under the influence of drugs, we will start to see a conversion in attitudes towards this practice.

“You are four more times likely to be in a collision if you drive under the influence – it is vital we get the message out to people before it is too late.”

Zero tolerance

Insp Goodwin added: “We have a zero tolerance approach in Sussex to any form of driving under the influence. We wish to make drug driving as unacceptable as drink driving and a great way to do this is to work with our partners to strengthen our work to get where we want to be.

“Noone should die on the roads due to drugs or drink, so consider your mode of transportation before you are under the influence, so we can all enjoy a safe passage home.”

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