In the fourth Review Show George Williams talks to Iain Forcer from drug testing company Concateno about the issues and the success of roadside testing in other countries.
Drug driving is a serious and growing problem in Britain. More people are doing it, more accidents and fatalities are being caused by it. But public awareness and our ‘social’ attitude towards it just isn’t the same as it is towards drink driving.
The Department for Transport estimates that one in five people killed in road traffic accidents have drugs in their bloodstream, both legal and illegal.
However, attitudes and to some extent enforcement is probably where drink driving was maybe 30 years ago - which means it has long way to go.
Thanks to the breathalyser, first introduced in 1967 and, hard hitting advertising campaigns, drink driving deaths are now 25% down on what they were in 1980.
But for drug driving, there is no roadside testing in Britain, no breathalyser equivalent, even though countries that operate roadside testing have seen significant reductions in drug driving. In Australia, the State of Victoria achieved a 50% reduction in positive tests with roadside testing.
However, there is progress here, the North Review, the first major study on drink and drug driving in 34 years made 44 recommendations, 16 relating to drug driving, which suggest a ‘step by step assault on drug driving’ including the introduction of drug screening and eventually the ‘drugalyser’. It’s coming.
Concateno is a drug testing company that has developed screening and roadside testing technologies that are currently being used in a number of other countries - and are behind more than 10 million tests a year.