Introduce roadside drug testing, forum says (NZ)

By ~lostgurl~ · Dec 12, 2006 · ·
  1. ~lostgurl~
    Introduce roadside drug testing, forum says

    12 DECEMBER 2006

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]The Road Transport Forum is calling on the Government to introduce drug testing with roadside alcohol breath testing in its 2007 road safety programme. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Road Transport Forum CEO Tony Friedlander said today the move was urgent because of rising industry concern over the growing use of so-called recreational drugs within the community. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]"This must mean that the number of drug-affected drivers on the road is also increasing. Roads are our industry's workplace. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]"Members of the commercial road transport industry, and especially truck drivers, are being put at ever greater risk of being involved in an accident caused by someone whose driving is drug-impaired every day." [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Mr Friedlander said it was life threatening and needed urgent action. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]"The industry has taken the lead in tackling driver drug abuse. It has adopted a zero tolerance policy on illegal drug consumption and many companies now carry out random drug testing of their staff." [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Mr Friedlander said drug abuse was not a major problem in the industry at the moment. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Police statistics show that less than one per cent of all truck accidents have involved drug or alcohol abuse, but "the industry has proactively sought to prevent illegal drugs becoming an issue for it and other road users". [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]"In reality truck drivers are more likely to be the victims, not the cause of a drugs-related accident." [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]He said that over two thirds of all accidents involving a truck and another vehicle were caused by the other vehicle and was very likely that drug abuse could be a factor. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]The industry had been told that it will be four years before the police will be equipped to carry out roadside drug testing. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]This was an unacceptable delay, Mr Friedlander said. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Meanwhile, Candor Trust (Campaign Against Drugs on Roads) said that while it supported Road Transport Forum's calls for driver drug testing, it was misguided in its emphasis upon the social – rather than anti-social use of drugs. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]The trust said Mr Friedlander was wrong to assume that recreational drugs were the greatest issue. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]International research and studies within New Zealand made clear that recreational type drugs were not the greatest threat to road safety at all but rather use of any risk drugs by addicted persons. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]The drugs having the highest association with increased crash culpability and contributing most to the road toll were (aside from marijuana) generally not viewed as recreational. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Most were listed as controlled drugs, the trust said.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]The Transport Minister is due to release the Government's road safety programme for 2007. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, MS Sans Serif]Mr Friedlander said he was hopeful Government would make the introduction of roadside drug testing next year a key part of the programme. [/FONT],2106,3897648a6160,00.html

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  1. ~lostgurl~
    Drug Foundation says roadside drug tests not the answer

    Drug Foundation says roadside drug tests not the answer

    12 Dec 2006
    Radio New Zealand

    The Drug Foundation says roadside drug testing is not the answer to curbing drug-affected driving.

    The Road Transport Forum and the Automobile Association are calling for police to test for drugs, along with alcohol, at roadside checks.

    They are hoping the measures will be introduced as part of the government's 2007 road safety programme, to be unveiled on Wednesday.

    The foundation's executive director, Ross Bell, says drug-affected people need to be stopped from driving, but there are questions about how effective the tests currently available are.

    He says questions have been raised about their reliability in the Australian state of Victoria, after problems with false negatives.
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