This from Autotrader UK (http://www.autotrader.co.uk/EDITORIAL/CARS/FEATURES/33395.html): Britain's top road cop has called for a change in drug driving laws - he says driving with drugs illegal substances in your body should be made a criminal offence. Speaking exclusively to Auto Trader's Alex Eckford, Chief Constable Meredith Hughes talks about drugs, speed cameras, his two crashes and why he once had six points on his licence. "I'm going to fight for a change in the drug-driving law", says Meredith Hughes, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire and head of the Road Policing Unit. "The law requires us to prove impairment, and while we have new tools and more effective methods of doing that, it would be better if we cut straight to the chase - it should be an offence to have illegal drugs in your body and drive a car. I think we know enough about the effect of drugs to say they do not in any way enhance driving. It's an unprecedented call from such a high ranking officer. The current law states motorists' driving must be proved to be impaired by an illegal substance in order for a prosecution to be brought. With cannabis detectable in the system for weeks after use, and more than two million reported users in the UK, it would mean almost to 1 in 10 motorists would potentially be acting illegally. Drug drivers, and their attitudes to driving under the influence, are firmly in the Chief Constable's sights. "The arguments I hear from drug drivers remind me of the comments their grandfathers came up with when we introduced the breathalyser," says Mererdith. "They used to say things like 'I have a couple of pints of strong ale and I drive better' and 'it calms me after a tense day at work'. We proved that was a load of old tonk. Now they say 'I have a couple of bits of blow then I drive better." Speed cameras, or rather the media's obsession with them is another bugbear for the man known to his friends as Med. He said: "I think speed cameras represent about ten per cent of road safety and roads policing." "It's always a temptation in a discussion to focus on speed cameras, but we do such a wide variety of work. I think most of the public are very happy with the policies and a few self-interested, selfish drivers who appear to want the right to drive at any speed they see fit without recognising the democratic nature of our society are frankly a disgrace." "There are clear rules for the deployment of speed cameras, technologically they're outstanding, they have a proven record of road safety, which, no matter how much the 'anti's try to disparage the evidence is overwhelming." He's speaking from experience. Six points of experience - and two crashed cars. "I've had two fixed penalty notices from speeding - one on my way to work in South Yorkshire at 6.10am on an empty dual carriageway with a 40mph limit. And the other was on an empty dual carriageway in South Wales with a 70mph limit. "I paid up on both occasions, as everyone should. It also made me readjust my driving. I also went out with my traffic officers and got some tips and hints on how to use my car." "I carried all my personal possessions around in a Austin Maxi for four years," says Med. "Until I crashed it on Christmas Eve one year into the back of a businessman's Jag. He was not a happy man. I was very tired and I misjudged it. I was forced to trade down to a ten year old Mk1 Ford Escort 1100." Med's other crash happened on during a high-speed police chase. "I crashed a police car once. It happened in the Welsh valleys, when the car I was driving in response to a call slid sideways into a Lada. The police's response was to put me on a driving course. It taught me so much." It's a time of year for making changes - what does Med think motorists' New Year resolutions should be? "Drivers - young and old - should get more training," says Med. "Most drivers get through their driving test and never get any more training throughout their driving career. People should join the Institute of Advanced Motorists, or invest in some lessons and start again from scratch. "I'd also like to see is young motorists have as much pride in their driving as they do in their car," says Med. "They'll go out of their way to get he shiniest, best car they can lay their hands on for the price. But how often do they look at how safe and effective they are as drivers?"