Accidents and fatalities caused by drivers under the influence of drugs are increasing at an “alarming” rate, according to the NSW government.
Recently released data for the state revealed that 11 per cent of all road fatalities involved a driver or motorcyclist who had illicit drugs in their system. As well as this, in the last four years alone, more than 166 people died in accidents with motorists who had taken either cannabis, speed, ecstasy or other narcotics.
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said both police and the government are concerned with the spike of these incidents in the recent past.
“We will be stepping up the fight to remove this behaviour from our roads and help save the lives of innocent motorists endangered by the idiotic actions of drug drivers,” he explained.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres also described this behaviour as “dangerous” and indicated that police will be taking a tougher line against drivers under the influence of drugs.
“We are learning a number of critical factors about drug driving, including the fact that in the past four years, 40 per cent of drug driving offences and fatal crashes involved a drug driver that was under the age of 30. This information will allow us to tailor our education campaigns more effectively,” he said.
“We have been highly successful in reducing alcohol-related trauma in the past 30 years, with drink driving fatalities reducing from 30 per cent in 1980, to 15 per cent in 2013. We believe education and enforcement will assist in helping reduce the prevalence of drug driving.
Much like the breath tests that are widespread around the world, NSW Police are using a new drug testing machine called the Drager DrugTest® 5000. Mr Ayres said the machine is highly sensitive and will be able to catch motorists who in the past may have eluded detection.
NSW car accident compensation
If you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and receive a whiplash injury or worse, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most road users including drivers and pedestrians.
It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.