RESOURCE PACK FOR EMPLOYERS ON TACKLING DRINK AND DRUG DRIVING LAUNCHED AS LAW IS TIGHTENED
March 2 2015.


Brake, the road safety charity, has produced a guidance report, driver advice sheet and high-impact poster aimed at tackling drink and drug driving at work. Produced in association with Dtec, Brake’s resources are being launched as a new law against drug driving comes into force today.


The law is being strongly welcomed by Brake, which has been campaigning for it alongside families bereaved by drug driving. The law will make it a criminal offence to drive with drugs in your body in England and Wales, removing the need to prove impairment and making it much easier to prosecute drug drivers.

The new law has specified zero-tolerance limits for a range of illegal drugs, and will be enforced with the aid of roadside screening devices. Those found guilty will face a maximum six month jail sentence, £5,000 fine, and automatic 12 month driving ban.

Brake’s resource pack for employers and road safety professionals includes:

- a guidance report for employers on tackling drink and drug driving the workplace, with expert advice and information on testing policies and raising awareness.

- a driver advice sheet on drug driving, designed to be given to drivers in the workplace to highlight this under-addressed issue.

- a powerful poster, highlighting the case of Lilian Groves, a 14 year old killed outside her home by a speeding driver on cannabis, whose family campaigned alongside Brake for the law (see below).

Brake is giving away free copies of the pack to the first 25 professionals to fill in the form at www.brakepro.org/zerotolerancepack. The poster is also available to download for free from www.brake.org.uk/shop.

The extent of the UK’s drug driving problem was revealed by Brake last year, in their survey finding that the equivalent of one million drivers (3%) admitted to having driven on drugs in the past year. One in nine (11%) said they thought they had been a passenger with a driver on drugs]. It's estimated that drug driving may account for as many as 200 deaths a year in the UK.

As well as tackling drivers on illegal drugs, the law clarifies the position for drivers using medication, with set limits for a number of prescribed drugs that can affect driving. Drivers taking medication in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional will not be at risk of arrest.

Brake is reminding drivers that some prescription and over-the-counter medications can make you unsafe on the road, and is urging them to always read the label, or check with their doctor or pharmacist if unsure, and never to drive if their driving may be impaired. A Brake survey in June last year found one in six drivers (17%) either ignore warnings not to drive or do not check at all.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “Drink and drug driving wrecks lives, and it is a crime for which there is no excuse. We are delighted that our long-running campaign for a tougher drug drive law is finally seeing success. We believe the government is doing the right thing by taking a zero tolerance approach; we hope this will make it clear that driving on any amount of drugs won’t be tolerated. We will continue to campaign for further action to stamp out risky, illegal driving that ends and ruins lives daily. The crucial next step to back up this and other vital life-saving traffic laws is for government to give greater priority to traffic policing, to ensure the recent trend of falling traffic police numbers is reversed.

“We also continue to work with employers and road safety professionals across the UK to support their work raising awareness to tackle drink and drug driving. Our new resources are valuable tools professionals can use in workplaces and communities to renew efforts to stamp out this deadly menace.”

Find out more about Brake’s not a drop, not a drag campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharityor @Brakeprof, #NotADrag.