A poll has revealed that one in ten drivers have admitted driving while affected by drugs.
The poll, carried out by road safety expert GEM Motoring Assist, reveals that one in 30 of drivers admitted to having an accident or a near miss while under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. One in eight said they were unaware that driving while affected meant potentially breaking the law.
A leaflet has now been produced, is supported by Dr Chris Steele MBE from ITV’s This Morning which sets out the dangers of driving while on medication and the penalties that drivers risk.
Dr Chris said: “In some circumstances driving while impaired by medication can be as dangerous as ‘drink driving’. I strongly support the advice given in this leaflet that drivers taking medicine should always check with their doctor or pharmacist before they drive.”
The poll also stated that 7 out of 10 people felt they were not given enough information about driving and taking prescription drugs and were confused by the instructions on packaging.
As the law stands, the penalties for driving while affected by drugs are as serious as for drink-driving: a ban, a fine and possibly prison is the offence is serious enough. But police find it harder to bring prosecution because, as yet, there is no widely used drugs equivalent of the breathalyser.
To view and download a copy of the leaflet, visit www.motoringassist.com/motoronmeds.
June 17, 2010