TISPOL welcomes British government plan to trial drug driving detection equipment

Friday, 06 August, 2010

The European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) has welcomed the announcement by the British government that it is planning trials of equipment that would test drivers under the influence of drugs.

Chief Superintendent Pasi Kemppainen, chairman of TISPOL's strategic alcohol and drugs working group, said: "Far too many people are losing their lives on Europe's roads, often because of the selfish actions of those who disregard safety and drive after taking drugs.

"We welcome any steps to give police officers the tools they need to tackle the problem of drug driving. TISPOL has called for the introduction of a zero tolerance policy for drug driving across Europe. We therefore urge the British government to bring in the same zero tolerance policy for illegal drug driving. This would mean that any amount of illegal drugs would result in a prosecution, with no requirement for the police to prove impairment," he said.
"Finally, we firmly support an increase in roadside enforcement because we have seen in other countries how effective this is."

TISPOL had previously expressed its disappointment that no mention of drug driving was made in the recently published European Commission Road Safety Programme.

"We are unhappy that the specific issue of drugs driving was not specifically included as a priority in the European Commission's recently-published Road Safety Programme, as it is a major issue across Europe," added Mr Kemppainen. "As representatives of the enforcement community, we stressed to the EC the importance of including drugs driving in the programme, because we know this is a growing cause of death and serious injury on the roads in many European countries. We believe the EC has missed a potentially significant opportunity to highlight the growing safety threat posed by drugs driving."

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