1887

Drugs and Driving

Detection and Deterrence

image of Drugs and Driving

Driving while impaired by drugs – whether licit or illicit – has emerged as an important road safety issue. This report provides a state-of-the-art review of the role and impact of drugs in road accident risk. It reviews the legislation, deterrence and roadside detection practices in member countries as well as preventative measures to combat drug use while driving. It provides recommendations on strategies to adopt in addressing this issue, with a view to contributing to a safe system approach and saving further lives on the roads.

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Executive Summary

International Transport Forum

On the heels of several decades of successful efforts to understand and reduce the magnitude of the problems associated with driving after consuming alcohol, driving while impaired by other psychoactive substances has emerged as a road safety issue of its own. There are a wide variety of substances that have the potential to adversely affect the cognitive and behavioural skills required to operate a vehicle safely. The list of substances includes many illegal drugs (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy), psychotropic medications (e.g. benzodiazepines, opiates), and some over-the-counter preparations (e.g. antihistamines, cough and cold remedies). Despite the apparent similarity with the problem of alcohol use and driving, drug-driving1 presents a whole new array of challenges for research, policy, and programmes.

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