Australia

NSW Drivers To Be Tested For Cocaine With Number Of Roadside Tests To Double

source: abc.net.au
NSW Drivers To Be Tested For Cocaine With Number Of Roadside Tests To Double

NSW drivers will now be tested for cocaine as authorities work to curb the state’s horror road toll which has seen 17 people die this year after 392 people were killed in 2017, which was an eight-year high.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday announced a raft of tough new measures, including doubling the number of roadside drug tests by 2020, increasing penalties for drug drivers and looking to reduce the risk posed by people taking prescription drugs.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey and Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn. Photo: AAP

The announcement comes as 29-year-old actor Jessica Falkholt clings to life in a Sydney hospital after her family was wiped out in a Boxing Day car crash involving a driver with a shocking driving history on his way home from a Nowra methadone clinic.

“Too many people and too many families have been left distraught over what should be a very happy time of the year,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

“People should not be taking illegal drugs and then getting behind the wheel.”

Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn says cocaine will be added to the list of drugs subject to roadside testing including cannabis, ecstasy and ice.

“Those drugs that are illegal, people shouldn’t be taking them anyway and shouldn’t be driving under any circumstance,” Ms Burn told reporters.

Following the Falkholt crash, an inter-agency working group will be created to tackle the issue of people driving under the influence of prescribed medications such as methadone, valium and codeine, NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said.

The working group will include representatives from the Centre for Road Safety, NSW Police, the Department of Justice and NSW Health.

“There is an onus of responsibility on the individual and on medical practitioners to ensure that motorists aren’t affected by prescribed medications,” Ms Pavey said.

“We want to make sure the rules and the situations around this are robust.”

Roads minister Melinda Pavey said driving under the influence of drugs had emerged as a significant factor in the state’s road toll – along with speeding and fatigue.

The NSW Greens support cocaine testing but are calling for prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, which includes valium, to also be targeted in roadside tests.

“Benzodiazepines are present in almost a third of drivers involved in drug- related crashes and their misuse puts other road users at risk,” Greens MP David Shoebridge said in a statement.

Ms Berejiklian has not ruled out further strengthening of measures.

“We need to make sure that whatever measures we put in place actually have the right outcome,” the premier said.

 

Source: AAP

Australia

More in Australia

Top of the Class

Rekha RajvanshiFebruary 20, 2018

New Laws Protect Students From Sexual Predators

The Indian TelegraphFebruary 20, 2018

Pink Or Blue?

ManasiFebruary 20, 2018

Time for a “SAVE ADANI” yet?

Vish ViswanathanFebruary 7, 2018

Australia, Its Refugees & The Moral Depravity Lurking Within

Pankaj YadavFebruary 6, 2018

A Dream Worth $50,000

Shivani SinghalFebruary 6, 2018

Tadasana: Be As Sturdy As A Mountain

Susheela SrinivasFebruary 6, 2018

Endgame Adani Or Far From It?

Shivani SinghalFebruary 6, 2018

NSW Encouraged To Celebrate Safely This Australia Day

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 25, 2018

In The Name Of Guns, Cannabis & The Holy Yoga

Twinkle GhoshJanuary 25, 2018

Were the No voters mistreated?

Pankaj YadavJanuary 23, 2018

THE KAPOOR WITH A DIFFERENCE: The Man, His Movies, His magic

Twinkle GhoshJanuary 23, 2018

Busting Myths About Australia: Yours Truly, The Flat Earth Society

Shivani SinghalJanuary 23, 2018

Tasmania: Australia’s ‘Land down under’

Vishnu NairJanuary 23, 2018

‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid The Size Of The Burj Khalifa Is Heading Towards The Earth At 67,000mph

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 18, 2018

Nepalese Chef Stalked His British Girlfriend Before Killing Her In Horrific Murder-Suicide At Their Sydney Apartment

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 18, 2018

NSW Train Workers To Strike For 24 Hours Over Pay Dispute

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 17, 2018

Warning Issued As Huge Surf Batters Coast From Sydney To Byron Bay

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 17, 2018

Australian Open Under Fire For Selling Chinese Bottled Water

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 16, 2018

Louis Vuitton Offers To Invest $500 million in Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 12, 2018

Zainab Ansari: Murder and rape of eight-year-old shocks Pakistan

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 12, 2018