Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Troy Grant and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today launched the NSW Government’s first ever drug driving campaign to warn motorists that if you take drugs and drive, you will be caught.
“Today we stand alongside NSW Police, NRMA and our road safety experts to launch the next step in our fight against drug driving,” Deputy Premier Troy Grant said.
“From today you’ll start to hear a lot more about Mobile Drug Testing – what we call, MDT.
“The simple message every driver needs to hear from this campaign is that if you take drugs and drive, the boys in blue are going to catch you.
“If you’re pulled over by Police, it could be for a random breath test for alcohol, a mobile drug test, or both – so don’t be surprised when it happens to you.”
So far this year, 1 in 10 MDTs have come back positive, compared to around 1 in 300 positive Random Breath Tests for alcohol.
The NSW Government is tripling Mobile Drug Testing to 97,000 tests each year by 2017 to help combat these statistics.
Minister Gay said ultimately he wanted to get every single one of these unsafe drivers off our roads.
“We’re throwing millions at enforcement, dedicated drug testing vehicles and education campaigns from our Community Road Safety Fund to eradicate and anti-socialise drug driving,” Minister Gay said.
“If taking drugs isn’t stupid enough – driving while you’re doped up is even stupider.
“In 2014, there were around 50 deaths on our roads that involved a driver or rider with an illegal drug in their system.
“That’s a really worrying statistic, and something we’re determined to combat.”
“Our message is quite simple, if you use drugs and drive, our mobile drug testing program will identify you, putting your licence, livelihood and family at great risk,” Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, Commander of Traffic and Highway Patrol said.
“Personal responsibility is the key to road safety, and those drivers that don’t display such a quality will be prosecuted.
“With our random breath testing detection rate at 1:305, and our drug testing rate at 1:10 in NSW, road users need to get the message; it is just not worth the risk.”
NRMA Senior Policy Advisor Dimitra Vlahomitros said the campaign, which the NRMA first called for last year, could not have come soon enough.
“This is a great initiative by the NSW Government and a big win for our Members,” Ms Vlahomitros said.
“It was the NRMA that launched the first drink driving campaign back in the 1980s. Today, drink driving is widely unacceptable in the community. We need to make sure this campaign garners the same results.”
Drivers caught with drugs in their system will face court and could lose their licence, get hit with a fine and end up with a criminal record.