One in 10 motorists driving drugged: RACQ

RACQ research has revealed the number of drugged drivers on the State's roads remained a challenge for authorities with the safety message failing to get through.  

The insurer's data showed levels of both illicit and prescription drug affected drivers had remained steady over the past several years.  

RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said an alarming one in 10 Queensland motorists admitted to driving over the past year after having taken illicit drugs including marijuana, cocaine, speed and ecstasy.  

"Our research shows rates of illicit drug use and driving have barely moved over the past three years (10 percent 2013, 9.7 percent 2014, 10 percent 2015) which shows there are motorists who aren't prepared to change their behaviour," Mr Sopinski said.  

"This is of great concern as it appears those motorists who continue to flout the law won't be swayed in their decision making by likely apprehension.  

"The use of illicit drugs and driving isn't only illegal it's extremely dangerous. Drivers should be aware police are increasing roadside drug testing with improved technology."  

The research also revealed 28.5 percent of those surveyed had driven under the influence of prescription medication in the past 12 months.  

Mr Sopinski said rates of prescription drug affected drivers also remained steady (29 percent 2013 and 2014) and (28.3 percent 2015).  

"Ignoring warnings and driving against the label recommendations or the advice of a health professional is dangerous, not only for that person, but also for other road users," he said.  

"Motorists are urged to check with their GP about the effects of medication, or combination of medications, could affect their ability to drive."  

RACQ research also found 96 percent of Queenslanders believed illicit drugs posed a big danger on our roads, while 78.2 percent believed prescription drugs are a danger.


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