A £2.3m advertising campaign launched last week to warn of the risks of driving whilst under the influence of drugs has received a mixed reception from the British public and road safety experts.
The television advert warns motorists that police can spot the involuntary signs of someone being under the influence of drugs if they are stopped. These signs include severely dilated or constricted pupils. The advert shows a car carrying several young people with their eyes enlarged, adding: “Your eyes will give you away.”
Young men aged between 17 and 29 are thought to be most likely to drive while on illegal drugs. Indeed, a recent survey in Scotland suggested that 81% of clubbers have driven whilst under the influence of illegal drugs.
The Department for Transport (DfT) estimates that as many as one in five drivers or motorcyclists killed in road accidents may have an impairing drug (legal or illegal) in their system. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said in a recent interview, “Whatever one’s views on drug taking, we’ve got to make it absolutely socially unacceptable to drive while under the influence of drugs, because it can kill.”
Following the launch of a new government anti-speeding campaign featuring a male driver plagued by memories of the child he killed, research released today by Brake, the road safety charity and Direct Line Car Insurance has found men are more likely to speed compared with women.
The research finds one in 3 male drivers, compared with one in 7 female drivers, admit they drive 35mph or faster in 30mph zones every day or several times a week. At 35mph you are twice as likely to kill a child compared with driving at 30mph or slower.