Expert calls for drug-driving education

I HAVEN'T had much; I'll be right. It doesn't affect my driving.

Excuses drink drivers have been giving for decades are now being echoed by drug drivers, according to a road safety expert who says more education and prevention programs are needed to address the issue.

Professor Jeremy Davey, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland, said the high number of drug drivers getting caught was linked to strategic policing and greater resources for testing, particularly in regional areas.

Prof Davey said there were two sorts of drug drivers - the occasional recreational user who might drive after a night out, and those who had a drug dependency and were frequently impaired behind the wheel.

Educating motorists of all ages was vital, he said, noting many drug drivers were now giving the excuses offered by drink drivers 30 years ago.

"We do have to move into education and prevention programs," he said.

While efforts to catch drug drivers were intensifying, Prof Davey said the potential for drink driving was still much higher because a much greater proportion of the population drank alcohol than took drugs.

He said high-range drink drivers remained a major concern because many also had a problem with alcohol abuse.

- Brigid Simeoni

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