Drug drivers warned – anytime, anywhere – you will be caught
An extra $4.5 million for roadside ice and drug testing, equipping
regional and metro highway patrol units with testing kits
Napthine Government building a safer Victoria by saving lives on our
Motorists who play Russian roulette with their lives – and the lives of others – by driving under the influence of drugs like ice will be caught, with roadside drug testing of more Victorian drivers extended into regional Victoria.
Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine issued the stern warning today, announcing $4.5 million in new funding from the Traffic Accident Commission (TAC) to catch dangerous motorists who drive after taking illegal substances.
“It beggars belief that after all the warnings, after the death and grief brought about by drug and drink driving, people still risk their lives and carelessly put the lives of other innocent road users in danger,” Dr Napthine said.
“Victoria is a world leader in the testing of drivers for drugs and this new multi-million dollar, 12-month campaign will mean the number of drivers drug tested will more than double to 100,000, ensuring drug drivers can be caught, anywhere, anytime.
“The extra funding will allow drug driver testing to be expanded across highway patrol units right across the state, making regional Victoria a particular focus for the first time.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells said the extra tests administered by the Victoria Police and highway patrol would have a direct impact on the road toll, with evidence showing Victorians who drive under the influence of drugs cause an increasing proportion of road trauma.
“We know the prevalence of ice in our society is contributing to deaths on our roads – 26 per cent of all fatalities last year involved drivers who tested positive to drugs,” Mr Wells said.
“Thirty-nine drivers who were killed in road accidents had cannabis, ecstasy or methamphetamines – including ice – in their system.
“And just as horrifying is that 24 people were killed and another 121 people were injured by drivers who returned a positive drug test.”
Mr Wells said the Napthine Government’s tough law and order policy included a zero tolerance approach to those who put others at risk by taking the wheel while under the influence.
“We will continue to work with the TAC, VicRoads and Victoria Police to make sure lives are saved as we head towards summer and some of the busiest periods of the year,” Mr Wells said.
“If drivers see a booze bus, or a patrol car, there’s every chance they will be tested for both alcohol and drugs.”
Today’s announcement builds upon the last four years of the Victorian Coalition Government’s whole-of-government approach to tackling the problem of ice in the community.