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Drug Driving in NSW: evidence-gathering, enforcement and education

Walker, E, Carlon, B, Ma, A, Raisianzadeh, H, Fernandes, R, Higgins-Whitton, L

Drink/Drug Driving

ARSC conference 2015

Drug driving is an area of increased research focus and policy action in NSW. Recent research by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has identified that 13% of fatalities on NSW roads over the period 2010-13 involved a driver or rider with at least one of three illicit drugs (cannabis, speed, ecstasy) present in their system. This places drug driving alongside other key behavioural factors in the road toll, including alcohol and fatigue. _x000D_

A recent survey of NSW drivers who use illicit drugs found that 30% self-reported drug driving at some point. This equates to a prevalence rate of 2% of NSW drivers. It also found that drug drivers in NSW are generally not yet convinced of the likelihood of being caught and that many think their drug use does not impair their driving skills. _x000D_

Work is underway with the NSW Police Force to better understand the available evidence and further deter drug driving. _x000D_

Actions include detailed analysis of laboratory results from drug driving offences and enhanced linkage of drug test and crash data to inform policy development and trends analysis. Roadside drug testing, which has been in place in NSW since 2007, will also be significantly expanded from around 30,000 tests per year to over 90,000 tests per year. Operations are targeted to high risk locations and are increasingly mobile and decentralised to enhance regional enforcement and maximise deterrence. _x000D_

_x000D_To support the rollout of enhanced enforcement, TfNSW has commenced development of a communication strategy and public education. _x000D_