25th September 07:01 AM
Drug-impaired drivers now involved in more fatal crashes in NZ than drink-drivers
By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 14/06/2018
Drugs were the suspected cause of a three-vehicle crash in the Tasman district in January. There are now fresh calls for roadside drug testing to be introduced in New Zealand.[Photo:Stuff.co.nz]

Drug‑impaired drivers are now involved in more fatal crashes on Kiwi roads than drink‑drivers.

Stuff.co.nz reports that a study by the Automobile Association found 79 drivers who were involved in fatal crashes in NZ last year later tested positive for drugs, compared to 70 who were above the legal alcohol limit or refused to be tested.

It is thought to be the first time that drugs have overtaken alcohol in this statistic.

Drivers who had taken prescription medications above recommended levels, or those known to impair driving, were included in the figures. But the two most commonly‑detected drugs (excluding alcohol) were marijuana and methamphetamine.

AA road safety spokesman Dylan Thomsen said the figures showed drug‑driving is an increasing problem in New Zealand, and he believes police should be given the power to carry out roadside saliva‑based drug tests.

Pacific Specialist Healthcare
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