Community News

Nrma Welcomes New Drug Driving Campaign

Tuesday 1st December 2015: The National Roads and Motorists’ Association has today welcomed the NSW Government’s campaign to educate North Coast NSW drivers about the dangers of drug driving. The announcement is a win for the NRMA, which last year called for a public awareness campaign about the serious and increasing impact of drug driving. From 2010 to 2013, 293 motorists were charged with drug driving offences on roads across the North Coast. So far this year, one in 10 Mobile Drug Tests have come back positive across NSW, compared to one in 300 positive Random Breath Tests for alcohol. In September the NRMA hosted a summit with key community stakeholders including NSW Police to discuss ways of reducing the statistics of drivers being caught. NRMA Deputy President, Wendy Machin, said the campaign could not have come soon enough. “Sixteen per cent of fatalities on our state’s roads last year resulted from crashes where a driver or rider had an illicit drug in their system,” Ms Machin said. “What’s especially worrying for our region is that 43 per cent of those fatalities were on country roads.” The NSW Government announced today that it will triple the number of Mobile Drug Testing to 97,000 tests each year by 2017 to help combat these statistics. “This is a great initiative by the NSW Government and a big win for our Members,” Ms Machin said. “It was the NRMA that launched the first drink driving campaign back in the 1980s. Today, drink driving is widely unacceptable in the community. We need to make sure this campaign garners the same results.” Research conducted in 2015 showed 44 per cent of drivers using drugs thought their driving skills would not be affected. Drivers aged under 30 account for more than 40 per cent of drink and drug driving offences.