Police Get Tough on Drug Driving on Merseyside

Merseyside Police are taking a zero-tolerance approach to drug driving in an effort to reduce road traffic accidents and keep roads in the region safe. With over 2700 drug drivers arrested in 2023 alone, the force is ramping up efforts to tackle the issue through education and enforcement.

The police are concerned by the rise in recreational drug use locally, which they say is having a major impact on driving safety. Data shows 469 arrests for drug driving offences in Merseyside between late November 2022 and New Year’s Day 2023, up 123 from the previous year.

To combat this, Merseyside Police are continuing roadside stops and checks even after the end of the nationwide festive drink and drug driving campaign, Operation Limit. Officers are focusing efforts on the region’s “fatal four” driving offences – speeding, drink/drug driving, mobile phone use, and seatbelt violations.

The Dangers of Drug Driving

Ch Insp Tracie Trubshaw explains that many serious road crashes are linked to drug driving. The consequences of these accidents can be devastating for victims’ families and friends, with impacts that last a lifetime.

The force hopes to make people think twice about drug driving through education. Many people don’t realize how long drugs remain in the system and can be detected on tests. Even recreational drugs used days earlier could still impair driving ability and show up on roadside tests.

Working Together for Road Safety

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, says too many people are driving after taking drugs. She explains there’s been a shift in focus in recent years from drink driving to drug driving, which the force is tackling head-on.

Spurrell says a key part of their strategy is educating people on how drug driving puts lives at risk. The police work closely with local road safety partnerships on prevention and awareness campaigns. The goal is to make motorists stop and think before ever getting behind the wheel while impaired.

Officers like PCSO Laura Poteau are on the frontlines of these efforts, performing stops and checks while also offering advice to drivers. The police hope that through engagement with the public, they can promote responsibility on Merseyside’s roads.

The Importance of Public Cooperation

Ultimately, road safety is a shared responsibility between the police and public. Officers strive to enforce the law and promote safe driving practices. But drivers also need to make smart decisions and avoid driving while intoxicated or impaired by any substance.

With cooperation and collaboration, Merseyside Police believe they can reduce drug driving and make the region’s roads safer for everyone. But it will require motorists being mindful of driving risks, getting informed about drug driving laws, and thinking of the potential consequences of their actions.

The force emphasizes that with zero tolerance and consistent enforcement, those who choose to drive while impaired will face penalties. By working together with the public, Merseyside Police aim to decrease drug driving incidents and prevent tragic road accidents. The goal is keeping the community and roads safe for all who live in and visit the region.

Photo by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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