New ad asks: Is drug driving a problem?

  • 12/01/2012

By Jerram Watts

A new advertisement campaign is about to hit the airwaves in the fight against drug driving.

In a move away from scare-tactics, the New Zealand Transport Authority's new ad puts the question to Kiwis: Is drug driving a problem?

The ads show unsuspecting actors getting into vehicles, thinking they are going to a costume fitting.

Instead, it is their driver who is the real actor, pretending to be high on drugs.

The adverts focus on the different reactions of the passengers.

The NZTA says the adverts are not just targeted at drug users, but at those who turn a blind eye.

NZTA’s Andy Knackstead says if we look at the attitudes towards drug driving now, they are very similar to the way people thought about drink driving 25 years ago.

“There's a lot of complacency,” he says.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation found over half of all party drug and cannabis users think that being high does not affect their driving ability.

“No matter what type of drug you're taking it does impair your ability to drive,” says Mr Knackstead.

Results of a recent study of the blood of deceased drivers in New Zealand show 31 percent of drivers had used cannabis.  

Eighteen percent had used alcohol with another drug and 14 percent had used other drugs.

Since new legislation was introduced two years ago there have been just 384 drug driving offence notices issued by police, compared to almost 50,000 drink driving prosecutions in the same period.

The Automobile Association’s Mike Noon says there needs to be roadside saliva testing available to police now, “so we can catch those drug drivers slipping through the cracks”.

At this stage it looks like this method could still be some years away.

3 News

source: newshub archive

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