PACTS is conducting a research project to investigate drug driving in the UK. The project is funded by the Department for Transport. It will review the evidence on drug driving and the experience of enforcement of legislation, five years after the implementation of the Drug Driving (Specified Limits) (England and Wales) Regulations 2014. The project aims to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the enforcement and legal arrangements to deter, detect and prosecute drug driving offences, the impacts of drug drive enforcement on road safety, and how the casualty reduction benefits might be enhanced.
The project will review the academic literature on drug driving, utilise available data, and conduct interviews with relevant experts and professionals. The research focuses on:
- the profile of drug drivers in the UK, including overlaps with wider criminality and connections between drug driving and drug dependency
- the effectiveness of enforcement and judicial activity relating to drug driving
- effective interventions to reduce drug driving and associated casualties.
The project will draw on information and synergies available as a result of other current PACTS research, including investigations of roads policing and drink driving.
The report will provide the Department for Transport and others with a summary of current data, knowledge and operational experience, and recommendations for improvement. It will be published later in 2020.
PACTS Executive Director, David Davies, said, “We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity by the Department for Transport to investigate this important road safety issue. It has strong synergies with other current PACTS research projects, particularly roads policing and drink driving.”
He added, “The 2014 legislation and type approval of roadside drug testing equipment are milestones in road safety. They have transformed the ability of the police to effectively detect and prosecute for drug driving. The number of offences detected has risen dramatically, to the extent that some police forces are now detecting more cases of drug driving than drink driving. Five years after implementation of the legislation, this is an important opportunity to look at the experience of the police, the effectiveness of the legal framework and ways in which enforcement activity can maximise the road safety benefits.”