Thousands of drug drivers putting themselves and others at risk

The State’s peak motoring body has called on risk takers who took to Queensland roads under the influence of drugs to consider how their families and the families of others they may kill or injure in a crash would cope with the tragedy.

While being questioned in parliament on why police don’t test specifically for cocaine in Queensland, Police Minister Mark Ryan revealed more than 12,000 motorists had tested positive to driving while affected by drugs in 2018.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it was a shocking statistic and reiterated that despite the warnings and campaigns by road safety advocates, many drivers still took huge risks.

Drugs effect the body and brain in so many different ways. Not only can they impact your vision and coordination, but also your decision-making skills while under pressure – it’s a dangerous mix when you’re behind the wheel of a car,” Ms Ross said.

“Research suggests people who use certain drugs and drive have a similar crash risk to people driving with a blood alcohol content of between 0.10 and 0.15.

“We know cannabis and heroin slow a person’s reaction time and distort speed and distance. Methamphetamines, like ecstasy, cocaine or ice, can lead to over-confidence, rash decision making and risk taking, and hallucinogens can make a person sense things that don’t exist. It’s crazy to think anyone under the influence of one or any of these drugs would ever want to attempt to drive a car when they can’t possibly safely control it, but 12,000 Queenslanders have done just that in the last 12 months which just beggars belief.

“We’re pleading with motorists to be conscious of the long-lasting impacts they could suffer if they were to be involved in a crash – if not for yourself, then for your family, and the families of other road users.”