A plan to get serious about road safety

The Liberal Nationals will get tough on drug driving and bring penalties for those caught in line with those for drunk driving.

Member for South West Coast and Shadow Minster for Rural Roads Roma Britnell said more people are dying on our roads with drugs in their system than there are drivers dying with Alcohol in their system. She said despite this, penalties for being caught drug driving are significantly lighter than those for drink driving and testing regimes for drugs were also at lower levels that alcohol testing.

The Liberal Nationals plan would:

  • Increase roadside drug driver testing target by 52,000, from its current level of 150,000 per annum to 202,000 per annum. This is the equivalent of an additional 1,000 drug tests each and every week.
  • Increase maximum fine for a first-time offender caught driving while drug-­impaired would be increased from $1934 to $3223, bringing it level with the penalty for a first-time drink driver. Drivers who fail a drug test would be fined as much as $967, up from $483
  • Give the Road Safety Camera Commissioner a say in choosing sites for fixed-speed cameras to ensure they are focused on reducing road trauma instead of increasing revenue.

“We must send a strong message that drug driving, like drink driving, is simply not acceptable. When you have magistrates venting their frustrations about not being able to impose stricter penalties on those found guilty of drug driving, you know there is a problem.” Mrs Britnell said.

“Our road toll is spiraling out of control and enforcement has a big role to play in curbing the tragedy which is unfolding right across Victoria.

“Ensuring fixed and mobile speed cameras are in locations that have a high risk of road trauma rather than places to  boost the coffers and giving police the ability to conduct more roadside tests are simple steps that we can take to help reduce the number of people being killed on our roads.

“I urge the Andrews Government to stop their cuts to roadside testing for drug and alcohol and to adopt our three point plan to get serious about road safety.”

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