Assembly member calls for more regular drugs testing for drivers

Keith Prince says drug driving tests should be made as routine as breathalyser tests, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

credit Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash
credit Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash

A new report has called on London mayor Sadiq Khan and the Met Police to take tougher action on driving under the influence of drugs.

The report, authored by Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince, says that drug driving tests should be made as routine as breathalyser tests.

Keith points out that drug driving is a growing problem, having risen from 1,087 recorded instances in 2015 to 3,197 in 2022. The crime also saw a spike in 2020, when some 4,286 such offences were logged – unlike most crimes which fell that year due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Among other recommendations, the report says Khan “should address how he will specifically target and tackle first time offenders for drug driving” as part of his action plan to reduce road deaths.

Keith, who represents Havering and Redbridge on the assembly, said: “Drug driving kills people and ruins lives.

“It is very alarming to see drugs playing a greater role in car crashes than alcohol, and we must take action now to stop this appalling crime.

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“My report sets out an action plan for the mayor and the Met Police to get a grip of this issue, which has not been given the attention it deserves.

“I am calling for a significant expansion of drug-driving tests, so they are as routine as breathalysers, and for more training and equipment to be provided to frontline officers to facilitate this.

“We also need to track this issue more closely with better data and carry out more awareness campaign work targeting drug driving specifically. We must tackle this issue now before more people lose their lives, and I urge Sadiq Khan to accept these recommendations.”

A spokesperson for Khan responded: “The mayor is committed to tackling road safety in the capital through his ‘Vision Zero Action Plan’ which is working to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions in London by 2041.

“Sadiq’s record investment in the police is helping to fund the Met’s specialist roads and transport policing command, in partnership with TfL, to ensure that all journeys across our city’s transport network are safe.

“The mayor fully supports the police to take the action needed against those endangering others on London’s roads either through drink or drugs.”

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