14 Aug 2014
Motorists who get behind the wheel with illicit drugs in their system, including ice, are the target of a TAC campaign starting today.
The Double Bus campaign, originally developed when booze buses became drug buses in 2006, addresses the growing issue of drug driving, with a particular focus on methamphetamine use and detection.
Double Bus highlights that booze buses also test for drugs, including stimulants such as methamphetamines (ice and speed), and is a reminder to road users that if they drive on drugs they will be caught.
In the last five years, approximately 37 per cent of all drivers and motorcyclists who died on Victorian roads had drugs in their system, with cannabis and stimulants the most common substances detected.
TAC Chief Executive Officer Janet Dore said last year, Victoria experienced its worst year for deaths involving drivers and riders with stimulants in their system.
"Nearly one in six (14.9 per cent)drivers and riders killed had a stimulant, such asice or other amphetamines, in their system," Ms Dore said.
"That is very concerning because we know that as well as tunnel vision, dizziness and loss of concentration while driving under the influence of illicit drugs, there is often a false sense of alertness which can lead to over confidence and the inability to make quick and good decisions.
"The effects of ice can impair a person's ability to drive safely not only while under the effect of the substance, but also when they're coming down in the days after taking it, which can last up to six days.
"Police tell us that many drivers are unaware that police are able to test for methamphetamines,including ice.
"The Double Bus campaign aims to challenge and change perceptions of the effect illicit drugs have on the ability to drive and creates awareness that if you drive on drugs, including ice, you will be caught."
Victoria Police have the right to pull drivers over at any time and test their saliva for traces of illicit drugs including THC, the active component in cannabis, as well as methamphetamines (including ice and speed) and ecstasy.
Improving the community's understanding of how drugs affect driving ability is an action in the Victorian Government's Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022. Find out more at www.roadsafety.vic.gov.au