A NEW video has been launched by U.K. road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, offering simple and straightforward information on drugs, driving and the law. Although focusing on the U.K. the information is equally useful in other parts of the world, especially regarding how drugs may affect driving.
The video, funded by the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity, reflects changes to drug-driving legislation which came into effect in the U.K. in March of this year, establishing legal limits for the levels of eight illegal drugs and eight legal, prescription drugs.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE said: “This video sets out to explain the new legislation, as well as to reinforce the warning that driving after using any potentially intoxicating substance is both dangerous and illegal.
“Drugs can affect your vision, your hearing, your reaction time, your perception of risk and your ability to carry out a variety of tasks. You may feel sleepy, sick, dizzy or unable to move quickly. Your vision may be blurred, and you may also find it hard to focus or pay attention…. symptoms like this make you much more likely to be involved in a collision.”
Two versions of the video are available. The shorter version, Drugs, driving and the lawwww.motoringassist.com/drugs, is designed primarily for younger audiences, and focuses on illicit drugs. An additional resources sheet and a multiple-choice quiz connected with the video are available on the site.
The longer version, Drugs, medicines, driving and the law www.motoringassist.com/drugs, also includes information on how certain prescription medicines and others can affect driving, and is aimed at a more mature audience.
The video was produced with the assistance of The Transport Research Laboratory, whose chief scientist Professor Andrew Parkes sets out the complexity of drugs and their potential effect on safe driving. “Different drugs have different effects on different people and the picture for road safety is really complicated. But they all have an effect on driving; none of them makes driving better,” he said.
Additional assistance came from Powys County Council and substance abuse experts from CAIS, a voluntary sector provider of personal support services.
“We hope this video will be used extensively, particularly to support school and college advice programmes for their students, and to inform older drivers who may be at risk because of the prescription medicines they take,” concluded David Williams.
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