Roadside Drug Testing Is A Must To Protect Families

Media Release 6 September 2018
Family First is calling on the government to support roadside drug testing, saying that we should take every measure possible to protect families and to reduce the road toll.

In 2016, Labour’s police spokesman, Stuart Nash, said not having drug-testing of drivers was a gap in road-safety enforcement. “As soon as we get the technology in place I think it has got to be rushed out because people who are high behind the wheel, I think, are just as much a danger as those who are drunk. If you can save any innocent Kiwi’s life by rushing this in, then let’s do it.”

“Family First agrees with Stuart Nash and is now wondering why Labour are possibly going to vote against the private members bill currently before Parliament. Australia and other countries already carry out roadside stops using oral fluid tests to detect cannabis and other drugs. With a softening approach to drugs in general and the danger of legalising dope, it is even more important than ever to send a strong message to drivers that drug-driving is unacceptable and will be strongly monitored,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

An Automobile Association study found that people on drugs are causing more fatal crashes than those behind the wheel drunk. In 2017, 79 drivers involved in fatal crashes were found to be under the influence of drugs, compared to only 14 in 2013. Seventy drivers were found to be over the alcohol limit or refused to be tested.

A study in 2017 by the University of Waikato found that nearly half of Kiwi cannabis users don’t think twice about driving after smoking, and that while nearly three-quarters (73.6 percent) of drinkers had made a decision not to drive after drinking, only 57 percent of cannabis smokers had made the same call.

An online Stuff poll with 10,000+ votes found 88% support for police being able to use roadside checkpoints to drug test drivers.

“We don’t want stoned drivers on our roads – and if the politicians are serious about lowering the road toll, they need to support the urgent introduction of roadside drug testing.”