Fleet News

Drug driving nightmare for fleets

FLEET managers may have to adopt draconian measures when dealing with their drivers to ensure they are fit to take to the road. The warning comes amid growing concerns about people driving while under the influence of drugs and a court case involving a diabetic motorist who was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving after his condition caused him to black out at the wheel and run over two pedestrians.

The problem of drug-driving has prompted the AA, British Medical Association, Association of Chief Police Officers and the Parliamentary Advisory Committee on Road Safety to urge the Government to continue research into a 'drugalyser' and to introduce American-style roadside drug tests throughout the country. Currently the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) is working with the Transport Research Laboratory and police forces on drug recognition techniques for roadside tests. However, the DETR admits it is 'nowhere near' to introducing drug-driving testing legislation.

Another problem for fleet managers is dealing with staff who have medical conditions which require them to take medication as it is not possible to ensure a driver is taking the medication and, in the case of diabetics, ensuring they are checking their blood sugar levels. Home Office figures do not differentiate between convictions for driving under the influence of drugs and convictions under the influence of alcohol.

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