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Shropshire Star comment: Drugs and driving can prove fatal

By Shropshire Star | Opinions | Published:

The increase in the number of drug drivers caught in West Mercia will be of great concern to many.

The issue of drink driving has long been on the public agenda and rightly so.

Hard work by the police and other agencies has had a positive effect on figures over a period of time. Motorists have become increasingly aware of the consequences that their actions can take; not a person who takes to the wheel will be unaware of the breath test and the devastating impact that a positive reading can have.

They know that police mount campaigns, can spot erratic driving and that in the age of camera phones and a society that looks down on such behaviour, their chances of getting away with things are slim.

We are not yet in the same position regarding drug driving, though one day we will be. For some reason, people think they can get away with taking cannabis, cocaine and other illegal substances, then hitting the road. Their ability to drive while under the influence is severely impaired and the consequences for themselves and other motorists and pedestrians can be devastating.

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Driving while under the influence is a crime and the police should be supported in their efforts to deal with both offences. For it is undoubtedly the case that those who think they can get away with not being caught will persist in nefarious behaviour that endangers themselves and others. There must be a clear and strong message so that people think better of picking up their car keys if they have taken an illegal high.

As a society, we can play our part. Though narcotics are banned, many people will be aware of people who take recreational drugs from time to time. And they can play a part by refusing to condone such activity.

Just as many drinkers will have had first-hand experience and persuading friends, family and colleagues not to drive after a glass of wine or a pint, so they should talk people out of getting behind the wheel if they’ve smoked a joint or snorted a line.

While those under the influence might delude themselves into thinking they are doing no harm, their actions can lead to death on our roads. A moment of madness can lead to a life lost or a life of contrition.

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