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Drug drive insurance claims rocketing

Drug drive insurance claims rocketing

Candor Trust Media Release

A vehicle insurer has disclosed to Candor, which is undertaking work on a drug related crash cost report, that that several major drug related crash claims fielded last week will impose a burden of several million dollars on their bank account.

Candor say it is timely for NZ, with MPs about to report back on a drug driving bill, that the Economic Commission For Europe just held a working party in Geneva. It was tasked with considering how Governments should deal with the costly drugged driving epidemic.

The workshop was prompted because atop  the recognised high rates of illicit drug driving, recent research has shown  that select pharmaceuticals may be the reason of every fourth or fifth accident in Western Countries. Impaired driving may well cost the NZ economy more than congestion.

The ECE party resolved that Governments should therefore enforce a complete programme to reduce the death and injuries due to the driving under the influence of drugs and medications. New Zealand's Land Transport Amendment Bill No.4 fortunately will permit prosecution of drivers who have abused pharmaceuticals, thanks to the foresight and efforts of the Green Party.
 
Deploying resources to eradicate the problem through welfare and social policies, was recommended for when the drug driving is linked to an intensive or dependent use. 
 
Governments should set specific legislation aiming at having a direct effect on the behaviour and risk perception of persons driving under the effects of drugs or medicaments. And the E.C.E. recommends legislation should take into account testing for both the impairments of driving performance and for the presence of drugs.
 
Special equipped sites for roadside checks should be planned to perform enforcement activities all the year round as a routine activity, and police should be continuously trained in recognising the cues indicating potential impairment ( reduced coordination, slow reaction time, decreased inhibition, euphoria, bizarre behaviour, talkativeness, increased confidence, agitation ). 
 
Special dedicated tests should be carried out for detecting the type of drugs or medicaments if the driver has been using. Fortunately saliva tests can now detect the main medical drugs of abuse.
 
Much attention was devoted to Public Information and Education. Governments are advised to regularly plan and provide campaigns to publicize the risks and serious enforcement measures being implemented against drug driving, with the aim of making it unacceptable.
 
Schools should also include in their curriculum information about the temporary and permanent effects due to drugs assumption and driving under their influence. Moreover, driving schools for new drivers should provide similar information on the effects of drugs on perceptual and motor skills and reasoning, as well as the dangers of driving so impaired.
 
While the NZ Government, pot legalisation lobby and proper policy leaders may still be scratching their chins with an unusual level of perplexment, the Irish Government will again be complementing it's traditional drink driving campaign by responsibly spending  $106,000 (NZD) on anti drug drive campaigns this Xmas.
 
With most drink drive deaths now occurring below a 0.05BAC, and evidence showing it is drugs raising mild drinkers risks, the 0.05 limit drop push is off topic. It is only by confronting drug along with drink driving that DUI harm be dented down under. Still the "powers that be" seem to wish to be seen by the outside World as the last cab off the rank.

Ends

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