Friday, 13 February 2015

Drug drive legislation: am I fit to drive?

A government campaign reminding people taking medicines to check with their doctor or pharmacist before getting behind the wheel, has been welcomed by Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transport.

It promotes new drug drive legislation from March 2 in England and Wales, which targets drivers who risk other people’s lives by driving after taking drugs, but not those taking legitimate medicines that don’t impair their ability to drive.

Welcoming the impending legislation Ruth said today (Wednesday) "Anything I can promote to protect lives, I shall endorse in every way.'

The THINK! campaign launched yesterday (Tuesday February 10) by Department for Transport (DfT), heralds the legislation by encouraging people on medication who aren’t sure if they are safe to drive, to check with their pharmacist or doctor.

Motorists following the advice of a healthcare professional, and whose driving isn’t impaired, can continue to drive as usual and will not be at risk of arrest.

The new law sets limits for eight drugs commonly associated with illegal use, such as cannabis and cocaine. Eight prescription drugs are also included within the new law. These are:

- cloanzepam
- diazepam
- flunitrazepam
- lorazepam
- oxazepam
- temazepam
- methadone
- morphine
Limits set for these drugs exceed normal prescribed doses, so the vast majority of people can drive as normal, so long as they are taking their medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet, and their driving is not impaired.

Ruth Vigor-Hedderly said: 'If you are unsure about the effects of your medication, or how this legislation may affect you, please seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.

'If you’re driving and you’re on prescription medicine, it may be helpful for you to keep some evidence of this with you in case you’re stopped by the police.

'If you are taking your medicine as directed and your driving is not impaired, then you are not breaking the law and there is no need to worry.'

Further information,