Source: Evening News, Norwich

Pub Date: February 13 1998

Pub LTE: A step towards sopt checks for all?

Author: Alun Buffry



In your article "Roadside spot checks and tougher legislation on the way"

(Evening News Feb 7) you describe impending "drug-driving tests".

These would include testing for cannabis and illegal drugs.

There is no mention of legal drugs.

In order to try to decrease the number of road accidents it is necessary to

decrease the number of unfit drivers. To punish a person for driving whilst

under the effects of cannabis whilst taking no action against those on, say,

valium or cough medicine is not going to increase road safety.

Is there to be an allowed amount for some substances but zero tolerance for


And what about individual's differing metabolisms?

And what about cannabis where there is scientific evidence available to show

that the effect of THC (one of the active ingredients in the plant) is very

small indeed.

The only way to fairly test drivers is to test their driving skills, not

their blood.

Then maybe we could rid the roads of the many bad drivers who do not drink

or take drugs too.

These include a great number of drivers whose eyesight or driving skills may

have worsened since they took their driving tests.

It's all very well using these tests on drivers who have already been seen

to be driving dangerously, but how do we know that they will not eventually

be used for random spot-checks on all drivers, as the breathalyser has been


Alun Buffry