Stop delaying saliva tests for drugged drivers, and we can save hundreds of lives

By August 19, 2019 Recent News

Stuff 15 August 2019
OPINION: One day the court sentenced a known addict to traffic school for a drugged-up three-car writeoff. He killed my mum 40 days later.

The circumstances of Mary Radley’s horrific ending represent a typical scenario, seen perhaps weekly: it occurred following many drug crashes that were misprocessed as “careless driving”.

The epidemic led to me establishing Candor Network to drive change. Later my psychopharmacology qualifications saw me become a court-recognised drug-driving expert.

Cannabis swings elections, as Helen Clark once pronounced influentially. Every party historically treads carefully to avoid cannabis users’ eviscerating wrath (I get death threats).

Green Party politicians go further in diligently playing down the risk on our roads from cannabis smoking, but recent use suggests a danger level matching that of alcohol. Just three nanograms (ng) of cannabis in blood, where New Zealand deaths mostly cluster, imparts 7.4 times the risk.

Both dead cannabis drivers and dead drunks have a doubled risk of death by speeding – the notion that people drive more slowly under the influence of cannabis is a myth.

There is no education about the specific risks for young smokers who kill others on the roads. Today there is stasis by politicians towards victim-run campaigns. They merely instituted roadside “stand on leg” tests in 2009’s Land Transport Amendment Act No 4, when most other nations were introducing saliva tests that detect subtler impairment.

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