If you’ve ever been stopped for random drug testing on Victorian roads, you’ve perhaps looked at it as an inconvenience. But statistics are showing that it’s a necessary inconvenience and one that can save lives.
In a recent Sunday Herald Sun article, the stark reality of the road toll in Victoria was spelt out:
- In 2013, there were 243 lives lost on Victorian roads. This was an historic low.
- Since then, the road toll in Victoria has risen in each subsequent year.
- 12 months ago, at this time in 2015, the road toll was 234. This year it stands at 270 and is expected to rise above 300. If it does, it will be the first time the road toll has topped 300 since 2008.
And one of the key reasons for the increase in the road toll is being levelled at drugs.
According to the Herald Sun article, while speeding is the main cause of fatalities on Victorian roads, for the past 3 years drugs have come in second. Making drugs a bigger menace than alcohol on our roads.
According to the Herald Sun:
- More than 8500 people were caught with drugs in their system during random drug testing on Victorian roads in the 2015/16 financial year.
- This means that one in 12 drivers that were random drug tested in Victoria tested positive to drugs.
- In 2015, 45 drivers involved in a crash on Victorian roads that caused a fatality had illicit drugs in their system. That’s up from 32 in 2014.
- While alcohol is still a concern on Victorian roads, the corresponding figures for fatalities involving a driver with alcohol in their system were 26 in 2015 and 22 in 2014.
The statistics and trends have prompted Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer to say in the article that, “ We have an absolute problem with drugs and driving.” TAC CEO Joe Calafiore described the number of drug-drivers on our road as “bloody frightening”.
So next time you are stopped for roadside random drug testing in Victoria, think of it less as an inconvenience and more as a life-saving exercise.
Note: There is much evidence on Victorian roads that drug testing is necessary, and it’s the same in Victorian workplaces. Just like on the roads, there are plenty of people who are willing to take the risk and come to work with drugs in their system. See our workplace drug testing page and our Victorian branch page for more information on implementing drug testing in your workplace.