Arrests for drug driving have risen 800% in the first 12 months since the new law change. The law has made it much easier to catch and charge offenders according to local police forces. Using the new roadside swab police have been able to get quick reliable results and it has been used routinely since its introduction on 2nd March 2015. To coincide with the anniversary of the legislation the Department for Transport has launched a brand new THINK! campaign which focuses closely on young men, the drivers statistically most likely to drive under the influence of drugs.
The new campaign is designed to make it very clear that drug drivers are more likely to get caught and convicted because of the roadside swab and they’re snappy headlines such as ‘It’s like a breathalyser for drugs’ have been chosen to get the message across succinctly and clearly.
The campaign has been organised to run in cinemas, on the radio and online from 2nd March and it is being complemented by large digital displays, social media and displays in washrooms of pubs and clubs to attract the attention of young men on a night out.
The campaign also includes an updated version of the film used in their 2015 (shown below) and a set of posters have been designed with the roadside swab as the focus. Digital and social media assets will support the whole campaign and ensure the message is spread as wiely as possible. Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones commented: “Thanks to our tougher law, police are catching and convicting more dangerous drivers.
“The government will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with police as they work tirelessly to protect the public while recognising enforcement alone is not the answer.
We need to educate and influence behaviour change which is why we are pushing on with our THINK! campaign, which has helped change attitudes towards drink-driving and ultimately save lives.”
The new laws in place have made it illegal to drive with specific substances in your system, 17 controlled drugs in total and they must not be above a specified limit in your blood. Roadside swabs can deliver results for cocaine and cannabis whilst still at the roadside whilst laboratory testing can identify every other drug covered in the law.
The focus on drug driving is showing how dangerous it can be and how it is directly comparable to drink driving in terms of the danger it can cause.