Charity calls for drug-driving ban in Scotland

A road safety charity has made fresh calls for the Scottish Government to introduce a ban on drug-driving.

The charity, Brake, has described drug-driving as “dangerous and potentially deadly” and called on the Scottish Government to follow the example of England and Wales, where drug-driving limits were introduced in 2015.

Last month, the road safety charity IAM Roadsmart called for a drug-driving ban following findings on the number of motorists’ deaths related to cannabis.

‘Clear message’

Currently in Scotland, prosecutors must prove that a person’s driving was “impaired” by the use of drugs to secure a conviction.

Gary Rae, Director of Communications and Campaigns for Brake, said: “I want to send the First Minister a clear message that her Government needs to root out dangerous and potentially deadly driving by introducing a drug-driving law.

“There’s evidence that the law is working in the other nations of the UK and will work in Scotland”.

Responding to the calls, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We are considering very carefully whether evidence shows that specific drug-driving limits should be introduced in Scotland and this consideration will include evaluation of the evidence of the impact of drug-driving limits that have been introduced in England and Wales.”


In January, a study found there were as many motorists’ deaths relating to cannabis use as alcohol use between 2012 and 2015 in Scotland.

Research in the Forensic Science International journal revealed one in five drivers killed in road accidents tested positive for cannabis during the period.

It was the first detailed Scottish study examining the involvement of drugs in driving fatalities in almost 20 years. The analysis was based on toxicology reports taken from drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes between 2012 and 2015.

Thousands caught

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, said: “We don’t have the same drug-driving laws as they have down south, where they have been catching thousands and thousands of drivers and it has been heralded as a great success.”

“It seems odd that in England and Wales this very successful road safety legislation is working well and yet we are still waiting for the Scottish Government to make a decision”, he added.

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