Mum of daughter killed by drug-driver calls for stricter laws

A mother whose daughter was killed by a “grossly reckless” driver high on amphetamines has backed calls for Scotland to introduce stricter laws on drug-driving.

Janice Ward’s daughter Rachel was killed in 2010 after being struck by a car that was speeding and on the wrong side of the road.

Drug-driving limits were introduced in England and Wales in 2015 but Scotland has yet to bring in similar laws.


Mrs Ward said it was vital for police to carry out roadside testing for drivers under the influence of drugs to “get them off the road”. She added: “It’s too late when they’ve taken someone’s life.”

The High Court in Edinburgh was told that Brian Redfern was on a “high dose of amphetamines”, which had contributed to the accident.

He was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving but was not charged with being under the influence of drugs.

‘Long overdue’

Mrs Ward said: “If he had been charged with that as well then maybe his sentence would have been more realistic. He got seven years and only did just over four. He should still be locked up in jail – that really angers us”.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, said a change in the law was “long overdue”.

“I can see no reason for further delay. It’s working well in England, it’s catching a lot of people, it’s helping to stop other criminal activity among drug dealers and the roadside equipment seems to be working well.”

Responding for the Government, a spokesman said: “We are considering very carefully whether evidence shows that specific drug-driving limits should be introduced in Scotland.”


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.

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