Home Office drug driving product specification is 'important development in road safety'
The Home Office move will enable police to use testing equipment to assess UK drivers for the presence of certain illegal drugs. It follows the publication of the North Review in 2010 – the first major evaluation of drink and drug driving law in 34 years – which called for the earliest possible introduction of drug driving screening devices.
Concateno has been campaigning for several years for the introduction of drug detection devices. The company currently provides roadside testing programmes in various countries, including Australia, Croatia, Italy and Spain using its mobile screening device, the Cozart DDS.
Concateno's chairman and chief executive officer Peter Welch said: 'We welcome the Government's announcement as recognition of the dangers presented by drug driving to UK road users. This represents an important development in road safety; police in this country will now have access to more reliable and sophisticated methods of detecting drug drivers.'
Currently, the best available means of assessing drug drivers at the roadside is the Field Impairment Test, which relies on specially trained police officers observing an individual's performance in physical and mental skill tests and other elements such as eye pupil dilation. Using drug detection devices in the police station will provide the police with a fast, easy to use, and objective means of determining the presence of a named drug.
With product specification, manufacturers such as Concateno will be able to submit devices for Home Office approval for police use.
'Our police will be able to deal more effectively with drug drivers on our roads,' commented Concateno's drug driving expert Iain Forcer. 'Our drug driving experience in other countries such as Australia, Croatia, Italy, and Spain demonstrates that using innovative and proven screening technology, combined with driver awareness programmes, is a significant factor in deterring drug drivers.'