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Policing minister 'We'll drive drugs menace off the road'

Policing minister 'We'll drive drugs menace off the road'. Credit: PA

The policing minister has said new plans to test drivers for drugs will "drive this menace off the road".

This is something that has plagued society for far too long.

People will have exactly the same view of drug-driving as they do of drink-driving: it is an abhorrent thing to do.

Not only do you put your own life at risk, but you put innocent people's lives at risk.

We will drive this menace off the road.

– Policing minister Mike Penning

Police to test drivers with 'drugalyser' kits

The Christmas and New Year holiday season will see drivers stopped by police and tested for drugs by the side of the road in a war on drug-driving.

The Telegraph has reported that the Home Office approved roadside testing kits that will analyse samples of saliva instantly to detect illegal substances as well as so-called "legal highs".

Police to test drivers with 'drugalyser' kits. Credit: PA

It said that police officers will also use the kits to catch drivers who have taken prescription medicines like strong painkillers, sleeping pills and drugs to treat anxiety, that can hinder concentration on the road.

It has been reported that ministers will order police to carry the "drugalyser" kits alongside conventional "breathalysers", which test motorists for alcohol consumption.

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Vehicle tax will be enforced 'from electronic records'

A spokesman for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has said that changes to the rules of tax discs will not affect the agency's ability to enforce the law:

There is absolutely no basis to these figures and it is nonsense to suggest that getting rid of the tax disc will lead to an increase in vehicle tax evasion.

We have a proven track record in making vehicle tax easy to pay but hard to avoid, with over 99% of all vehicles taxed. Given the systems now in place we take enforcement action direct from our electronic records rather than requiring a tax disc.

– spokesman, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

'Clear concern' among motorists over tax disc changes

The chief engineer for RAC has said that a survey shows there is "clearly concern among motorists about forthcoming changes to tax disc rules:

There is clearly concern among motorists over the issue of enforcement. Most of the changes make sense and will benefit the motorist, but too many motorists are unaware of the detail.

The big question has to be whether enforcement using only cameras and automatic number plate recognition will be sufficiently effective.

– David Bizley, RAC chief engineer

Poll: 63% of drivers expect rise in number of untaxed cars

An RAC survey of more than 2,000 drivers showed that almost two-thirds of respondents believe changes to the rules on tax discs would prompt more tax evasion.

  • 36% were unaware of the scrapping of the paper disc
  • 47% did not know when the change was due to take effect
  • 63% feared there would be a rise in the number of untaxed cars on the road
  • 44% reckoned the change would actually encourage people to break the law

(Source: RAC)

Tax disc changes 'could cost economy £167m per year'

Next month's ending of the need to display a car tax disc could lead to tax evasion costing the economy £167 million a year, according to the RAC.

Motorists will not need to display tax discs from October Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

It said it feared that the number of tax-dodgers could equal the number who try to avoid paying motor insurance.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: "We could be looking at around £167 million of lost revenues to the Treasury, far exceeding the £10 million that will be saved by no longer having to print tax discs and post them to vehicle owners."

From October 1, motorists will no longer need to display a tax disc on their vehicle windscreen. They will still need to pay their vehicle excise duty car tax, with records being monitored electronically.

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Drivers more concerned with congestion than crashes

Car drivers are more concerned with heavy congestion and traffic than of crashes, according to an AA/Populus survey.

A quarter of the 23,000 drivers polled said congestion was the greatest worry when they had to drive for more than 200 miles.

A quarter of the 23,000 drivers polled said they worried about congestion. Credit: John Stillwell/PA

Having an accident was the second most common worry on long journeys with 17% of drivers worrying about this the most.

Top long-journey stresses differ across the country as well as across age groups.

AA president Edmund King said: "The last thing anyone wants is for something to go amiss on that journey and end up ruining their summer plans.

"Congestion, accidents and breaking down are the top trio of nightmares drivers fear."

Motoring charity calls for action on young drivers

Mr Glaister asked why ministers had not acted on the issue Credit: Press Association

The head of a motoring charity has called for the Government to act after a poll found that the majority of Britons support introducing curbs on newly-qualified young drivers.

Professor Stephen Glaister, the director of the RAC Foundation, said: "the issue of young driver safety is one of those matters that must be addressed."

He added: "If there were any other area of public health policy where this level of harm was taking place there would be an outcry, yet as a nation we seem to accept what is happening to many of our young people when they get behind the wheel."

Young drivers 'more dangerous than the elderly'

Young drivers are seen as more of a hazard on the roads than the elderly, a new safety survey has found.

The RAC Foundation poll found:

  • 83% regard young drivers being involved in road accidents as a problem
  • 52% regard older drivers in accidents as a problem
  • 71% agreed that politicians should give more attention to road safety
  • 64% of parents say they would ensure their children complied with a graduated licensing system

The poll results showed that a large majority of Britons were in favour of placing curbs on newly-qualified young drivers, such as banning them from the roads late at night or limiting the number of passengers they can carry.

New drivers 'should have graduated licences'

Young drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of road accidents Credit: Press Association

More people are in support of introducing graduated licensing for newly-qualified drivers than are opposed, a new poll has found.

A total of 41 per cent said they backed introducing graduated curbs on newly qualified drivers, with 32 per cent saying they did not agree with the proposals, an RAC foundation survey found.

Figures have shown that drivers aged between 17 and 19 are involved in almost one in eight accidents that result in injury or death.

The RAC has previously sponsored research suggesting that some 4,500 fewer people would be injured each year if graduated licensing were introduced in Britain.

This includes about 430 people who would otherwise have been killed or seriously injured

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