Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has announced the Government’s response to the North Review. This looked at reducing the drink drive limit but Government has decided that what is needed is more effective enforcement of the current limits. This echoes the views of FTA members in responding to the original investigation, who also asked that more recognition be given to fleet management of these issues. Measures to be introduced include revocation of the right for people whose evidential breath test result is less than 40 per cent over the limit to opt for a blood test, a tougher rehabilitation scheme before drunk drivers can recover their licences and closing a loophole used by high risk offenders to delay their medical examinations.
The Government has major concerns over the lack of understanding of drug driving and effectiveness of enforcement. Preliminary drug-testing equipment initially for use in police stations, and at the roadside, will be approved as soon as possible. They will also allow custody nurses to advise the police whether or not a suspected driver has a condition that may be due to a drug. The case will also be examined for a new specific drug driving offence which would remove the need for the police to prove impairment. Members are advised to closely monitor drug-testing equipment technology and FTA will seek to ensure that effective and affordable devices are available for use by freight operators.