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Drug-driving is still a lethal gap in the law

MORE that 23,500 people have been killed on Irish roads since records began in 1959.

That shocking death toll was publicised last week, ahead of World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Victims.

This is an extraordinary figure, which demonstrates the extent of the human carnage on our roads.

There is hardly a family in this country that has not been touched by tragedy in this respect.

Thank God, over the past number of years road deaths have been hugely reduced, mainly due to various State initiatives which have, eventually, helped to change driver behaviour.

Chief among these were campaigns against drink-driving and speeding, and the lowering of alcohol limits for drivers.

However, I have long been critical of the lack of adequate legislation to prosecute the drug drivers on our roads. It's been a huge gap in the law.


But under new proposals gardai may soon be using a hand-held device to test drivers for drugs. Devices like breathalysers will be used to test for such substances.

As you read this, rest assured there are drivers on Irish roads who have consumed illegal, and legal, drugs.

The effects of such behaviour means these motorists often pose just as much of a risk as those who have drunk alcohol. They need to be caught and prosecuted.

Every week or month that this goes unaddressed is another week of month of lost lives. Let's move on it now.