Op Austrans: SA near national drug driver average

SA Police reiterate illicit substances are the wrong solution to fatigue

Op Austrans: SA near national drug driver average
Drug driving was the focus of the first day of Operation Austrans in SA as elsewhere


South Australia Police figures for that state’s Operation Austrans drug testing day puts it at close to the national average.

While the nationally coordinated operation has a focus on drugs, alcohol, driver fatigue, traffic and compliance offences in the heavy vehicle industry, drug-driving was chosen as the first target.

In South Australia, 531 drug driver screening tests were conducted resulting in nine positive drug tests returned.

That gives the state a rate of one in 59, whereas the national average is put by police at one in 67.

"Drivers think that drugs will help them stay awake on long journeys, but the fact is drugs adversely impact on their ability to operate their vehicle safely," superintendent Anthony Fioravanti, the officer in charge of the Traffic Support Branch, says.

"Taking drugs, such as methamphetamines, will affect physical skills such as reaction times, co-ordination and vehicle control.

"These drugs also affect mood, perception, information processing and judgement, significantly increasing the likelihood of a collision.

"In collisions between large vehicles and small vehicles, the occupants of the smaller vehicles are more likely to be seriously injured than the occupants of the larger vehicles.

"Heavy vehicle drivers using drugs are selfishly putting other road users in greater danger."

In addition, police from Hills Fleurieu Highway Patrols also detected a B-double driver with an alleged blood alcohol reading of 0.025, when it was required to be zero, on the South Eastern Freeway at St Ives during the national day of drug testing.

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