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Prescription drug driver labelling ‘not clear enough’, insist IAM

By Kyle Linsay
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 09:00

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Drugs

OVERHAUL: New system vital, claim IAM

Prescription drug labelling does not clearly enough highlight the effects they may have on driving, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have claimed.

In a poll by the road safety charity, only half of motorists said they believe the current system does an adequate job of highlighting risks.

A third of respondents also suggested a simple traffic-light system would be the best method to inform people of the risks of using prescription drugs when driving.

According to 73% of respondents, driving under the influence of illegal drugs is as dangerous as drink-driving, with 80% advocating zero limits for the worst illegal drugs.

Respondents also felt penalties are not harsh enough for drug-drivers; currently, if prosecuted, they face a one year ban and up to £1,000 fine.

A sizeable 59% of respondents feel that this is not strong enough.

The survey came on the back of government plans to introduce a drug-driving bill, including chemicals which can be found in prescription drugs.

Simon Best, Chief Executive of the IAM, said: “Motorists clearly feel that labelling is not clear or consistent enough when giving information on driving when taking medications.

“A traffic-light system such as red for no driving, amber for care required and green for limited effects appears to be the most popular option.

“What is clear is that we will need a wide-ranging information campaign to support the new laws and ensure motorists don’t find themselves on the wrong side of the law.”

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