The Greens are calling for the government to invest in an evidence based roadside drug testing programme that actually tests for impairment, rather than the wasteful advertising blitz that is being rolled out today.
Documents obtained by Greens MP David Shoebridge revealed that the NSW Police waste limited police resources testing only for trace levels of 3 illegal drugs, rather than impairment, and do not even check for the most commonly used legal drugs that impair driving such as benzodiazepines.
Greens MP and Police Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The Greens support evidenced-based policing that detects and punishes drug impaired drivers on the road, but that’s not what we have in NSW.
“The Coalition government continues to fudge the figures and invest limited police resources in a programme that is arbitrary, unreliable and invasive.
“The fundamental problem with the police roadside drug testing is that it has nothing to do with removing drug impaired drivers from the road.
“We know from international best practice, such as the Wolff report in the UK, what levels of drugs impair drivers and the law should reflect this.
“Of course this is the exact opposite of what we have in NSW where ideology and a failed “zero tolerance” approach to a handful of illegal drugs is seriously skewing the police effort.
“Our office continues hear from individuals who have been pulled over and prosecuted because they have wrongly tested positive in the lottery that is police roadside drug testing programme.
“It’s time to rethink this failing policy and apply limited police resources to test for drug impaired driving and test for every drug that impairs not just three.
“Policing and road safety deserve evidence and intellectual rigour, not an expensive advertising blitz, because, at the end of the day, people’s lives are at stake.” Mr Shoebridge said.