The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has combined forces with insurance comparison website, www.confused.com, to raise awareness of the law around drug-driving and how pharmacists can help drivers stay safe on the road.
President Ash Soni fronted 15 radio interviews and featured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain plus SKY News along with Confused.com, whose new research reveals that in 2015 1,686 motorists were charged with drug-driving, compared with just 691 in 2014.
Changes to drug-driving laws came into effect in March 2015 and saw new road-side drug screening devices introduced, alongside new drug limits for both illegal and prescription drugs. Of the one in seven (15 per cent) drivers who admitted to drug driving, the majority were taking prescription medication rather than illegal drugs.
While most motorists may be aware of the obvious implications of driving while under the influence of illegal class A drugs, many are unaware of how the law applies to driving when using prescription drugs. Many motorists don’t understand that driving mixed with some over-the-counter remedies could result in serious consequences.
RPS President, Ash Soni, commented, ‘We urge everyone to check with their pharmacist if their medicine might affect their driving. It’s also important you read the information leaflet which comes inside every packet of medicine to check for side effects before you drive.
‘Now that it’s coming into hayfever season some people might be particularly affected and their medicine can make them feel tired and drowsy. It’s vital you get advice so you are fit to drive safely and your pharmacist can help keep you safe on the road.’