Survey finds one in six have witnessed drug driving

One in six motorists admit to having seen friends drive a car while under the influence of recreational drugs, a new survey has found.

Only one in 20 Irish drivers have admitted to driving under the influence of recreational drugs at least once, according to results of the two-part survey conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of road-tolling company eFlow.

The study, conducted among 521 Irish road users, also found that one in seven motorists have driven while over the drink drive limit.

Some 40% of Irish motorists have seen friends drive a car while being over the drink drive limit.

According to the Department of Transport, licensed drivers totalled 2.7 million at December 31, 2012.

The results show that every second person exceeds the speed limit on occasion, while one third exceed the speed limit weekly.

While the majority believe that they abide by the rules of the road, three in 10 motorists do not believe they will get caught if they break the law.

The survey found that penalty points are a stronger deterrent to speeding than a cash fine.

Some 38% believe the speed limit on motorways is too low while three in 10 believe that speed limits on national roads are too low.

The results show that one in five men believe the speed limit on motorways is too low.

eFlow released part one of the survey findings last week which found that 62% of learner drivers do not always have a fully licensed driver accompany them while driving, while only six in 10 learner permit holders display their L-plate all of the times.

By law, all learner drivers must be accompanied by a full licence driver while driving and have an L-plate clearly displayed.

One third of all motorists admitted to occasionally taking or making a call without hands-free while driving.

Simon McBeth, Director of Communications and Customer Relations at eFlow, described the latest survey results as “alarming”.

“It’s a disheartening sign to see a significant proportion of Irish drivers admitting to driving under the influence of alcohol and controlled substances, especially as last year’s figures marked a first-time increase in national road deaths since 2005,” she said.

“We think it is absolutely essential that young people be taught to reject any suggestion of driving under the influence; and the sooner that message sinks in, the better. We hope that the eFlow Young Driver Safety Week, and our road safety ad competition, will go some way to encouraging young drivers to be responsible behind the wheel for life.”

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