Anyone who causes an accident will from now on always have to undergo a drug test. This was reported by Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) and Minister of Justice Paul Van Tigchelt (Open VLD). Currently, only an alcohol test is mandatory.
“Driving under the influence is one of the three biggest causes of fatal accidents, next to distraction and excessive speed,” says Gilkinet. ‘We must do everything we can to reduce the number of road casualties and more drug checks on drivers contribute to this.’
In surveys, 5 percent of drivers admit to having driven under the influence of drugs. For young drivers, this is estimated to be as high as one in seven. This can increase the risk of an accident by 30 percent.
Anyone who causes an accident will always be subject to a checklist, which can be used to evaluate whether the driver may test positive for drugs. If this is the case, a saliva test will be taken. If this is also positive, blood will be taken, which is necessary to impose a sanction.
Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters (Open VLD) thinks the new measure is a good thing. ‘Anyone who gets behind the wheel in a daze is not only a danger to themselves but also to others. In addition to raising awareness, enforcement is also an important link because drugs and driving never go together,” she responds. ‘It is good that there will be more drug checks on drivers. This can help us to further put a stop to drunk driving.’