DON’T risk your life and the lives of others by drug driving, this is the message we are urging as part of the latest road safety campaign.

The number of convictions for drug driving has increased nationally during the past five years.

Last year in Gwent, officers arrested 617 people on suspicion of drug driving.

The penalties for drug driving are the same as drink driving. You can receive a 21-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and a prison sentence.

We’re joining the other Welsh police forces in supporting a road safety campaign to raise awareness of the five main causes of casualties on UK roads which are known as the ‘fatal five.’

The fatal 5 | staying safe on the road

  1. Excessive speed

Road users can ensure they keep themselves, and others, safe by checking their speedometer regularly, looking out for signs and using the appropriate gear (using third gear in a 30mph zone, for example).

  1. Failure to wear seatbelts

It is a legal requirement to wear a seatbelt in vehicles where one is fitted. The driver is also liable to prosecution if a child under 14 doesn’t wear one.

  1. Use of a mobile phone

Drivers are advised to switch their phones off before setting off on their journeys. If caught using a mobile device while driving, you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice and receive a £200 fine and six points on your licence.

  1. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

The penalties for drink/drug driving are the same. You can receive a 21-month driving ban, an unlimited fine and a prison sentence. The legal limits can be found on gov.uk, but we recommend that, if you’re drinking alcohol, let someone else do the driving.

  1. Careless/inconsiderate driving

Drivers should remain considerate and keep their concentration at all times.

Examples of dangerous driving include:

  • driving too close to the vehicle in front
  • driving at a speed not suited to the road and conditions
  • using a sat-nav while driving
  • undertaking or overtaking dangerously.

Chief inspector Martyn Smith said: “Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower therefore it increases your chances of being involved in a collision. Our message is clear; please don’t risk your life and the lives of other road users by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is never acceptable. 

“Road safety is of paramount importance to Gwent Police and we’ll not tolerate behaviour that puts lives at risk on our roads. We want to stress that any motorist caught driving under the influence or driving dangerously will be prosecuted.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring the safety of other road users – I would urge all motorists to drive carefully, responsibly and within the limits of the law and to ensure their vehicles are well-maintained at all times.”