Drug Driving Campaign MP Recognized By Road Safety Charity

The Member of Parliament for Croydon has been recognized by Brake for his work in campaigning for new UK legislation on driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Brake’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month award has been given to the Croydon Central MP, Gavin Barwell. The Member of Parliament has been active in a campaign to introduce new legislation on drug driving after being contacted by the family of Lillian Groves, a child who had been killed by a driver who was impaired through the use of cannabis.

Gavin Barwell raised the question in Parliament in October 2011 and since then, the UK Government has been involved in the development of drug driving legislation to include specific clauses and limits to enable effective enforcement, an issue which plagues generally worded impairment laws.

The result was an announcement in May that a new law will be passed in the country which has practical enforcement capabilities using road side drug detection equipment and which carries a penalty which includes a mandatory 12 month licence suspension, a fine of up to 5000 pounds and up to six months custodial sentence.

The family of Lillian Groves and Brake both welcome these changes in UK legislation although the road safety charity is driving for zero tolerance rather than limit-based legislation. Brake is also pushing for speedier implementation of the legislation.

Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell told Brake that he had been inspired by the dedicated campaigning work of the family of Lillian Groves and he intends to pursue the implementation of the legislation and raise awareness of the problem so that people will regard driving under the influence of drugs as no more acceptable than drink driving.

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