Drug use causes 350 traffic deaths annually

24th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Alcohol and drug use causes 350 fatalities or one third of the 1,088 annual traffic deaths in the Netherlands, research indicated on Friday.

24 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — Alcohol and drug use causes 350 fatalities or one third of the 1,088 annual traffic deaths in the Netherlands, research indicated on Friday.

The study, conducted by the Academic Traffic Safety Research Foundation (SWOV), surpassed previous estimates indicating that alcohol and drug abuse cause about 300 deaths per year.

The study found that 35 percent of injured motorists who are treated in hospital, are under the influence of a substance. Some 13 percent had been drinking, 11 percent had used several drugs and 11 percent had used both alcohol and drugs.

The research was carried out between May 2000 and April 2004 in the Tilburg police region. Officers conducted 26,000 breath tests. To test for drugs, blood and urine tests were conducted on 3,850 people, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

SWOV also analysed samples from motorists who were treated in hospital and compared the results with the police statistics.

Of note was the frequency in which young male motorists aged 18 to 24 were found to be driving under the influence. Almost one in five had alcohol and/or drugs in their system.

More specifically, the research found 14.5 percent were guilty of driving under the influence of a drug, 1.9 percent were driving under the influence of several drugs and 1.7 percent were driving after using both alcohol and drugs.

Motorists who were driving with an alcohol level above the legal 0.8 promille limit appeared to be 150 more times at risk of being involved in a serious traffic accident.

The SWOV research was conducted as part of a European-wide study commissioned by the European Commission. The provisional results were released on Friday and the study will be published in full in March 2005.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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