Driving safety charity Brake has responded to the publication of a new study which showed individuals who smoke cannabis up to three hours before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle double their risk of having an accident.

It revealed that 18 per cent of those killed each year in vehicle accidents have trace amounts of illegal drugs in their bloodstream, with cannabis the most common.

As a result, road safety minister Mike Penning has confirmed tough new penalties are to be introduced for anyone found to have drugs in their system when operating a vehicle.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: "This report highlights the danger posed by drivers who have smoked cannabis and adds weight to Brake's calls for widespread testing and prosecution [of these individuals]."

This latest announcement follows the publication of data from the Association of Chief Police Officers, which highlighted the ongoing problem of drink-driving in the UK, with more than 7,000 motorists arrested over the festive period for being over the legal alcohol limit when in charge of a vehicle.

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Posted by Jack Smith

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