Drugs involved in many of Northland’s fatal road crashes, police say

Stuff co.nz 6 June 2019
Family First Comment: Toxicology results received for 10 of the 13 Northland road fatalities this year showed five had methamphetamine or cannabis in their system… When asked about the potential impact of cannabis being decriminalised or legalised after the cannabis referendum, Ewers said it was assumed the numbers of drug-impaired drivers on the road would increase. “There’s evidence from around the world – just look at the road deaths in Colorado, it’s evidence of what cannabis can do,” he said.

More than a third of the people who have died on Northland’s roads this year tested positive for drugs, and police fear the numbers will continue to rise.

Northland road policing manager Inspector Wayne Ewers said methamphetamine use was a problem on Northland roads, which have the worst crash statistics in the country.

Toxicology results received for 10 of the 13 Northland road fatalities this year showed five had methamphetamine or cannabis in their system, while two also had alcohol.

Toxicology results for the remaining three fatalities were still to come, but drug use was strongly suspected in one after police found methamphetamine and cannabis in the drivers’ car, Ewers said

The percentage of fatalities in Northland with drugs in their system this year was at least double that from 2017 and 2018, where there were 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

In a presentation to the Northland Regional Transport Committee on Wednesday, Ewers said in one crash near Hukerenui last year where he was first on the scene, the driver was believed to have fallen asleep after a methamphetamine binge.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/northland/113258572/drugs-involved-in-many-of-northlands-fatal-road-crashes-police-say
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