Illicit drugs are now causing the same number of fatalities and serious injury on Victoria’s roads as alcohol, new police figures have revealed.
Last year, 32 drivers killed in crashes and 494 injured were affected by drugs.
Over the same period, alcohol contributed to the deaths of 22 drivers and seriously injured 506.
Victoria Police said it would be conducting more roadside drugs tests in response to the increase.
Acting Victorian Roads Minister Jacinta Allan said the numbers were concerning.
“The message has been getting through to the Victorian community for some time now about drinking and driving, that it’s just not on,” she said.
“It’s clear that that is a message that needs to be really hammered home is that you don’t take drugs and get behind the wheel of a car.
“That’s an incredibly dangerous practice, and that’s why the Andrews Labor Government is stepping up its fight to get more drugs tests done to nab more drugged drivers.”
She said the government was working on a “comprehensive” strategy on wider road safety for the state.
“Clearly drug drivers are dangerous, they can cause significant dangers on our roads and that’s why we’re stepping up our efforts,” she said.