08:27pm Saturday 19 August 2017

Road safety conference targets drug and alcohol

T2013 conference chair and director of CARRS-Q Professor Barry Watson said the conference, which brings together road safety experts from across the world, would tackle one of the major causes of road deaths and injury – drink and drug driving.

“We’ve done well over the past 25 years when it comes to road safety and reducing the incidence of impaired driving, but we’ve started to plateau,” the QUT Professor said.

“We’ve had great success with programs like random breath testing and roadside drug testing but it’s time for the next big breakthrough.”

Professor Watson said drink and drug driving was a contributing factor in about 30 per cent of fatal road crashes in Queensland.

“Despite illegal blood alcohol concentration limits being in place for more than 40 years, and the dangers of drug driving becoming increasingly recognised, impaired driving remains one of the major causes of crashes on our roads,” Professor Watson said.

“The aim of this conference, to be attended by more than 300 leading alcohol, drug and traffic safety experts, is to discuss the latest in international programs, policy and developments in impaired driving and uncover the emerging countermeasures and solutions to this ongoing global issue.”

Professor Watson said “designer drugs” were the new face of drug abuse across the world.

“Research has shown new designer drugs that mimic drugs such as cannabis and amphetamines are being used at an unprecedented rate and are difficult to detect,” he said.

“This is presenting a huge challenge and one that will be a major focus of the conference.

“Being a step ahead in the detection of designer drugs is crucial and we will have guest speakers including Marilyn Huestis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Barry Logan from the Centre for Forensic Science Research and Education to provide an insight into how we can overcome this challenge.”

The ICADTS conference is regarded as the leading international meeting in the field of alcohol, drugs and traffic safety.

Alcolizer Technology, a world leader in alcohol breath testers, is the platinum sponsor of the conference.

The full program is available here

Media are invited to attend the conference

Media contacts:
Clare Murray, CARRS-Q Marketing and Events officer, 3138 4568, 0409 813 276 or clare.murray@qut.edu.au
Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media Officer (Tue/Wed) 3138 9449 or media@qut.edu.au


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