Mandatory blood drug testing for Victorian drivers involved in fatalities
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On 9 January 2009 my brother Grant was struck by a car walking across Punt Road from Toorak Road. Grant was unconscious as soon as he was hit by the car, being thrown 28 metres. Six hours later he died from massive head injuries. Sadly my parents and sister did not make it to Melbourne in time, to say goodbye. My family were crushed.
The driver was of course breath tested at the scene and found to be under the limit. While Grant was unconscious, the hospital took his blood and drug and alcohol tested him. No drugs were found in his system or alcohol.
I later questioned the police as to whether the driver was drug tested. They told me that under the Road Safety Act in Victoria it is not mandatory to do drug tests and that officers can make a visual assessment to decide whether a drug test is required. I thought how ridiculous that a visual assessment could in any way give an accurate indication if someone is drug affected particularly after a driver hits a pedestrian and goes into shock. Let alone the fact that they drug tested my brother and not the driver. Unfortunately my family and I will never know whether the driver was in any way drug affected.
I want to change the Road Safety Act 1986 sections 55A (Vic) and 55BA to ensure that blood drug testing is mandatory for all drivers involved in fatalities. A visual drug assessment is not sufficient.
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