Distracted Driver Gets 10 Year Sentence

Earlier this week, lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was sentenced to 10 years of prison, five of which will be behind bars, after he failed to stop for stationary traffic because he was checking his phone.

The crash which occurred in August on the A34 in Berkshire, also left one other motorist with a senior injury and four others with minor injury.

 

“Not enough”

The incident, which was filmed on the cab’s dash cam, caught the moment that Mr Kroker paid no attention to the stationary traffic as he checked his phone. His vehicle, which was travelling at 50mph, hit a Vauxhall Zafira, that in-turn shunted a Corsa underneath another HGV in front of it. The Corsa was reduced to “a third of its usual size” killing 45 year old Tracey Houghton, her two sons Ethan (13) and Joshua (11) and her step daughter Aimee (11).

The judge residing over the proceedings, Maura McGowen, said that Mr Kroker “might as well have had his eyes shut”. Mr Kroker pleaded guilty to all counts and was told he would receive no leniency for his actions. He will now spend at least five years behind bars, as part of a ten year sentence.

The family of the victims don’t believe the sentence is an adequate deterrent or warning to mobile phone users behind the wheel. The mother of 11 year old Aimee who died in the accident told reporters “The 10-year sentence will not ease our pain and suffering, nor do we believe it will send a strong enough message to those who lack the self-restraint to not use a mobile phone when driving.”

Not worth the risk

If you search for examples of crashes or incidents that have been caused by a motorist using a mobile phone whilst driving, you will find plenty of results. These incidents, as displayed in the accident caused by Mr Kroker, often have the potential to cause serious injury to other motorists.

The question on the lips of those affected by a mobile related collision will often be “was it worth risking a life?” Some of the common reasons given by motorists for checking their mobile phones while driving include changing music, boredom, to send a text or to make a call. Each of these reasons are 100% trivial, when you weigh up the risk of injury that being distracted from driving carries. In Mr Kroker’s case, that risk took the lives of four people, three of which were young children and that is something he will now have to live with for the rest of his life.

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“What if I’m injured?”

There are legal repercussions expected when a driver is reckless behind a wheel. The police will often file criminal charges but you are also able to ensure any injuries you, your family or friends suffer are treated seriously.

It is very easy for distracted drivers to hit cars at faster speeds, potentially causing more harm as they are not monitoring speed, road positioning or checking for hazards. In the case of a serious injury a specialist legal firm like ourselves will be required to look deeply into the situation and arrange much more than just a financial settlement. An injured person may need surgery, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, counselling and a host of other services.

Here at Sincere Law, we  have a network of specialists across the country dedicated to helping serious accident victims and their families attempt to put their lives back together as best they can.

If you feel this could be something that you, your family or friends could use following an incident on the road, you can call in confidence on 0800 092 2896 for free, impartial advice on how best to move forward in your circumstances.

If you would prefer to contact online we also have a contact form where you can leave details. We can then call you when it convenient to talk about the incident and what you may need from us.

 

Kidney Cancer misdiagnosed as food intolerance

GPs and other medical professionals are being urged not to hesitate with referring patients for further assessment, after a Southport primary school teacher, whose stomach illness was initially diagnosed as a food intolerance, died of kidney cancer.

“Cut out bread”

Merseyside teacher, Miss Claire Tomlinson, tragically lost her seven month battle against kidney cancer. However the circumstances could have been very different had she been sent for further tests when she visited her GP. Instead she was led her to believe that the pain in her stomach was simply a food allergy, with her GP advising her to “cut out bread” as well as cutting out other food types from her diet, last September.

Five months after the initial assessment and after months of further excruciating pain. Miss Tomlinson was finally diagnosed with kidney Cancer. Tragically, by this point, the cancer had already spread to both her lungs and her brain, further limiting her chances of survival. After an attempted course of chemotherapy (which was unsuccessful) she sadly succumbed to the disease and passed away.

“Best to test”

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, as other cancer victims have had similar experiences, leading to massive complications in treatment. The case has prompted calls for medical professionals to not be worried about referring patients on for further testing, should there be any doubt at all about the cause of their problems.

Cancer shares symptoms with many other, less deadly illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and food intolerances like Miss Tomlinson was identified as having. In her case it took further pain escalation and a private body scan (not one prescribed by her GP) to reveal the extent of the damage.

Her parents believe that the care given could have been a little more urgent based on what she was telling her GP. In a statement her parents admitted ‘We’re not trying to say she could have been cured, we just think that the treatment should have been more urgent.”

“’Once you’ve alerted a doctor that something is wrong it’s in their hands and you have to push and push to make sure that people act.”

‘You can’t be frightened if there is something wrong, you have to do something about it because it’s not just going to go away.’

 

Serious Injury Claims with Sincere Law

The legal side

When it comes to suffering from cancer, it is not generally a priority to take legal council. Often it depends on the circumstances surrounding the development of the disease. In Miss Tomlinson’s case she told her parents not to pursue legal action, including after she died, as she felt it was too late.

Sometimes, however, legal aid is something a sufferer may wish to seek. In the role of a serious injury or illness, a solicitor can help with a network of contacts that can arrange and provide essential aftercare, such as fast tracked healthcare, counselling and the planning of future expenses for both the sufferer and their family.

Medical negligence cases take time, care and individual attention to see through. We always aim to achieve a personal service where the sufferer and their family feel they are relieved of a lot of pressure injury and illness can bring.

To have a chat with one of our team about any kind of injury or illness, you can call 01695 722 222 anytime between 9am and 7pm on weekdays. Our team are on hand to offer conscientious, free, impartial advice on what role Sincere Law can play in a serious injury or illness.

We also have an online form which allows you to give details of the problem. From there we can call you and further discuss the details.

Optometrist Given Suspended Sentence for Negligent Manslaughter

Optometrist Honey Rose who is being held responsible for the death of child Vincent Barker back in 2013, has been sentenced at Ipswich crown court.

The gross negligence manslaughter case over optometrist has finished

Sentencing

Miss Rose was found guilty during the summer and was scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the summer. Following her hearing, she was given a two year suspended sentence involving 200 hours of unpaid work. The judge for the trial, Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith had said it was the first trial like it he had proceeded over.

In 2013, Miss Rose carried out what was meant to be a routine eye examination and didn’t pick up on a build-up of fluid which eventually led to the boy’s death. The case presented by Vincent’s parents was that Miss Rose was negligent in her duty and should have picked up on the problem and suggested treatment. Meanwhile, Miss Rose’s team defended her by stating it was not beyond reasonable doubt that she could have missed the problem during the check-up.

While the sentence is a measure of justice for young Vincent, his parents will not be celebrating. Afterwards they admitted “The outcome of this case does not change our life sentence; we will never be able to fully accept that our special little boy is never coming home.”

 

The cost of a life

As serious injury solicitors, Sincere Law has witnessed the impact that a loss of life can have on a family (particularly a young life). A fatality not only leaves a large emotional void for those left behind, which can never be filled, it also robs the opportunity for the person involved to grow up, enjoy life and fulfil their potential.

In cases such as these it is common for us to arrange for a specialist team to help those left not only organise necessary requirements and grieve, but also to ensure they have the best possible mindset following a death.

It is not easy to return to work or regular life after losing a family member, whether it is a child or adult. We often arrange a team of experts dedicated to sorting any further financial and emotional support to those left behind. In the case of Vincent this would possibly be part of the case to help his parents try and get back to everyday life.

Medical Negligence Severity

Any instance of medical negligence has the potential to be serious or fatal. When a doctor, nurse, GP or any medical professional does not fulfil their duty of care it can have very serious consequences as evidenced.

With the medical world involving drugs, dangerous medical equipment and procedures, it can be no surprise that the smallest issue can lead to a very serious medical negligence claim which involves arranging prolonged treatment, recovery, financial planning and aftercare.

If you would like to know more about how Sincere Law assists with the healing process following a serious injury or death, you can call one of our advisers for free, impartial advice on 0800 092 2896.

If you feel you, a friend or family member may wish to make a serious injury claim and gain a measure of justice for injuries caused, you can either call our number above on weekdays from 9am to 7pm or get in touch via our contact page here.

 

“Life Saving” stickers to prevent children’s road accidents?

The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) has recently launched a well received and inexpensive scheme to prevent road accidents involving children using stickers. The simplistic campaign allows people to purchase stickers for a nominal fee and stick them to bins.
Stickers aimed to stop road traffic accidents involving children in Australia

Cheap & efficient

The campaign by the ARSF has encouraged many Australian parents to purchase life sized stickers of children for $10 and then place them on bins in front of their home. A very inexpensive option, the stickers portray children running or playing. With bins usually placed near the roadside (particularly when a collection is due) the scheme aims to remind drivers to take care in residential areas after spotting the easily visible deterrents.

The scheme was organised following a rise in road accidents involving children in 2015, resulting in the deaths of 242 children on Australian roads. This figure is  up from 223 the year before. The chief executive of the ARSF, Russell White, explained that no matter what side of the bin, which side of the road or which direction the stickers were facing, the visual impact would still be there. He said:

“When we look at road safety generally, we look at figures and numbers, but what we often overlook is the human face behind that.”

“The stickers put the human element to the potential situations we can find on the roads we travel each day. It’s the streets around our suburban areas which we are the most familiar with and often the most complacent with.”

road traffic accidents involving children took 242 children in 2015

English rollout?

The stickers on the bins which are rolled out once a week, not only display the pictures of children, but also the speed limit for the area (Australia being 50kph in many streets). The question raised during this test phase over here is “would this work here?” The idea is simple and cost effective. While the scheme itself would not prevent all accidents in residential areas (here or in Australia), it could serve as a quick reminder to those driving to watch their speed and watch for children.

Sincere Law’s Head of Catastrophic Injury, Chris Walker, believes a campaign like this would be beneficial for children’s safety in the UK. He told us “Any effort to stop deaths on roads, particularly young children who have their whole life ahead of them, is a good thing. Stickers are inexpensive and don’t require a lot of input from a user, but they get the message across simply. It would be good to see this brought to the UK.”

Sincere Law has dealt previously with injuries occurred on roads to children, both fatal and non fatal. Regardless of fatalities, it can hold very adverse effects on the family involved and those in the driver’s seat who caused it.

Could the UK borrow this sticker scheme to prevent road accidents?

Help is available

If you have experienced an accident on the road whether it involves your child, a family member’s child or a friend’s child, you can contact Sincere Law for expert advice. We deal with serious and catastrophic injuries which often require extra input and care in order to help alleviate the problems caused by serious incidents.

If you’d like hassle free advice please call one of our expert team on 0800 092 2896 or get in touch via our contact page. Alternatively, you can arrange for us to call you back at a time that suits you by using our callback form.

At Sincere Law, we strive to look after all of our clients and their families with caring, conscientious legal assistance from start to finish. We look to provide the best possible quality of life for all serious injury victims under our legal care, so please call today and see what we can do for you.

 

Optometrist Found Guilty of Manslaughter

Optometrist, Miss Honey Rose, was found guilty this week following a lengthy trial over her handling of young boy Vincent Barker. Vincent suffered from a fatal swelling of the optic nerve back in 2012. The boy fell ill and died following the eye test leaving the family facing the anguish of losing a child.

 

Papilledemma

In 2012, Vincent Barker attended an eye exam at his local Boots performed by then optometrist Miss Rose. During the exam she should feasibly have spotted a problem with Vincent’s eye as he had a build up of fluid due to swelling of the optic nerve; a problem known as Papilledemma. This swelling went undetected during the exam and eventually cost Vincent his life around 5 months later.

Miss Rose was charged with manslaughter through gross negligence in September 2015, with the trial beginning in January of this year. Miss Rose denied the allegations after pleading that she did not believe it to be beyond reasonable doubt that she could have missed the problem during the check-up. The allegations were eventually upheld however, and she was charged due to the build-up of fluid being deemed “obvious” and is due to be sentenced in August.

The family, while pleased that the outcome brings them justice for their son, are still carrying the pain of loss with them. They issued astatement following the ruling, saying:

“The outcome of this case does not change our life sentence; we will never be able to fully accept that our special little boy is never coming home.”

“The void left in our lives will never heal and the ripple effect to those around us is immense. As parents the distress of witnessing your child’s life from start to end in just eight short years is excruciatingly hard and nonsensical.”

“The decision of a jury or judge cannot bring Vinnie back or undo the devastation of his death. A guilty verdict would never make us winners, our loss is simply too great.”
The gross negligence manslaughter case over optometrist has finished

Lasting Impacts

The impact of a fatal injury is usually worth much more to a family than a guilty verdict or a lump sum of cash from a serious injury claim. Incidents of serious injury often require a qualified team to help those left behind deal with the emotional stress attached to losing a family member. To lose somebody so young adds further pressure to the situation.

In fatality cases, the solicitor’s job is to provide those left behind with adequate care and assistance should they need it, including counselling. This is the job of a team employed by the solicitor and is part of the settlement when a fatality claim is made. The settlement itself will never replace the family member they have lost, but the assistance of their support team is priceless in such a sensitive situation.

With over 25 years of experience dealing with victims of serious injuries of this nature, Sincere Law has developed strong working relationships with a host of trained medical professionals. From counsellors, to medical experts and therapists, the need for sensitive, professional advise is vital to help victims and their loved ones move forward with their lives Sincere Law prides itself of its ability to ensure that each of their clients receive the very best standard of care.

For more information on how Sincere Law can help someone who has been the victim of  a serious injury, call one of our advisers today for a free, no hassle conversation, without obligation on 0800 092 2896.

Alternatively you can visit our contact page and fill in the contact us form and one of our advisers will arrange to contact you.

 

New Legislation On Agricultural Health & Safety

In UK agriculture, one worker dies every week on average according to the HSE. Farm work can present a myriad of risks; minor, serious and fatal in a normal day. New legislation aims to curve that statistic as new tough penalties for breaches could encourage a safer environment.
 

A Dangerous Profession

Last month we looked at which industry in the UK was the most dangerous from a personal injury perspective. We determined that due to the heavy machinery and tools used, matched with the working environment, that farming is indeed Britain’s most dangerous workplace.

Agricultural work on average sees more serious injuries each year than construction and manufacturing. This is a result of tasks involving a variety of machinery with the ability to cut, shred and maim individuals coming into contact with them. It is also unfortunately an “accepted” part of the farming industry that injury and death do occur at regular intervals during any calendar year.

Farming is the leading cause of workplace deaths each year

New Legislation

February 2017 will see the introduction of new penalties that heavily affect farming, particularly larger farms with numerous employees. From February, corporate manslaughter and breaching other health and safety offences will result in heavy fines or imprisonment.

According to the official publication released by the HSE, offences can see fines scaling from £50 all the way up to £10 million being handed out, depending on how many people were hurt, what the incident involved and how much damage was done. Sincere Law Partner Lucie Illingworth spoke on the tougher stance on agricultural health and safety:

“It isn’t permissible for agricultural bosses to “accept” that serious injury and death is just a part of working farms. Those that add to the statistics are humans with families. They deserve protection. The legislation should help stimulate greater protection and eliminate that notion. Employee safety is above all else in any industry”

Serious farming injury in the UK

Challenge the Norms

Sincere Law’s solicitors have dealt previously with both the serious injury of agricultural workers and the claiming of compensation following fatalities on behalf of their families. Both situations require immense work and empathy for those involved. It can be a distressing time for all involved, not just the person involved in the incident.

As a law firm that supports the victims of serious injury with their recovery, we welcome any legislative change as an effort to clamp down on negligent procedures employers may have risked assigning employees to in the past. From witnessing the effects of serious injury on agricultural workers first hand, we would like to see the frequency of these impactful injuries fall dramatically.

 

Ryman league team & Northern Rail team up to educate about trespassing

A North London based Ryman league football side, Cheshunt FC, have teamed up with Network Rail to teach young people about the danger of trespassing on railway lines.

 

Nationwide programme

Alongside Cheshunt and Network Rail, a Manchester based company (PDF Sports LTD) have joined to help roll the scheme out to 10 schools in close proximity to the lines that run in the Cheshunt area. They have also made the programme accessible to Year 5 students across the country by incorporating the message into a sporting environment. The programme consists of using games and activities outside to help remember the risks associated with the railway.

Spokesman for the campaign on behalf of Cheshunt FC, Chairman Dean Williamson said “The railway is an extremely dangerous environment and it simply isn’t worth risking your life trying to save a few seconds misusing a level crossing”. Joining Mr Williamson was Tackling Track Safety Project Director, Philip Fitton, who added “The TTSP is a fantastic project and so far this year over 50,000 young people nationally have been educated about the dangers of the Railway in a fun and engaging environment”.

Originally set up in November 2015 by footballing legend Paul Scholes, Tackling Track Safety aims to educate “at least 100,000 people about rail safety” by the end of 2016.

(Paul Scholes set up Tackling Track Safety in 2015)

Responsible parenting

With the summer on its way and many children able to enjoy the holidays, we move into a period where knowing the whereabouts of your children becomes vitally important. Helping educate children into appreciating how serious an injury caused on the railway can be is a step in the right direction towards reducing accident and fatality statistics.

Sincere Law Catastrophic Injury Partner, Chris Walker, supports the project, stating “safety around the railway is a big issue for young people. In the summer we often receive calls from individuals who have experienced incidents around trains and unfortunately for those whose child has trespassed onto the railway it makes it very difficult to assist. We help clients each year who have been injured on trains by negligent actions but one thing we must completely eradicate is the threat to children’s lives posed by missing education on how fatal a decision to trespass can be. We fully support the campaign and hope that the Tackling Track Safety scheme can achieve their objective of educating 100,000 people by the end of this year.”

 

What can you do?

As a parent you can assist greatly by ensuring your child knows that trespassing onto the railway can be life threatening. This is most important to those living near railway lines, as easy access can often tempt children to become curious. While Sincere Law can do a lot for those that suffer serious injury as a direct result of negligent actions by railway staff or poor safety standards, being injured by a train as a result of unlawfully trespassing removes a person’s chance of making an injury claim.

New education for children on rail safety launched

Agriculture – Britain’s riskiest profession?

Farming has always been a staple of the British economy. The land holds promise for rearing animals and crops and seemingly will always have a place in British life. It does however often go unreported that this historic job does hold a place as the UK’s most dangerous profession statistically.

Brits and farming

The agriculture industry in the UK has always been a popular source of economic prosperity. With 75% of the UK’s landmass used for farming, it helps supply over two thirds of the nation’s food, from meat and poultry, to fruit and veg. Being an island nation, farming has been a failsafe industry since the dawn of civilisation, allowing us to stay supplied during both World Wars and giving the UK a strong trade out into the world.

From the early days of horse drawn ploughs and farm hands sowing crops; cultivating the land by hand, there has always been plenty of labour available in farming.

Revolution & change

With the industrial revolution adding new machinery and methods of farming, came greater risk of serious injury in the daily life of a farm worker. Farming has always seen incidents of serious injury, including workers becoming entrapped in machinery, being mauled by animals or falling from height working on the buildings.

According to current statistics, farming is still at the top of the tree for injuries and fatalities in the UK workplace. With heavy machinery including a variety of tractors, industrial size machines for collecting and processing crops and the fact that the overall amount of livestock kept rising, it is no surprise that farming does still carry risks of serious injury (and even fatalities).

Farming has the highest rate of serious injury incidents in the UK

Farming safely & what next?

With so many risks of injury, it is imperative anybody involved in farming not only has adequate protection in the form of PPE and working tested equipment, but also to be properly educated on having a safe working environment. This is exactly what one company in Oxfordshire has done by offering training and education for all areas of farm work. It is often overlooked by those that work in the more labour intensive side of farming, but proper education is one step to avoiding unnecessary incidents.

Sincere Law has experienced a myriad of farming related injuries arising from the provision of poor education and inadequate PPE. The cost of an accident working on a farm can far outweigh that of being injured in many other professions, construction and manufacturing included.

With life changing injuries seen including amputations, loss of hearing, loss of sight, 3rd degree burns and broken bones, Sincere Law Partner, Lucie Illingworth, actively welcomes the new resources and challenges other companies to provide the same. Lucie said of the new courses:

“It often goes unnoticed just how badly an injury caused working in agriculture can change a person’s life. Any claims we deal with in this sector go far beyond simply providing a means of compensation. The rebuilding process can take months and years to come close to making a recovery (if at all). The more protection provided for farmers, the fewer lives we are likely to see affected by injuries at work. I’d like to see many more of these initiatives launched to protect UK agricultural workers”.

Will the enhanced education have an effect on the rate of serious injury and fatalities in UK farming? Only time will tell. Until we know for sure, farming is likely to retain its place as one of the UK’s most dangerous jobs.

Sign Your Life Away – Do Waivers Stop You From Claiming?

When you take part in any activity that could pose a physical risk, like a sporting competition or events such as the newly popular extreme assault courses, you will most probably sign a waiver. These waivers record that you accept that there is a risk of you being injured while taking part. But does that absolve all blame from the organiser?

Spartan races are fast becoming one of the mot popular extreme race events in the world

Event Insurance

All event organisers, including sports and team building obstacle race holders, will be required to have insurance and be expected to have made precautions for any accidents that could happen. This usually includes arranging for first aiders to be present and ensuring that there is suitable access for emergency services, as well as ensuring the venue is appropriate and that participants are prepared and aware of any risks. This insurance is necessary as,, although participants suffering minor scrapes, bruises or even minor breaks are covered under the waiver; negligence of any form is not and should it occur, it would leave the event organiser liable.

The now worldwide giant, Tough Mudder, has come under criticism for injuries caused since it’s inception in 2010. With runners electrocuted by 10,000 volt cables and sustaining some brutal punishment over the courses, some have suggested that a lack of care has been taken with the obstacle design. With some events seeing deaths, paralysis and major injuries in recent years, the question of negligence has lingered for some time.

The same idea of waivers not covering negligent actions applies to sports too. Many sports have governing bodies which issue insurance to members covering injury during training sessions and competition; with additional insurance available for instructors. However, liability waivers do not cover acts of negligence on behalf of coaches, referees or other participants. Should another competitor intentionally injure you or a referee fails to act within their duty of care to all participants, then those actions fall outside of a waiver and give a person the right to claim compensation.

Serious injury during sports or tough mudders

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Waiver Legality

A waiver is designed to fulfil the legal requirement that the participant in an activity is aware of the potential risk and is still willing to participate. Although some waivers may mention complete absolution from liability, this isn’t actually a true statement.

Legally if a company, organiser or governing body of an event have done all within their power to oversee the safety of participants, then injury cannot bring forth a personal injury claim. However, if those same authorities have in fact been negligent in their preparation and allowed for slips in safety procedures, then a claim can be made.

Sincere Law has represented both athletes and race participants in the past for these situations. The challenge for the solicitor of an injured individual is to prove the accident was the fault of negligence.

 

Proving Fault

While not an easy process, it can be determined,  with some investigation by a solicitor, as to whether the waiver signed covers the accident or not. Looking into previous injuries using the apparatus, the health and wellbeing of the person involved and the situation surrounding the incident all come into play.

While we would never discourage anybody from participating in a sport that has injury risks or completing an obstacle race with risky sections, Sincere Law would always advise being in the best possible condition to safely compete/complete a course and also be aware of the proper rules and procedures for participation.

With some research suggesting an average of 1.72 people being taken to hospital per 1,000 entrants for extreme obstacle races, you need to be sure you can safely complete them as well as having fun doing so.

tough mudder serious injury claims

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

If you have been involved in a sporting event or an obstacle race and have suffered a serious injury, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Sincere Law. We operate on a No Win No Fee basis and, after an initial no hassle call, we can ascertain whether you have a potential claim. We also offer a £250 recommend a friend scheme in which you can earn £250 for recommending Sincere Law to a friend. Our lines are open from 9am until 8pm daily so get in touch today!

Drug Driving Combatted By New Swab

You may have noticed on TV and in print adverts recently that new methods of combating drug driving have come into force. With the aim of reducing the risk of collisions from impaired driving, the new “swab” is designed to detect a number of chemicals in the body which can identify a drug driver. Is it the best deterrent of drug driving yet? Or will it just serve to pick up more roadside fines?

Under The Influence

Drug driving is now considered to be the same as drink driving when it comes to offences behind the wheel. Both now carry the same penalties.

According to the government driving safety organisation, THINK!, penalties for being caught drug driving include a minimum of a 12 month driving ban, the potential of up to 6 months imprisonment, unlimited fines and a criminal record.

Unashamedly, gov.co.uk promotes other side effects of being convicted for drug driving as potentially losing your job, having trouble finding new employment, increased car insurance costs and even face rejection when wanting to enter countries such as the USA and Canada.

(The new drug driving PSA from THINK!)

A Needle in a Haystack

Previously, police were reduced to using basic roadside impairment tests to catch drug drivers. These tests included walking in a straight line, standing on one leg and checking for dilated pupils. This made it difficult to enforce, as passing the tests gave police little choice but to warn the driver and continue their journey. Simply suspecting a motorist would not have been enough to warrant an arrest.

The new drug driving swab means that the police are able to use a saliva sample to test for cocaine or cannabis within 6 minutes. This can be done at the roadside or alternatively, the swab can also be sent to a test lab for further readings of substances on the prohibited list. Even if a driver doesn’t show for either of the two on the swab, showing signs of impairment now give the police the right to arrest and prosecute, pending evidence from further testing.

The new measures have helped increase the arrest rate of drug drivers reportedly by as much as 800% by some local constabularies. Proving a driver to be impaired by drugs was once a difficult task for police; but thanks to the swab, that task has become very straightforward.

Sincere Law, Serious Injuries down from drug driving arrests

Source: Gov.co.uk,/p>

Safer Roads?

When looking at the new swab from a personal injury Solicitor’s viewpoint; Sincere Law believes the initiative can help reduce accidents caused by drug drivers and therefore protect innocent road users from suffering catastrophic injury at the hands of irresponsible drivers who are under the influence.

Sincere Law’s catastrophic injury Partner Chris Walker weighed in on the subject, stating “Any way of deterring drug drivers from taking the risk of going out on the road while impaired is something we support. We often see claims from clients who have been seriously injured at the hands of impaired drivers, both under the influence of drink and drugs so we welcome the initiative and hope to see positive trends for collisions and accidents relating to drug driving as a result.”

Your say

Are swabs the way forward to make the roads safer? We scoured Twitter to find out your opinion on the new procedures.