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Drug-driving is ‘on the rise’

STARTLING new figures show that the number of accidents on Kent roads involving drivers on drugs is rising. The data shows that in the past

two years, drug-taking was the cause of seven deaths, 200 crashes and 29 serious injuries on the county’s roads. A leading drug-driving expert

has described the never-before- seen figures as “worrying”, saying that many users still don’t realise the devastating effect that illegal drugs can have on a driver. Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Kent County Council have now combined forces to raise awareness of the problem. They are re-issuing a warning in

the run up to Christmas that they will be targeting anyone who puts others’ lives at risk behind the wheel of a car through drink or drugs. Some of the effects of drug-tak-

ing on drivers can include dizzi- ness, hallucinations and blurred

vision. KCC road safety team leader Vicky Watkins said: “Our message is clear: Don’t let drugs take the driving seat; it affects your ability to concentrate, to react in an emergency and to perceive accu- rately what’s going on around you.”

Since last year, Kent Police have

been able to carry mobile drug- screening devices that can quickly identify the presence of drugs in- cluding ecstasy, LSD, ketamine, heroin and cocaine and cannabis in a driver’s body at the roadside. A staggering 8,000 motorists

have been arrested across Britain for failing the test since its intro- duction.

Inspector Sam Pearson, from

Kent Police, said:“We will continue to target drivers who put other peo- ple in danger.” Drivers who are under the influ-

ence of drugs can also suffer from erratic and aggressive behaviour, nausea, panic attacks, paranoia, shakes and fatigue.


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REPAIRS UNIT 7, MARKET BUILDINGS, THE CORN EXCHANGE, MAIDSTONE, KENT ME14 1HP Competitors warm up and below, SusieWard-Joyce Runners’ spooky stunt

AROUND 750 witches, ghosts, monsters and all manner of ghostly figures took over Mote Park in Maidstone over Halloween. The Monster Dash and Running Scared saw

adults and children run through spooky woods and get covered in gunge, foam and bubbles. The family-friendly Monster Dash was fol-

lowed by the more frightening Running Scared in the evening. Participants walked, jogged or ran around the Pumpkin Path and Slime Time Alleyas ghostly figures, menacing monsters and bloodcurdling vampires leapt out of the shad- ows.

Money raised went to the Demelza hospice charity. Events co-ordinator Gemma Murray said:

“People went to so much effort with their spooky costumes.We hope everyone enjoyed being scared as much as we enjoyed scaring them!”


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