Drivers who take the wheel under the influence of drugs or go far beyond the speed limit will have to take compulsory rehabilitation courses from April 1.
The licensing agency CBR is building on the mandatory lessons for people convicted for drink-driving or dangerous driving. The new rules will apply to anyone recorded breaking the motorway speed limit by 50km/h or 30km/h when driving through roadworks.
Almost 10,000 motorists are expected to be ordered to participate in the first year, at a cost of between €691 and €1,285 per participant. Drivers who refuse will have their licence cancelled.
The infrastructure ministry says the use of drugs behind the wheel is becoming a growing problem.
In 2021 more than 5000 drivers were referred to the CBR’s drugs education programme, an increase of around 25% in a year. In 72% of cases drivers were found to be under the influence of cannabis.
Combinations of different drugs are also becoming more common, researcher Sjoerd Houwing told AD. ‘People who’ve had a joint feel too lethargic to drive, so they take a line of coke to pep themselves up,’ he said.
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