Increased drug testing driving safer roads

The latest roadside drug testing figures have been released with the results showing a seven per cent rise in testing nationwide from 2017 to 2018 – helping to drive down road deaths across the country.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the data shows commitment from all governments to increase roadside drug testing as part of the National Road Safety Action Plan 2018–2020.

“There was a total of 392,444 roadside drug tests in 2018 which yielded positive roadside tests of 12 per cent. This increase in testing is critical to reducing the number of drivers under the influence on our roads,” Mr McCormack said.

“The National Road Safety Strategy commits all levels of government to reducing trauma through increasing levels of roadside drug testing across Australia – and this data helps us track progress against that goal.

“The National Drug Driving Working Group has been working across jurisdictions to develop a best-practice approach to drug testing in Australia.

“Australia has been a global leader in roadside drug testing. It is clear that road safety stands to benefit as jurisdictions work through cost and logistical issues to continue to expand roadside drug testing.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz welcomed the data, which will be updated annually.

“The Government has established a dedicated Office of Road Safety to provide a national policy leadership and coordination role to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roads,” Mr Buchholz said.

“Access to national datasets such as the roadside drug testing dashboard we have launched is critical to understanding, planning and delivering effective road safety initiatives.

“I congratulate South Australia on leading the pack in 2018, with the highest number of roadside drug tests per 10,000 licences out of all states and territories, however there has been pleasing progress nationwide.”

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ Roadside Drug Testing in Australia dashboard 2018 can be viewed online at

More information on the Government’s road safety agenda is available at