UK drivers warned of new police blood test undergoing trials which could lead to £100 fine
By Jack Walters
Published: 15/05/2023- 09:17
Updated: 15/05/2023- 18:33
Motorists have been warned about the development of a new police blood test which looks to combat a “major killer” on roads.
The new blood-based test, which is undergoing trials in Australia, could be introduced to prosecute those who have not had enough sleep.
It has been claimed that failing the test could result in fines of £100 and three driving licence points.
The tests will enable police officers to determine if a driver has caused an accident due to tiredness.
A blood test for drivers is being developed in Australia
Motorists would likely be tested after a crash at a police station or hospital.
It is possible the driver will also be tested for drink and drug driving at the same time.
The Australian study is being funded by the Office of Road Safety, which is Canberra’s equivalent of the UK’s Department for Transport.
Professor Clare Anderson, an Associate Professor of Psychology from Monash University, who is working on the study, told The Guardian: “When you look at the major killers on the road, alcohol is one of them, speeding is another, and fatigue is one of them.
Tired drivers can currently be charged with either death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving
“But even though the solution to fatigue is quite simple, which is to get more sleep, our capacity to manage it is impaired.
“This is because we don't have tools to be able to monitor it like we do with alcohol.”
The DfT previously said it will “always note new ideas to make our roads safer”.
But ministers are not currently looking to introduce the trialled technology in the UK.
It has been claimed that failing the test could result in fines of £100 and three driving licence pointsPA
Sonya Hurt, chief executive of the Road Safety Trust, said: “Driver fatigue is a significant and serious issue.
“Government statistics show in 2021, 467 people were either killed or seriously injured in collisions where fatigue was noted as a contributory factor.
“Therefore, any work to reduce the impact of sleep deprivation is welcome as we strive to improve road safety and save lives.”
Tired motorists can currently be charged with either death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving, despite no laws directly relating to fatigue.