Driving under the Influence of Drugs

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): President, we can see from the main reply that various places in the world, including Britain, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, have enacted different laws and regulations to regulate “drug driving”. Since drug abuse has been rampant in Hong Kong in recent years, I wish to ask the Government whether it has drawn up any timetable, and when it will introduce the related legislation. I ask these questions because the insurance sector to which I belong also needs to amend our insurance policies in the light of the Government’s legislative amendments. As it takes time to carry out this task, I would like to ask whether the Government has drawn up a timetable, and when the legislation will be amended to regulate drug driving.

SECRETARY FOR TRANSPORT AND HOUSING (in Cantonese): President, we have been keeping a close watch on overseas developments, but there is not many timetable at this stage. As what I have just said, given the wide definition of drugs, we can buy any common off-the-counter medicines at the pharmacist’s, and in the event of drug overdose, it will affect the capability of the concerned driver to have proper control of the motor vehicle as a result. As such, we think that we must exercise great care and caution in introducing more stringent legislation. I have just explained why caution must be exercised. On the one hand, it is related to enforcement efficiency; on the other hand, we need to strike a balance between human rights and privacy. We hence do not have any timetable at present, but we will keep a close watch on the developments in other countries.

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