Ad campaign aimed to tackle drug-driving has families speaking up

A six-week advertising campaign aimed at tackling drug driving has begun tonight, following a petition which has called for roadside drug testing.

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A new $2 million advertising campaign has been launched aimed at those who drive after taking drugs, but critics say the ad misses the mark. Source: 1 NEWS

The Transport Agency's ad is part of a wider two-million-dollar campaign to reduce harm caused by drug driving although critics are saying it misses the mark.

The woman who fronts the advert lost her cousin while driving under the influence of drugs and she is asking others to share their stories.

Kiwis affected by drug-driving accidents have expressed to 1 News how important it is to raise awareness around the growing issue.

"I'd stress to families when they are actually watching this ad to actually talk about it. The trouble with drugs is that it is a hidden identity," Ron Crone told 1 News.

Mr Crone lost his 24-year-old son in 2017 and says it was a normal routine for his son and other family and friends to drive while under the influence of cannabis.

"They felt there was no issue with driving stoned ... some even commented it made their driving safer."

Last year, 71 people died in crashes where drugs had been taken and 66 people where alcohol was above the legal limit.

"I've watched a video of my own son with his friends where he's saying, 'I can't have another hit of the bong because I've got to drive' and five minutes later he's having another hit of the bong. This ad may have stopped that."

The drug foundation says what's needed now is a targeted education campaign.