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GEM issues medicines warning as colds and ‘flu season arrives’

GEM issues medicines warning as colds and ‘flu season arrives’

ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is warning motorists about the dangerous effects some medications can have on driving.

Some cold and ‘flu treatments, painkillers and other drugs can cause drowsiness, reducing a driver’s ability to concentrate on the driving task. Driving while affected by drugs of this kind (even those prescribed by a doctor) is not only very hazardous, but also likely to be a criminal offence for which the penalties will be severe, warns GEM.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “You may not be aware that your driving can be compromised by medicinal drugs. Therefore you could be breaking the law without realising.

“A conviction for drug driving carries a minimum one-year driving ban, an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison. You will have a criminal record that means you may have trouble getting a job or travelling overseas. Even once you are able to get your licence back, it will be endorsed for 11 years.

“So we cannot stress enough the importance of reading labels and seeking advice from healthcare professionals before driving. If you find that a specific remedy is likely to make you drowsy and impair your driving, then you must not drive after taking it. If you need to drive, make sure you ask a healthcare professional for a medicine that will not cause drowsy side-effects.”

GEM has produced a leaflet, ‘Medicine, Drugs and Driving – The Facts’ which has more details on the potentially dangerous effects some medicines bring. You can download a PDF from the GEM website or call GEM on 01342 825676 to order a copy.

Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

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