19 Jun 2012

Police warning on drug taking truckers

7:01 pm on 19 June 2012

A police agency is sounding a warning about drug-taking truck drivers in New Zealand after a leap in the number caught in Australia.

That number doubled to 140 last month during the regular Trans Tasman clampdown held each May.

Most had been using methamphetamine, or P, to stay awake.

Though none of the 140 were caught in New Zealand, police warn that truck crashes here are killing the same disproportionately high number of people as in Australia.

The jump has triggered a call from the Labour Party for a government inquiry, and from the truckers' union for new laws.

Head of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency, Jon White, says truck drivers resort to using drugs for various reasons.

"To earn more money, to pay off debt, to meet deadlines. There's a great deal of pressure on some truck drivers and sometimes that's evidenced in the taking of drugs."