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'Drug addicts should lose licenses before they kill'

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'Drug addicts should lose licenses before they kill'
According to Spain's National Toxicology Institute, nearly half of all road deaths on Spanish roads are caused by alcohol or narcotics. Photo: Anthon Willet
10:42 CET+01:00
The Spanish region of Catalonia wants to revoke the driving licenses of drug addicts, alcoholics and people with mental disorders to avoid other people's lives being put at risk.

Joan Josep Isern, head of the Catalan Traffic Service (SCT), has been discussing the planned measures along with the region’s health services.

Their aim is to ascertain whether patients should be behind the wheel if they suffer from certain addictions or illnesses which could hinder their driving.

According to Spain’s National Toxicology Institute, nearly half of all road deaths in Spain are caused by alcohol or narcotics.

"If by 2050 we want road deaths to be a thing of the past, people with these kinds of problems have to be checked by the relevant health authorities to determine if they aren't a potential danger," Isern told Spanish news agency Europa Press.

The head of Spain’s main traffic body (DGT) María Seguí introduced a measure in 2010 which allowed doctors to have their say on whether a patient should be allowed their driving license.

Catalonia is now looking to reinforce that approach by revoking the driving licenses of potentially dangerous drivers before the crime or road death occurs. 

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