Modelling the crash effects of random and targeted roadside drug tests in Victoria, Australia

Prof. Maxwell Cameron1, Associate Prof. Stuart Newstead1

1Monash University Accident Research Centre, Clayton, Australia


Preliminary oral fluid tests to detect drug driving were introduced in Victoria, Australia in December 2004. No evaluation of the introduction of roadside drug testing was conducted at the time. Recent research has modelled the relationships between prevalences of THC and Methamphetamine in fatally and seriously injured drivers and (a) the annual numbers of random and targeted drug tests during 2006-2016 and (b) the positive detection rates from these tests. The increase in roadside drug tests in Victoria from 42,000 in 2014 to 100,000 per year, particularly targeted tests, is estimated to have saved 33 fatal crashes and 80 serious injury crashes per year in Victoria. Further increases in targeted and random roadside drug tests are warranted, up to at least 390,100 total tests per year, which is estimated to save 46 fatal crashes and 134.5 serious injury crashes per year.


Max Cameron is a part-time Professor (Research) in the Monash University Accident Research Centre where he has worked since 1990. He is also Director of Camcomp, a private consultancy he established in 1996. He holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in statistics and a Ph.D. for his thesis on methods of evaluation of road trauma countermeasures.

Max has worked in the road safety field in Australia since 1965, with extensive experience in road safety research and its management, and in road safety policy formulation and strategic planning.  He has special skills in road crash data analysis and countermeasure evaluation in the behavioural, vehicle and road environment safety areas. His research interests have included optimum speeds, evaluations of speed enforcement, random breath testing and mass media publicity, and economic analysis of these road safety measures.