Ahead of an expected pollen count high this weekend, road safety organisations have warned drivers of the risks associated with hay fever medication. Road safety charity Brake and GEM Motoring Assist both say some of the tablets sold over the counters of UK chemists' impair the senses and lead to drowsiness.
The experts say drivers whose faculties are impaired due to the meds face the same penalties as those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those convicted could be slapped with a driving ban and a fine with no upper cap on it.
With the ban comes a black mark on the offender's licence which stays there for the next 11 years. Safety organisations say police have the right to pull drivers over if there are reasonable suspicions they are not fit to drive. Drivers could then be told to do the classic walk the straight line to prove they are sober.
Neil Worth is a road safety official with GEM Motoring Assist. He told media sources common hay fever tablets were liable to trigger drowsiness in addition to causing blurred vision and hearing loss plus increase the amount of time needed to react in emergencies.
Another side effect is inattention and an inability to focus on tasks in hand. Mr Worth finished off by saying the compound side effects of hay fever medicine vastly increased the likelihood of drivers having a crash and they should really not drive unless they felt 100 per cent well enough to do so.