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Article

Towards the Validation of an Observational Tool to Detect Impaired Drivers—An Online Video Study

1
Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Zurich State Police, Airport Division–Research and Development, Zurich-Airport, 8058 Kloten, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127548
Received: 19 April 2022 / Revised: 13 June 2022 / Accepted: 17 June 2022 / Published: 20 June 2022
Abuse of alcohol and other drugs is a major risk factor at work. To reduce this risk, workplace drug testing is performed in transportation and other industries. VERIFY, an observational method, is one of the key elements in a procedure adopted by the police of the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, for detecting impaired drivers. The observational method has been successfully applied by adequately trained police officers since 2014. The aim of this study is to examine the interrater reliability of the observational method, the effect of training in use of the method, and the role of having experience in the police force and traffic police force on the outcome when rating a driver’s impairment. For this purpose, driver impairment in staged road traffic controls presented in videos was rated by laypeople (n = 81), and police officers without (n = 146) and with training (n = 172) in the VERIFY procedure. In general, the results recorded for police officers with training revealed a moderate to very good interrater reliability of the observational method. Among the three groups, impaired drivers were best identified by officers with training (ranging between 82.6% and 89.5% correct identification). Trained officers reported a higher impairment severity of the impaired drivers than the other two groups, indicating that training increases sensitivity to signs of impairment. Our findings also suggest that online video technology could be helpful in identifying impaired drivers. Trained police officers could be connected to a road traffic control to make observations via live video. By this method efficiency and reliability in detecting abuse of alcohol and other drugs could be improved. Our findings also apply to workplace drug testing in general. View Full-Text
Keywords: accident prevention; workplace drug testing; impaired driving; video-based training accident prevention; workplace drug testing; impaired driving; video-based training
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baertsch, T.; Menozzi, M.; Ghelfi, S.M. Towards the Validation of an Observational Tool to Detect Impaired Drivers—An Online Video Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 7548. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127548

AMA Style

Baertsch T, Menozzi M, Ghelfi SM. Towards the Validation of an Observational Tool to Detect Impaired Drivers—An Online Video Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(12):7548. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127548

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baertsch, Tanja, Marino Menozzi, and Signe Maria Ghelfi. 2022. "Towards the Validation of an Observational Tool to Detect Impaired Drivers—An Online Video Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 12: 7548. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127548

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