THE AUNT of a schoolgirl killed by a driver who had smoked cannabis hopes a campaign advertising tougher drug-driving laws is "as harsh as possible".
Michaela Groves, whose niece Lillian Groves, 14, was killed outside her home in New Addington in 2010 by a speeding car, thinks previous adverts have held back too much on "ignorant" drug drivers who she says think they are "invincible".
New laws will come into force in March next year which will make driving with more than trace amounts of drugs in a driver's system a criminal offence.
Mrs Groves said: "We hope the changes are given a strong campaign because it [drug-driving] has never been as high profile as drink-driving.
"The changes are very robust but some countries are already much stronger on this and we need to make sure it hits people as hard as possible.
"I do think these adverts need to be very harsh. There was one recently where all the people in the car just had bigger eyes and it looked like they were all having quite a good time.
"It needs to be more hard-hitting. One that sticks with me for the drink-driving campaign was when the man who had killed a young girl kept being followed round by her dead body. It may look horrific but it needs to be effective."
Mrs Groves and Lillian's family worked tirelessly with the Advertiser to get the law changed through the Lillian's Law campaign.
But she says the impact of the adverts needs to be hard-hitting because of the ignorance of those who drive after taking drugs.
She said: "A lot of people who have taken drugs and drive think they are untouchable until something happens to them.
"We have been told that adverts which depict parents going to a mortuary and identifying their child do not hit home with these drivers enough because it doesn't affect them directly."
She added she hoped there would be adverts in the months prior to the law change in time for Christmas.
Lillian's family are also sceptical as to the figures taken from a new drug-driving survey of 1,000 drivers this week which suggested a million drivers in the UK may have got behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of drugs in the last year.
Three in 100 drivers admitted to doing so in the survey conducted by charity Brake and Direct line.
"Obviously even three per cent is an alarming number and it's three too many but if they actually tested 1,000 people and told them there would be no punishment, I think we would see a lot more than three in a hundred," Mrs Groves added.
"I'm not sure if people just don't trust these surveys or are in denial but I would say it's a lot more than that."