More than 10 per cent of drivers randomly pulled over for a survey tested positive for drug use, compared to eight per cent who had been drinking alcohol, said Greater Sudbury Police Service, citing a 2010 study published in the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention.
Furthermore, a 2012 study found a two-fold increase in the risk of an accident if there is any measurable amount of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) in the bloodstream, said Greater Sudbury Police Service, which is launching the 2014 Drive Safe! RIDE traffic safety campaign in conjunction with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.
This ongoing campaign will focus on the dangers associated with driving under the influence of prescription medicines and illegal drugs — depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, inhalants, cannabis, etc.
“We’re proud to support this important public safety campaign,” said Dan Markiewich, Inspector of Emergency Operations at GSPS.
“Driving after consuming alcohol poses tremendous dangers for motorists, other drivers and pedestrians, but choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming certain prescription drugs or illegal substances can be just as dangerous. Not only are you putting yourself and others in physical danger, but legal consequences are just not worth the risk.”
The campaign features a public information booklet, “The Eyes Have It: Stoned Driving is Impaired Driving,” which contains information on driving while impaired (alcohol and drugs), as well as traffic collision reporting, protecting consumers from fraud, and Ontario’s racing, seatbelt, and distracted-driving laws.
Copies of the booklets are now available at GSPS headquarters on Brady Street and at the Lionel E. Lalonde Center in Azilda.
Locally, GSPS implemented the 12-Month High Visibility Program to address a variety of road safety issues in our community.
“GSPS continues to schedule RIDE spot checks throughout the year to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to reduce, with the goal to eliminate, impaired driving,” said Sgt. Valerie Tiplady, who leads the traffic management unit. “The Greater Sudbury Police Service has several officers trained to conduct the Standard Field Sobriety Tests at road side to address impaired driving by alcohol or drugs; we also have drug recognition experts to combat the issue of impaired driving by drug.”
The educational component to address impaired driving through the PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth) program will also continue by way of information sessions and display booths throughout the year.
To download a copy of “The Eyes Have It: Stoned Driving IS Impaired Driving” visit www.oacp.on.ca.