Virginia authorities introduced the outcomes of a latest survey on the risks of cannabis-impaired driving, however issues didn’t go precisely as deliberate: Officers mentioned that the survey reveals “unsettling” and “alarming” attitudes about how protected it’s to drive when beneath the affect of pot.
Stratacomm, a public affairs consulting agency, carried out the survey and acquired over 750 responses representing a demographic cross-section of Virginia residents ages 16 and older.
About 23% of respondents reported consuming hashish up to now three months and about 14% of Virginia drivers who had been surveyed mentioned that they’ve pushed excessive a couple of instances or extra up to now yr.
Virtually one-third of these surveyed consider hashish makes them a safer driver. You will need to bear in mind, nevertheless, that some respondents are solely 16 years of age, barely sufficiently old to drive. It would make the free attitudes about driving security simpler to think about.
The info reveals that Virginians don’t understand cannabis-impaired driving to be practically as harmful as different dangerous behaviors—like consuming and driving: 60% of respondents view texting and driving and 49% regard alcohol-impaired driving to be “extraordinarily harmful,” however solely 1 / 4 of Virginians—26%—view cannabis-impaired driving as “extraordinarily harmful.”
The CCA will use the survey outcomes to develop a protected driving marketing campaign mandated by the 2021 Common Meeting that may spotlight the risks of cannabis-impaired driving, which is ready to launch in January 2023.
The CCA has their work reduce out for them. “These outcomes are worrying and underscore the Common Meeting was proper to direct the CCA to undertake a protected driving marketing campaign,” mentioned John Keohane, CCA Board Chair and retired Police Chief of Hopewell, Virginia.
“As a public security and public well being company, the CCA at the moment has no higher precedence than making a well-funded, aggressive, and sustained marketing campaign aimed toward decreasing the incidence of marijuana-impaired driving,” added Jeremy Preiss, the CCA’s Performing Head and Chief Officer for Regulatory, Coverage, and Exterior Affairs.
The findings additionally recommend that not all Virginians who devour hashish do it responsibly: 47% of hashish customers who had been surveyed reported they don’t at all times have a plan for a sober trip and 24% of respondents indicating they’ve been a passenger in a automobile operated by a excessive driver greater than as soon as up to now yr.
“The CCA desires to empower Virginians to make knowledgeable selections about marijuana use and guarantee individuals perceive that working a automobile whereas beneath the affect of marijuana is extraordinarily harmful,” concluded Brianna Bonat, the CCA’s lead public well being official.
The CCA invitations people who find themselves concerned about studying extra public well being and security info associated to hashish to go to cannabis.virginia.gov.
Efforts to promote safe driving with hashish are lively on the federal stage as effectively. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) commissioned a report about instructional campaigns on hashish and driving on July 26. The GHSA partnered with Nationwide Alliance to Cease Impaired Driving to create a playbook written particularly for State Freeway Security Workplaces (SHSO).
Related efforts to pinpoint the necessity for security for individuals who devour hashish is ongoing in Canada as effectively. Analysis revealed within the Canadian Medical Affiliation Journal in April 2021 was carried out by a analysis workforce related to Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish Common Hospital in Montreal and located related attitudes and misinformation about driving beneath the affect of pot.