Drivers Worry Legal Marijuana Will Impact Road Safety: Survey

The Canadian Automobile Association says nearly four in every five Ontario drivers surveyed are concerned about the impact legalizing marijuana will have on road safety.

TORONTO — Nearly half of drivers who are also marijuana users told a survey they drive better, drive about the same or don’t know if cannabis impacts their ability behind the wheel.

The survey — a poll of 1,000 drivers commissioned by the Canadian Automobile Association South Central Ontario and conducted by Ipsos — found that 16 per cent of respondents had used marijuana within the last three months.

Attitudes about driving and marijuana use in that group, dubbed current users by the pollster, present a serious public education issue when it comes to drug-impaired driving, CAA director of government relations Teresa Di Felice said.

“One of the challenges is that there is a perception by people who use marijuana that they drive the same or better when they’re under the influence marijuana,” she said. “That is a concern and puts safety at risk There are cognitive impacts. There are concerns. Those two don’t mix.”

According to the survey, eight per cent of current marijuana users believe they drive better after using marijuana than when they are sober.

29 per cent of current cannabis users believe their ability to drive is the same after using marijuana as when sober.CAA Survey

Twelve per cent of respondents who are current users said they didn’t know if there was any difference between their ability to drive after using marijuana or sober.

The remaining 52 per cent of current marijuana users believe they drive worse after using pot than when sober.

Di Felice calls those results “startling” but says they line up with the view of nearly three quarters of survey respondents that a public education campaign is necessary and those efforts should target young drivers who are more likely to be regular users of pot, she said.

Nearly 75 per cent of respondents either strongly support or somewhat support stricter penalties for drug-impaired drivers.

“Things like fines and suspensions (are) ways of influencing people to recognize not to drive while under the influence of marijuana,” she said.

The poll found that 77 per cent of respondents are concerned about road safety when marijuana is legalized on July 1, 2018.

Things like fines and suspensions (are) ways of influencing people to recognize not to drive while under the influence of marijuanaTeresa Di Felice, CAA

Di Felice said the survey shows the majority of respondents also believe there will be an increase in the frequency of marijuana-impaired driving.

“I think there is just a general perception, and

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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