25
September
2018
|
18:00
America/Denver

Clearing the haze around cannabis-use and driving

The Alberta Motor Association, with the support of the NAIT Students’ Association and Alberta Students’ Executive Council, launches new cannabis-impaired driving awareness campaign

With the legalization of recreational cannabis just weeks away, here’s a sobering stat: only half of Canadians who use the drug believe it affects driving performance. In fact, many people think the drug improves a driver’s ability behind the wheel. These persisting myths and misconceptions simply can’t go unchecked.

Today, AMA unveiled an awareness campaign and website (DriveHighDUI.ca) aimed at clearing the haze around cannabis-use and driving. The campaign includes videos, infographics, an interactive quiz, and the rolling release of social media images designed to capture attention and communicate the message that high driving is impaired driving.

Representatives from the NAIT Students’ Association (NAITSA) and the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC) were also present at the media launch, showing their support for this safety message and highlighting its relevance to students across the province.

Jeff Kasbrick, Vice-President of Government and Stakeholder Relations, AMA

“Today we’re sharing a simple message with all Albertans: if you’re high, don’t get behind the wheel. Cannabis affects your reaction time, attention span, coordination and decision-making – virtually everything that’s required to drive. The facts are clear: driving high is driving impaired, and it’s just not worth the risk.”

Naomi Pela, President, NAITSA

“Students have their lives and careers in front of them. It would be tragic for someone to ruin their prospects with an impaired driving charge – or worse, ruin someone else’s prospects with one bad decision. We’re encouraging all Albertans to think of the safety of everyone on the road. Don’t drive while high.”

Jon Mastel, Government Relations and Advocacy Director, ASEC

“Post-secondary students grew up in a culture rejecting impaired driving. Just like alcohol, cannabis negatively affects our ability to operate a vehicle safely. If you're high, you can't drive. Students are calling on all Albertans to separate the two practices."

KEY FACTS

  • One in seven cannabis-users (14 per cent) in Canada say they’ve driven within two hours of consuming the drug. Among daily or almost-daily users, it’s more than one in four (27 per cent).
  • Only half of Canadians who’ve used cannabis in the last year think it affects driving ability. In fact, a 2017 CAA study found 20 per cent of Canadians 18 to 34 believe a high driver is the same or better behind the wheel.
  • Drivers under the influence of cannabis could face double the risk of a crash – and as much as 200 times the crash risk when the drug is combined with alcohol.
  • 1.4 million Canadians over the age of 15 have been passengers in vehicles driven by someone who’d recently used cannabis. Among cannabis users, one in four people have been passengers in vehicles with high drivers.

Downloads available at top right

 

About AMA

The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is among the largest membership organizations in Alberta, representing more than 975,000 members. As a leading advocate for traffic safety, travel and consumer protection and crime prevention, AMA represents the interests of its members to industry and all levels of government and helps protect the things they care about most. Visit ama.ab.ca to learn more about AMA’s products, services and member advocacy efforts.