October 26, 2020 - Motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of death among Canadian youth ages 16 to 25, and alcohol and/or drugs is a factor in almost half of those crashes. Impaired driving means operating a motor vehicle (such as cars, trucks, ATVs/ORVs, snowmobiles and boats/water vessels) while the ability to do so has been affected to any degree by consuming alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two. According to Parachute Canada, 19% of Canadian youth said they have driven within four hours of using cannabis and 35% of youth say they have been a passenger with a driver who used cannabis in the previous four hours.
To bring drivers attention to the myths and dangers of driving high, the Community Traffic Awareness Committee (CTAC) is launching a month long “Feel High?...Don’t drive” social media campaign this week. The campaign is designed to inform new and experienced drivers about the health effects drugs can have on their ability to drive and the very serious legal and financial consequences.
“It is important to raise awareness to expose the realities vs the myths of cannabis impaired driving,” says Hazem Sabeh, committee chair and public health nurse at Thunder Bay District Health Unit. “This is a locally created campaign that aims to protect our community by informing Thunder Bay drivers so collisions and injuries can be prevented.”
It is illegal to drive impaired, even by prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Police are trained to determine if a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. “The Thunder Bay Police Service recognizes the dangers of impaired driving and the complexities that come with investigating it. Impaired driving remains one of the most preventable causes of loss of life, injury, and damage to property. The Service is more prepared than ever for the task of stopping this dangerous criminal behaviour, and will show zero tolerance to those who are found driving under the influence”, says Constable Mark Cattani of TBPS Traffic Unit.
To see the campaign, follow the Health Unit on Facebook and visit TBDHU.com for an overview of the health, legal and financial consequences of impaired driving: https://www.tbdhu.com/impaireddriving.
CTAC is a partnership between the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Thunder Bay Police, Ministry of Transportation, City of Thunder Bay and other community partners, dedicated to reducing injury, fatalities, and improving road safety through education, public awareness and enforcement.
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