Drunk/Impaired driving

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, this week called attention to the high percentage of fatalities on USA roadways involving drivers who had drugs in their system and called on communities to continue to prevent drug use before it starts. Kerlikowske’s announcement was shared in light of a new traffic fatality analysis released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

According to the inaugural analysis of drug involvement from NHTSA’s Fatal Accident Reporting System census, one in three motor vehicle fatalities (33 percent) with known drug test results tested positive for drugs in 2009. Additionally, according to the new analysis, the involvement of drugs in fatal crashes has increased by five percent over the past five years, even as the overall number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States has declined.

Kerlikowske said campaigns against drunk driving have been effective and should continue, but more emphasis should be placed on ‘drugged driving.’

In a news release, Kerlikowske said, “It is critical that communities across the nation address the threat of drugged driving as we redouble our efforts to make America’s roadways safer by increasing public awareness, employing more targeted enforcement, and developing better tools to detect the presence of drugs among drivers.”

According to a 2007 NHTSA Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, 1 in 8 nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for an illicit drug. The most recent Monitoring the Future survey revealed that one in 10 high school seniors reported that in the two weeks prior to the survey they had driven after smoking marijuana.

Source: www.CADCA.org Dec.2010


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