Poll on drug-impaired driving suggests more education needed, CAA says

OTTAWA — Newly released polling data about drug-impaired driving suggests more needs to be done to raise awareness of the dangers of getting behind the wheel while high.

The results from the Canadian Automobile Association found that just over one-fifth of all respondents in the online survey said they had either driven after consuming cannabis, or rode in a car with someone who had.

About one-quarter of respondents between the ages of 18-34 said they had been in a car where the driver had used cannabis.

The online panel survey of 1,517 Canadian by the firm Leger was conducted Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, but cannot be given a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

The results are similar to federal polling conducted just over two years ago, before the Trudeau Liberals legalized cannabis and launched public-awareness campaigns on the dangers of drug-impaired driving.

The CAA says the results of its survey suggest a need for more work on those campaigns, particularly during the holiday season.

In the lead-up to legalization last year, federal polling found just over one-quarter, or 28 per cent, of respondents reported operating a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.

More than one-third in the same research report said they were a passenger in a car where the driver was affected by cannabis.

Of the respondents in the federal survey who had driven while under the influence of cannabis, 17 per cent believed driving after using cannabis didn’t pose a risk.

In the CAA survey, 15 per cent of respondents said a driver who had used cannabis was the same or better behind the wheel.

“The study’s findings regarding attitudes and perceptions tells us there is a need for more education,” Jeff Walker, CAA chief strategy officer, said in a statement.

“If you plan to consume cannabis this holiday season, don’t drive. Make an alternate arrangement just like you would for drinking.”

In the CAA poll, about nine in 10 respondents said it was extremely important to arrange a way home after drinking — such as a taxi, ride-hailing service or a designated driver — compared to about eight in 10 who believed the same for cannabis use.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

River Bend could get an extension to repay an often deferred $1.7 million loan

Council gives initial approval to defer repayments until 2022

Pre-COVID oil prices not anticipated until late 2022

Conference Board of Canada’s releases latest economic outlook forecast

Statistics Canada says economy grew 3.0 per cent in July

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says real gross domestic product grew by three… Continue reading

Over 2,000 volunteers needed for 2020 Festival of Trees

The annual event this year shifted to Bower Place from Westerner Park

No resolution in Walmart shooter’s bid to avoid trial

The shooter, Chase Freed returns to court on Oct. 14

Leduc Man still missing, RCMP concerned for his well being

31-year-old Ryan Mcleod has been missing since Sept. 10, 2020.

Sylvan Lake family says they are ‘blessed’ to have found their home in Central Alberta

Onsy and Rosemary Tawadrous immigrated to Canada in 2011 and made their home in Sylvan Lake

Tractor fire east of Ponoka doused

Flames extinguished with foam additive

Wetaskiwin restaurant asks City for help with excessive property damage caused by continuous loiterers

Employees say that they are scared for themselves and their customers.

Quebec’s second wave driven by community transmission, muddled messaging, expert says

MONTREAL — Quebecers following the COVID-19 news in recent days may be… Continue reading

Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

WASHINGTON — After more than a year of circling each other, Republican… Continue reading

Most Read