Marijuana legalization is around the corner, and road safety advocates are grappling with the fact that Canadians may not understand the extent of the drug’s risks. In December, the federal government, in partnership with MADD Canada, Young Drivers of Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association, and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police launched a 30-second video ad warning young people not to drive while high. The ad is currently running on television, social media, and in movie theatres.
The $3-million campaign is clearly targeted at 16- to 24-year-olds: the cast is teenaged and the first 20 seconds of the video are shot through social media filters on a smartphone screen. Toward the end of the video the car is struck by another vehicle and a voiceover states: “Your life can change in an instant. Don’t drive high.”
“Too many Canadians badly need to hear that message – too many people downplay the potentially deadly risks of driving high,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said, according to the CBC.
The video, which is part of a five-year, $46-million federal communication initiative, couldn’t have come at a better time. With only months remaining prior to legalization, a recent Health Canada study suggests many Canadians – particularly marijuana users – don’t fully grasp the danger of drug-impaired driving.
“Three quarters (75%) of all respondents reported that they think that cannabis use affects driving,” the report reads. “This drops to 50% when looking at responses from respondents who reported using cannabis in the past 12 months, while less than a quarter of them responded that it depends (24%), or that it did not affect driving (19%).”
Any car accident lawyer would be disappointed to hear that half of marijuana users don’t think the drug affects driving. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, meanwhile, said the survey results “reinforce why we have invested in targeted public education and awareness efforts.”
MADD Canada national president Patricia Hynes-Coates insisted that public messaging campaigns will prove beneficial.
“We know that if this campaign and the campaigns MADD Canada runs and all these other organizations are running save one life, then we know it’s well worth running these programs,” she said. “If none of us have to put a loved one into a cold grave, then we have accomplished our jobs.”
From a car accident lawyer’s perspective, the many dangers of driving while high are clear. Personal injury lawyers are familiar with impaired driving accidents and understand the potential extent of the injuries they can cause.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, contact a car accident lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team can help you understand your legal options and advise you on your path to recovery.
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