CAA Manitoba says ‘alarming’ survey results show lack of awareness about driving high – Winnipeg

CAA Manitoba says ‘alarming’ survey results show lack of awareness about driving high - Winnipeg

CAA Manitoba says the results of a survey it conducted last year about cannabis-impaired driving are “alarming.”

The auto club says the study found that since legalization, 27 per cent of Manitoba drivers say they’ve driven a vehicle after consuming edible cannabis.

Of that number, 61 per cent said they’ve waited less than three hours before getting behind the wheel after taking edibles — a potential danger and risk to road safety, due to the prolonged amount of time it takes before people typically feel the effects of edibles.

“The data shows us that there is a significant number of impaired drivers under the influence of edible cannabis, which poses a great risk to road safety,” Ewald Friesen, CAA Manitoba’s community and government relations manager, said in a release Wednesday.

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“Edibles pose a greater risk for impairment and road safety since they can often take up to two hours for the effects to kick in.”

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According to the survey, Friesen said, Manitobans are aware of the dangers but seem to be driving while under the influence regardless. A full 89 per cent of drivers surveyed said they agree that driving high is a serious risk to road safety, but 67 per cent of drivers who use cannabis say they feel confident in their ability to drive.

Friesen said one possible solution is more public education and awareness about the dangers inherent in cannabis-impaired driving.

“While some believe that cannabis doesn’t impair their driving ability, it has been proven to affect co-ordination, reaction time, decision-making and the ability to pay attention,” he said.

Driving while high isn’t just dangerous — getting pulled over for any type of impaired driving can lead to an immediate 24-hour suspension of your driver’s licence, which could be expanded to 60 days. You’ll also be faced with a $400 impoundment of your vehicle, a mandatory impaired driver assessment, and most significantly, potential criminal charges.

According to CAA Manitoba’s survey, 21 per cent of Manitoba drivers aren’t aware of the severity of penalties they could face if caught driving under the influence.

Click to play video: 'Impaired driving prevention program gives Manitoba youth ‘a realistic look’'

Impaired driving prevention program gives Manitoba youth ‘a realistic look’

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