WINNIPEG — Manitoba Public Insurance is launching a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of drug-impaired driving.
Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen says it’s being done in readiness for the expected federal legalization of recreational use of marijuana in 2018.
Premier Brian Pallister says the federal plans to legalize pot “must take into consideration the potential harms” it can cause, including an increase in drug-impaired driving collisions.
Pallister says the province’s hope is that MPI’s campaign over the next year will give Manitobans the information they need to make safe decisions.
Back in March, MPI released a survey indicating that one in 10 Manitoba drivers who participated in voluntary roadside surveys conducted last fall tested positive for drugs.
Of the 1,230 drivers who participated in the survey, 124 tested positive for drugs with 53 per cent testing positive for cannabis, 31 per cent for cocaine and 12 per cent for opioids.
Twenty two per cent of the drivers tested positive for more than one drug.
“Education and public awareness are critical in making all Manitobans aware of the dangers of drugs and driving,” says Cullen. “Recent results of the Manitoba Drug and Alcohol Roadside Survey confirm the need for more awareness about this serious road safety issue, and the importance of understandable messaging related to the dangers of drug use while driving.”