SWOV Catalogus


The Road Safety Monitor 2002 : drugs and driving.
C 25325 [electronic version only] /83 /
Beirness, D.J. Simpson, H.M. & Desmond, K.
Ottawa, Ontario, Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada TIRF, 2003, III + 19 p., 14 ref. - ISBN 0-920071-33-3

Samenvatting The Road Safety Monitor is an annual public opinion survey by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) that takes the pulse of the nation on key road safety issues by means of a comprehensive telephone survey of a random, representative sample of Canadian drivers. The results from this second edition of the Road Safety Monitor are being released in a series of reports that cover several key issues – the present report focuses on drugs and driving. Results show that driving after the use of illegal drugs is second only to drinking and driving on the list of important road safety issues Canadians say they face today. Canadians distinguish between driving while impaired by illegal drugs and driving while impaired by prescription or over-the-counter medications. Driving while impaired by illegal drugs is viewed as a much more serious problem. The perceived seriousness of driving while impaired by prescription or over-the-counter drugs is highest in the Atlantic region and decreases as one moves west across the county. Driving while impaired by illegal drugs is seen as a more serious problem in the Atlantic region and Quebec than in the rest of Canada. Overall, 17.7% of drivers report driving a vehicle within two hours of using either prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, marijuana, or other illicit drugs at some point in the past 12 months. In the past year, an estimated 3.7 million Canadians admit to driving after taking some type of medication or drug that could potentially affect their ability to drive safely. Driving after using over-the-counter medications is most common (15.9%). Considerably less frequent is driving after using prescription medications (2.3%), marijuana (1.5%), and illegal drugs (0.9%). Young males are most likely to report driving after using marijuana or other illegal drugs. Canadians’ knowledge of impaired driving laws varies considerably. Whereas 86% are aware that a conviction for impaired driving results in a criminal record, two-thirds believe that the penalties for drug-impaired driving are less severe than those for alcohol-impaired driving – a belief which is incorrect because the penalties are the same. Over 80% of drivers agree with two countermeasures; requiring drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs to submit to tests of physical co-ordination (sobriety tests) and setting limits for drugs similar to the alcohol limit for drivers. Canadians are somewhat less supportive of measures that require all drivers to provide blood samples if involved in a serious collision or if suspected of being under the influence of drugs. Only about 70% of drivers agree with these measures. (Author/publisher)
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