CAA Manitoba sounds alarm on cannabis-impaired driving

Survey findings point to "great risk to road safety"

CAA Manitoba sounds alarm on cannabis-impaired driving


By Terry Gangcuangco

A study commissioned by CAA Manitoba has found some alarming statistics surrounding cannabis-impaired driving in the province.

The poll conducted by Dig Insights showed that:

  • 27% of impaired motorists have driven after consuming an edible form of cannabis (since legalization)
  • 61% of cannabis-impaired motorists wait less than three hours before driving
  • 67% of cannabis-impaired motorists feel confident in their ability to drive21% of motorists are not aware of the possible penalties for any type of impaired driving 

Ewald Friesen, community and government relations manager at CAA Manitoba, commented: “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.

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.

“While some believe that cannabis doesn’t impair their driving ability, it has been proven to affect coordination, reaction time, decision-making, and the ability to pay attention. We would like to see more public education and awareness on the risks of cannabis-impaired driving.”

In terms of educating cannabis users, more than half (64%) of the respondents agreed that cannabis-impaired driving is the most important public education topic related to cannabis. Additionally, 89% believe that driving under the influence of cannabis is a serious risk to road safety.

“CAA is encouraging motorists to get informed, know the rules, and make the right choices – don’t get behind the wheel when impaired,” the organization said. “Instead, make alternate arrangements, such as utilizing rideshare services, to ensure a safe journey home.”

Citing information from Manitoba Public Insurance, CAA pointed out that penalties can include licence suspension, vehicle impoundment, mandatory Impaired Driver Assessment, and potential charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.

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