In New York, the legalization of medical marijuana could mean both more people using cannabis products and more widespread acceptance of marijuana use. Since Massachusetts, a state sharing its border with New York, has legalized recreational marijuana, this change in the law could also lead to many people visiting or passing through the state of New York after having used marijuana.
With more people using drugs in and around New York, a big road safety risk could be created. In fact, the number of drugged driving accidents has been steadily increasing for a while now, to the point where the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has launched new initiatives aimed at combatting the problem of drugged-impaired driving.
These GHSA initiatives are important because drugged driving is unquestionably dangerous. Victims harmed by drugged drivers also need to know their rights. New York City injury attorneys can help those hurt in collisions with drugged drivers to take appropriate action to obtain compensation from the driver whose dangerous choice caused harm.
How GHSA is Trying to Fight Drugged Driving
Governors’ Highway Safety Association reports that it has partnered with state law enforcement officers in locations across the country in order to help provide training on drugged driving. The GHSA teamed up with Responsibility.org to provide grant money to several states to train more than 500 law enforcement officers on recognizing and evaluating drug impairment during traffic stops. More grant money will soon be made available so the GHSA will be able to facilitate the training of police in other locations as well.
In addition to providing funds so states can educate police, prosecutors, and judges about drugged driving cases, the GHSA has also begun taking other steps aimed at fighting the drugged driving problem. For example, the GHSA published a Drug Impaired Driving Guide to teach states what they could do to help curb drugged driving. The guide included ideas for public education and outreach, as well as ideas for setting and enforcing policies related to drugged driving.
The association is making this dedicated effort to help states fight the problem of drivers impaired by drugs due to data showing a significant increase in crashes caused by impaired drivers.
In the past three years, there has been a big increase in the percent of fatally injured drivers who test positive when drug screenings are administered after death. In 2015, a full 43 percent of the drivers whose blood was tested after a deadly accident were found to have drugs in their system. This means almost half of all of the drivers who are involved in deadly crashes in the country had used drugs. These drivers do not only put themselves at risk, but they could also hurt other innocent motorists on the roads.
Hopefully, efforts to combat drugged driving will see success and there will be a reduction in the number of injuries or fatalities caused by drivers impaired by marijuana or other impairing substances. If crashes do happen, though, victims or surviving family members of victims killed in fatal collisions should contact RMFW for help as soon as possible.