WASHINGTON — The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) today hosted a policy briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges and opportunities to address the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving to make our roads safer.
Today’s policy briefing, “Marijuana Impairment: A Driving Factor in Auto Crashes,” is the second installment in PCI’s 2018 Capital Engagement Series. Kate Carey, PCI’s vice president of federal government relations moderated the panel of experts including Allison Kennedy, assistant director of governmental affairs at the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; and Russ Martin, director of government relations at the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
“PCI is pleased to partner with these organizations to discuss the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving and solutions to make our roads safer,” said Carey. “Vehicle crashes continue to rise across the country and driving under the influence of marijuana is thought to be a factor contributing to this alarming trend. While twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, driving high is illegal. When you’re high, it can impair your judgement, motor coordination, and reaction time. We need more research, public awareness, and better public policy to address marijuana impairment and testing standards to make our roads safer.”
“Impaired driving, caused by alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, is a major public health and safety problem that results in thousands of needless deaths each year,” said Kennedy. “There is no doubt that the increasing prevalence of marijuana use is a serious highway safety concern. Today, we face similar challenges to those we confronted in the battle against drunk driving. There is a critical need for improved data collection and analysis, reliable roadside testing technology and updated anti-impairment driving laws to address drug use. These are all urgent priorities.”
“Drugged driving is increasing and the best thing to do is to expand impaired driving countermeasures to include drug use and get much-needed tools, funding, and other resources to states and communities on the front lines of combating this traffic safety challenge,” said Martin.
PCI’s Capital Engagement Series is a series of briefings and policy discussions that bring together thought leaders and experts to discuss the importance of property casualty insurance and the current issues impacting the industry. PCI’s policy discussion, “Hurricane Season: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery,” was held earlier this year to help prepare communities for the start of the 2018 hurricane season.