Cannabis has been legal for only a week in Canada and police throughout the Country are finding people operating motor vehicles under the influence of Cannabis. With all the education, awareness, and media on the topic you would think that everyone would be aware and prepared. That doesn’t seem to be the case however as we have seen charges laid time and time again across the Country. There was a charge in Alberta with Cannabis found in the possession of the driver and another incident with a truck driver driving erratically and hitting objects along the highway in Ontario. He was eventually chased down and arrested by police. This incident really was an issue for me as it happened in my neighbourhood with a company I am familiar with and know the products they haul. You can view the video here on that story. https://twitter.com/opp_hsd/status/1053666318459666433?s=21
At what point to do we need people to start taking their safety seriously. Most professional drivers know that how they operate in their personal vehicles can affect their licence and ultimately their careers as drivers depending on the charges. I will say that for the most part professional drivers respect their careers and drive safely outside of the truck. For those that operate south of the border as well already know that random testing can happen at anytime keeping them from engaging in drugs and alcohol that may give them test results that can affect their job. But what about the rest of the population that are driving around us?
With the legalization of Cannabis people have been flocking to purchase points many of them to relive their teenage years or have the joy of being able to consume drugs in public. There was even a recent report that suggested that seniors are a category of the population that is growing the fastest in consumption of legal Marijuana. I understand the medical benefits, but I have seen many seniors that have trouble driving without the effects of Marijuana. Where are these people being tested before they get behind the wheel. Where is their education taking place on how long drugs stay in the system? I have many friends that have been waiting for the legalization to come about and are now very excited about being able to purchase things legally. They may know the facts that you cannot have Cannabis in the vehicle, but what if they smoked it before they started to drive? What if they consumed it the day before, are they still impaired?
Educating people on the effects of drugs are going to take a long time and I hope it happens soon. We keep educating the people who are already being educated on a regular basis and have things like random testing in place. Most professional drivers understand the dangers of being impaired and hopefully those that haven’t caught on to this yet will learn before they do harm to someone. What we need to do is educate all of those around us and fast!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com