Higher Risk on Roads if Cannabis Legalised – Road Transport Forum

By July 2, 2020 Media Release

Media Release  3 July 2020
The Road Transport Forum has sent a warning about the higher risks on roads – and to New Zealand truck drivers in particular – and the danger of higher insurance premiums if cannabis is legalised in New Zealand.

Nick Leggett who is the CEO of the Road Transport Forum has written in transporttalk that the Road Transport Forum “believes the Bill, as drafted, gives no consideration to the principle of safety – on the road and in the workplace. We all share the roads – that’s pedestrians, cyclists, car and truck drivers – and everyone wants their loved ones to come home from work each day.”

Leggett writes “Already the number of people being killed by drug impaired drivers on New Zealand roads is higher than those killed by drivers above the legal alcohol limit. There have been years and years of media campaigns to stop people drinking and driving, but still they do it. So, what is planned to educate people on taking drugs and driving? Higher risk on the roads automatically means higher insurance premiums across the board – insurance is risk priced and you pay on probability. When households and businesses are already managing tight finances, they shouldn’t be surprised by expenses that should be made clear up front.”

SayNopeToDope campaign spokesperson Aaron Ironside says “The Road Transport Forum is right to be concerned. The rights of people to be safe on the road outweighs the right to smoke cannabis. If a person has THC in their system, we don’t want them on the road endangering other drivers and families. Since recreational marijuana was legalised in Colorado, marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 151%, and doubled in Washington state. A quarter of Canadians aged 18-34 have driven after consuming cannabis or have been a passenger with someone who has, and a Colorado survey in 2018 found 69% of marijuana users have driven under the influence in the past year, and 27% admitted to driving high almost daily. A New Zealand study found that habitual users of marijuana have about 10 times the risk of car crash injury or death compared to infrequent or non-users.

Leggett concludes his article with the statement “We don’t want New Zealand’s truck drivers, who are just going about their work delivering all New Zealanders the goods they need, to be the casualty of poorly thought out laws.” 

READ MORE BACKGROUND & RESEARCH: https://saynopetodope.org.nz/driving-stoned/