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Drugged Driving has significant impact on society

Drug Czar

Director Kerlikowske called attention to new information reporting the alarmingly high percentage of fatalities on America’s roadways involving drivers with drugs in their system. He called on communities to act immediately to prevent drug use before it starts in light of these new findings. […]

In an ONDCP News Release, Director Kerlikowske stated that “drugged driving is a much bigger public health threat than most Americans realize and unfortunately, it may be getting worse.

So what’s the significant impact that this increase in the presence of drugs of unknown breakdown in the bloodstream of tested drivers has had on society?

U.S. Traffic Deaths Drop to Historic Low

U.S. traffic fatalities are at a record low despite drivers traveling farther than they did in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study of traffic injuries and fatalities in 2009 found that 33,808 people were killed in vehicular accidents, which is a decline of 9.7 percent from 2008’s figures. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 1950 to find a year when fewer people were killed.

Keep in mind that there were only 44.7 million cars on U.S. roads in 1950 and a population of 150 million compared to today’s 255.9 million cars and a population of 310 million, according to the DOT. Which means that the probability of being involved in an auto fatality is dramatically lower than it was nearly 60 years ago.

Drugged Driving. Obviously it has more impact than we thought.

[Thanks, Paul]

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22 comments to Drugged Driving has significant impact on society

  • darkcycle

    Jeez. Torture by statistics. Looking at only fatalities…No distiction there between the parties at fault and innocent second-vehicle casualties. No distinction between impairment and the mere presence of metabolites..no distinctions between drunk and drugged and merely drugged drivers. Lowest fatalities since 1950….
    I smell an insta-crisis. They’re manufacturing this shit to counter….us.

  • claygooding

    I still say it is a push for the Philips recent use drug detector,which may or may not show actual impairment,only
    presence.
    This is Karen Tandy’s baby and if he can get states to adopt zero-tolerance drugged driving laws she and Motorola
    will make billions.
    Yet another tool to harass marijuana users.

  • strayan

    Texting drivers more dangerous than cannabis users:

    “The reaction times of people texting as they drove fell by 35 percent, while those who had consumed the legal limit of alcohol, or taken cannabis, fell by 21 percent and 12 percent respectively”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLI65189720080918?sp=true

    The only solution is to prohibit the sale of cell phones entirely. A more sensible retriction on using your phone while driving is out of the question.

    Meanwhile, drugs such as amphetamines, at certain doses, have been found to improve psycho-motor performance; which is presumably why they have been authourised by the United States Air Force for pilots flying billion dollar fighter jets at supersonic speeds.

    References:

    Armstrong, E.G. (2007) ‘Moral Panic Over Meth’. Contemporary Justice Review, 10(4), 427-442.

    Gustavsen, I., Mørland, J. & Bramness, J.G. (2006). Impairment related to blood amphetamine and/or methamphetamine concentrations in suspected drugged drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 38(3), 490-495.

  • methinks the art of doublespeak has reached absurd new highs…

    But it’s ok… Droop Dogg just steps deeper into hell with ever finagling lie he spews.

    And a highway fatality rate that is lower than 1950? Really Gil? We’re safer but more dangerous huh? Like Grampa Semu used to tell me – “white man speaks with forked tongue.” No doubt Grampa, no doubt.

  • Bruce

    After being impounded twice on spurious grounds I made the only sensible choice and quit my job contracting which required being at a different address daily.
    Sold the second vehicle. I figure since April the stupid clowns who need to be told to remove the 100 pounds of food in the fridge to move it without tearing the linoleum have gnawed their own foot off to the tune of between three and five grand tax revenue. Not one more dime, B.C. Liberals. Not one more dime outta me.

  • strayan

    “Mexican police chief who took the job men didn’t want is shot dead”

    After only 2 months on the job.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23903186-mexican-police-chief-who-took-the-job-men-didnt-want-is-shot-dead.do

  • Snake oil....

    …They are selling fear and if you buy it . It means more money for them, more taxes for you.

    This is no different than the fear they sell in this’war on terror’. Are there terrorists? You bet there are but, they setup a few idiots, a few stupid teens , to carry fake bombs on planes or to christmas tree lightings. Then they have ‘good reason’ to install body scanners and make millions off of YOUR fear.

    The only thing to fear is fear its self.

  • strayan

    Y’know, just ‘driving’ alone has a significant impact on society.

    Driving is an activity that has a raft of inherent dangers. But the correct thing to do is create rules and regulations to make driving safer, not ban cars altogether.

    Like driving, the correct thing to do about drugs is create rules and regulations to make drug use safer.

  • darkcycle

    Clay, it also feed the for-profit “treatment” industry, let’s not forget that, plus, they get to roll back that nonsensical fourth ammendment even further. Honestly, I wonder why we even still bitch about quaint antiquities like the “bill of rights”. It’s sooo 18th century…

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  • Cliff

    Go ahead and erect that straw man so we can torch it with our flame thrower I call the truth. The truth is there are many drugged drivers out on the road every day. They are taking mind altering substances like; Xanax, Celebrex, Morphine, Oxycontin, Codiene, Caffiene, Nicotine….

    The truth is that there are studies (sorry no linky, I think I saw it on a NORML e-mail) which show that experienced cannabis consumers are no more of a danger on the road than most sober drivers and are in fact safer because they are more cautious when the situation demands.

    I have seen some stone cold sober drivers pull some crazy ass shit out on the road which I had to dodge to avoid an accident. I guess if I was on my cell or otherwise not paying attention and went ahead and had the accident with no metabolytes in my system, then that’s OK.

  • kaptinemo

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – HL Mencken

    Every few years, the propaganda machine at ONDCP gets its’ wheezing, perforated bellows patched and dusted, its’ clogged pipes adjusted, is hooked up to the latest Drugczar’s mouth, he takes a deeeeeep breath and blows (but then, doesn’t he always?), and another stream of off-tune and frightening noises about a drug-related ‘hobgoblin’ is issued.

    This has gotten beyond old.

  • kaptinemo

    OT: Female Mex police chief assassinated.

    Obviously, the cartels believe in democracy for women in law enforcement. They get a chance to die in the same way their male counterparts do. And as to taking on such a job when it’s obvious what the outcome will be, given recent the historical precedent of plato o plomo, and a shallow grave for those choosing the latter, well, what can I say?

  • Snake oil....

    I hope wikileaks releases more than the governments of the world can withstand. Its time to bring forth the lies for all to see and end this insanity.

    Truth will be thier demise.

  • Servetus

    I was once prescribed codeine by a doctor who informed me that codeine creates a kind of tunnel vision caused by reduced blood flow to visual centers, which causes a reduction in peripheral vision. I was told by the doctor to consider this effect if I were to drive a car after taking codeine.

    And that’s exactly what I did. I made a conscious effort to turn my head at greater angles to see and gather enough visual information to make for safe driving.

    Problem solved. No need for drug meters. No need to be pulled over, hauled into court and branded with the Red Letter ‘D’ for being a heretic druggie, which I wasn’t—at least not then—having been given a valid prescription for a narcotic drug.

    Things have escalated. Now we’re faced with non-thinking control-freaks who believe they can justify their unproductive careers by inflicting misery and impractical restrictions onto responsible drivers, all under some pretense that they will lower traffic fatalities or perform some other miracle.

    And if they don’t lower the number of auto fatalities, so what? As always, the corporations will make their illicit profits from the scheme. The federal trough slurping prohibitionists will ignore their latest drug war failure and will go on to beguile a complacent nation into believing they’re succeeding at something else.

    Wars, especially drug wars, are rackets.

  • Duncan20903

    Well there’s some more supporting evidence that the war on (some) drugs is a great idea. Not.

    Sorry if I’m repeating myself here. But does everyone realize that it took the US 3 years and 9 months to dispatch the Axis of Evil? Almost 100 years after cannabis prohibition started in the US the Feds are getting its collective ass beaten like a red headed step child by a bunch of potheads. Go figure that one out.

    Spicoli for President!

  • DdC

    The Czar dope pope’s have the same mentality as the ones denying Galileo’s theory. Holding onto nonsense in spite of their own sanity. How long do these asinine tax gulpers think they can pretend and gossip as if they’re talking to a mirror or a dog that can’t reason out the BS in their own heads. When are these “pot” victims going to start coming out of the closet? Why is the ONDCP hiding them? Maybe Wikileaks can find em. The only thing Ganja ever did for me while driving was mellow out my road rage. Took away the best part of city driving. Just can’t cuss and yell anywhere anymore. The car and wingnuts on the roads are the only places left besides watching TV. But that don’t count. Less toking. More rage!

    Cannabis and Driving

    “THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small”
    U.S. Department of Transportation,
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    (DOT HS 808 078), Final Report, November 1993

    Alarmism Over Drugged Driving by Brian Bennett
    To truly understand what’s going on with regard to the impact of “drugged driving,” it would be wise to look at the data on traffic crashes. I am a former intelligence analyst who does volunteer statistical research and analysis for the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. The simple reality is that while the rates of use for intoxicating drugs other than alcohol ( both illegal drugs and legal pharmaceuticals ) have indeed increased in recent decades, curiously enough, the accident rates on America’s roads have been in constant decline.

    drug use data

    highway traffic data

    “Recent allegations by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that cannabis is a significant causal factor in on-road accidents and may adversely impact psychomotor skills up to 24 hours after past use are not supported by scientific evidence.”
    ~ Allen St. Pierre.
    NORML Executive Director

    * Liquid Drugs and Driving are the #1 cause of death 04/15/02
    College presidents from across the country are hoping a little sarcasm will go a long way toward curbing binge drinking among college students.

    * Ganjawar News: NO RECKLESS DRIVING

    “THC’s effects after doses up to 300 g/kg never exceeded alcohol’s at BACs of 0.08 g% and were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs (Robbe 1994). Yet THC’s effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourage greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former’s users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence.”
    ~ Hindrik W.J. Robbe
    Institute for Human Psychopharmacology,
    University of Limburg,
    P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands

  • Cannabis

    This really infuriates me, especially since it’s happening under the Obama administration. Unlike Howard Zinn, I had high expectations for his presidency. At least it would be better than the Clinton years, right? No, not with the likes of Kevin Sabet running the show over at ONDCP. I should have know better and seen this coming. Once I saw that Dr. Sabet was on board I knew things would get worse, not better, even with Tom McLellan around – and he’s gone now. Once President Obama nominated Michele Leonhart to be the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration I knew it would go downhill fast. I hope that the hold that Senator Kohl puts on her stays until the end of the year.

  • drug use versus traffic crashes:

    http://www.briancbennett.com/antidotes/crashes-vs-drug-use.htm

    i have all the raw data from 1994 through 2009 listing the various drugs identified in traffic fatalities … stay tuned, i’m far too busy but it’s on my list of shit to get around to.

    not that anybody actually cares

  • DdC

    Gov’t hypes drugged driving threat,
    calls for zero tolerance DUID laws nationwide
    November 30th, 2010

    The little red police cars show you the zero-tolerance states. If there is a time next to it, like 24h, that’s the mandatory jail time you serve immediately.

    Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review.)

    US MI: Editorial: Judge Made Right Decision in Pot Case
    Pearson made the right call by finding Chase guilty. He held true to Michigan law which states a driver cannot operate a vehicle with any amount of marijuana in their body. Blood tests presented during the trial showed Chase had THC ( the active ingredient in marijuana ) in her blood stream.