WASHINGTON (KFDX/KJTL) — If you feel different, you drive different—that’s the message of a multi-million dollar ad campaign by the department of transportation to keep our roads safe from impaired drivers.
According to the numbers, the weeks leading up to Labor Day are among the deadliest for motorists. But as Trevor Shirley explains– alcohol is no longer the main problem authorities are up against.
If you haven’t seen them yet, you probably will soon. Ads like this one are the backbone of a 13-million-dollar campaign by the department of transportation–to stop impaired driving leading up to Labor Day.
Jamie Pfister of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says “it’s really important that we continue to get this message out because we’re still losing so many lives to this issue. And the whole point is to reduce the risk of impaired driving crashes and fatalities.”
Helen witty’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver while she was rollerblading back in 2000. Witty is now the president of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving and supports the ad campaign’s effort to educate beyond just alcohol.
“She said don’t worry mom, I cross at the crosswalks, I stay on the bike path, I’ll be fine, I love you, I’ll be right back. And that’s the last I saw of her,” said Witty.
Drug-impaired driving is a problem on America’s highways. Like drunk driving, drugged driving is impaired driving, which means it is dangerous and illegal in all 50 States, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Whether the drug is legally prescribed or illegal, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, vehicle passengers, and other road users.
NHTSA wants to spread the word about drug-impaired driving and to remind all drivers: if you are impaired by drugs and thinking about driving, pass your keys on to a sober driver
“And drugged driving as it is legalized in some places is a huge emerging issue,” says Witty.
In fact, according to a survey by NHTSA, numbers show as many as 12-percent of weekend, night time drivers test positive for marijuana.
“Impairment is impairment, and we want to prevent those folks that are feeling different from getting behind the wheel of a car,” says Pfister.
And for drivers who don’t get that message, NHTSA officials say their campaign is backed up by boots on the ground.
To learn more about NHTSA, click here.