The motorist club AAA is providing more than $100,000 in grants to Illinois public safety, health, and law enforcement agencies and organizations to stem cannabis-impaired driving, WAND17 reports. The grant funding comes three weeks after the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report suggesting that more Washington state drivers involved in fatal crashes are testing positive for THC.
According to the study, between 2008 and 2012 – prior to broad legalization in the state – an estimated 8.8 percent of drivers involved in fatal auto accidents in the state. The AAA study found that rate rose to an estimated 18 percent post-legalization, from 2013-2017. The study also suggests that the average number of THC-positive drivers in fatal crashes increased from an average of 56 in the five years before legalization, to 130 in the five years post-legalization.
“AAA opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational use because of its inherent traffic safety risks and because of the difficulties in writing legislation that protects the public and treats drivers fairly.” – AAA in a press release
The grant money will be used for Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, a program which teaches law enforcement officers how to identify and articulate the signs of impairment related to drugs and alcohol; for purchasing the ToxOptix X3, a pen containing a UV lamp, medical penlight, and a timing system for standardized sobriety testing; and Fatal Vision Marijuana Goggles.
Among the grant recipients are 24 police and law enforcement organizations throughout Illinois, three hospitals, public safety advocacy organization Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists Organization, and two public health organizations.