GHSA Drug-and-Driving Policy Revisited

Oct 26, 2011
State highway safety group the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has announced that it plans to strengthen its drugged driving policy. The new policy aims to make drugged driving a national priority and ask states to address the issue.

The announcement was made at a drugged driving summit in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14 organized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

A 2007 survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 33 percent of all drivers with known drug-test results who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 tested positive for drugs (both illegal and over-the counter and prescription medications). Another recent NHTSA report indicated drug use reported by states among fatally injured drivers increased from 13 percent in 2005 to 18 percent in 2008.

“As with drunk driving, a strong national-state partnership is necessary to make progress,” said Barbara Harsha, GHSA’s executive director.

The new GHSA policy encourages states, among other things, to amend statues to provide separate and distinct sanctions for alcohol and drug-impaired driving as well as improve testing protocols.

Photo courtesy of Anno Lob and re-used under the Creative Commons license.