Ottawa lawmakers have been busy lately. In the lead-up to the new year they’ve been focusing on the details of the new Canadian impaired driving bill. With marijuana legalization coming next July, they’ve released a new ad campaign to get a head start on warning Canadians about the dangers of drugged driving.
The message within the PSA is simple: don’t drive high. It’s a message that many Canadians need to hear. According to data released by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office, far too many young people between the age of 16 and 24 think that driving high isn’t as bad as driving drunk.
That’s why, in partnership with MADD Canada, Young Drivers of Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the federal government hopes to change those attitudes toward drugged driving. Together they are focusing on communicating to the public that Canadian impaired driving includes both alcohol and drugs, and both are deadly.
The first video will be launched on December 18th, and it will target young people by focusing on a teenage girl who’s driving high and crashes her car. This video is just the start, and there will be over three million dollars invested in television, movie theaters, and social media campaigns over the new few years.
Although MADD Canada has been using videos, PSAs, and school seminars to change attitudes toward alcohol and driving, this is a relatively new task for the federal government. It’s also becoming an urgent task, because if attitudes toward Canadian impaired driving don’t change before legalization, there could be carnage on the roads.
Along with this push by the federal government, provinces are also starting to change their own impaired driving laws. Saskatchewan has just passed a zero-tolerance law for their young people, and Ontario and Alberta are toughening up their own impaired driving laws to include drugged driving.
Hopefully this ad campaign is the beginning of a change in Canadian attitude toward drugged-driving.