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NHTSA Launches New Drug-Impaired Driving Initiative

At the end of January, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator Heidi King announced that drugged driving will become a top priority for the agency. NHTSA will bring together stakeholders to develop and adopt a collaborative and coordinated strategy to combat drug-impaired driving at the national level. The initiative will kickoff with a Call to Action at a summit on March 15. Drug-impaired driving experts and practitioners will participate in this summit and assist in “setting a course of action and taking measurable steps to address the nation’s drugged driving problem.” The summit will serve as a starting point to identify ways to improve data, fill gaps in research, and identify best practices to combat drug-impaired driving. applauds NHTSA for taking a leadership role in addressing impaired driving in all forms and looks forward to ongoing collaboration on this initiative.

In recent years, has worked with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to identify strategies to address drug-impaired driving and has provided funding for grants to train law enforcement to identify the signs and symptoms of drug impairment. With nine states and DC having legalized recreational marijuana (Vermont became the most recent state to legalize during the current legislative session) and the opioid and heroin epidemic affecting many states, there is a need to focus the attention of the traffic safety community on this problem and to begin a national dialogue.

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