Drug-Impaired Driving Summit Focuses on Shared Input


June 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 15, 2018 (nhtsa.gov) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a drug-impaired driving initiative earlier this year, starting with a summit designed to gain input from experts and members of the community. The summit details are reported at nhtsa.gov.

On March 15, NHTSA held a summit to address drug-impaired driving and begin a national conversation about addressing and solving the problem. NHTSA attributes increases in drug-impaired driving in part to the opioid epidemic in the United States and several states’ legalizations of marijuana. Safety partners, data and policy experts, law enforcement officers, criminal justice professors, toxicologists, and drug recognition experts attended the summit. Approximately 150 people total went to the summit 

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King opened the summit with remarks about the gravity of drug-impaired driving in the United States and indicated the issue would be a top priority for NHTSA. King added that she previously worked as an emergency medical technician and saw first-hand the devastation that drug-impaired driving can cause to people and families. 

Throughout the summit, whiteboards stood in view labeled with the topics Communications, Health/Medical, Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Science, State Law, and Miscellaneous. Participants were encouraged to use sticky notes to write their own ideas for conquering drug-impaired driving and place them on the corresponding whiteboards. 

In a press release prior to the summit, NHTSA said it was “looking to develop creative solutions to improve safety and reduce deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes.” King commented in the release, “Nobody can solve drugged driving alone, but by sharing best practices, we can begin to save lives today — we cannot afford to wait.” 

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