The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced today it is launching a new initiative to combat drugged driving, a growing problem on U.S. roads. Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is against the law in all 50 states. With a national opioid epidemic and states legalizing marijuana, NHTSA is making the drugged-driving problem a top priority to ensure U.S. roads, communities and families are safe from impaired drivers. NHTSA is looking to develop creative solutions to improve safety and reduce deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes.
“Nobody can solve drugged driving alone, but by sharing best practices we can begin to save lives today – we cannot afford to wait,” said Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator. “And by advancing the science and the data, we can address this problem for our communities in the future.”
To kick off the new initiative, NHTSA is hosting a summit on March 15 to lead a national dialogue and call-to-action. NHTSA is bringing together key stakeholders—including safety partners; state and local elected officials; data and policy experts; law enforcement and criminal justice professionals; toxicologists and drug recognition experts—to join the U.S. DOT in setting a course of action and taking measurable steps to address the nation’s drugged-driving problem.
The summit will explore best practices for educating the public on the overall risk of drug-impaired driving; collecting consistent data and tracking DUIDs; testing and measuring driver impairment levels; and enforcing DUID laws. Additional details will be available on NHTSA.gov in the coming weeks.