TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - July 14, 2017) - R.I.D.E CHECKS -- Don't add driving to your summer high! The warm weather often brings lots of cottage trips, festivals and concerts -- and sometimes the munchies too! Well, munch away but just don't get behind the wheel.
That's the message from a new awareness campaign, Don't Drive Hi, which is helping to help spread awareness that buzzed driving is just like drunk driving so stay off the roads. Despite weed becoming legally available across Canada by mid 2018, driving high is illegal -- and it will remain illegal.
"People don't necessarily associate being high with two things -- that they're impaired and they can lose their licence. We need to get the message out there," said Lorne Simon, founder of R.I.D.E. CHECKS and the lead on this ongoing important campaign to keep roads safe.
"We're not here to tell anyone not to smoke pot. We don't care if you're in the mood to finish off your third bag of cheese puffs, dig in but just don't drive!" said Simon.
That's the tone of the new Don't Drive Hi campaign -- cheeky and non-preachy -- featuring fictitious weed-friendly snacks in radio ads and on colourful diner menus to be handed out at large music events across the city. If a fish taco ice-cream Sunday ketchup bowl sounds appetizing then you're probably driving high and need to pull over!
The year-long Don't Drive Hi campaign is backed by forward-thinking sponsors and supporters including radio stations Z103.5 and Energy 108, licensed producer Beleave Inc., advertising agency BBDO, and safe driving advocates R.I.D.E. CHECKS and Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER.
"There are extremely high social costs and harms attributed to cannabis-related motor vehicle collisions in Canada, including potential injury or loss of life," said Roger Ferreira, a neuroscientist at Beleave, a medical cannabis company. "As a company that cares about community and the people in it, Beleave is proud to support the Don't Drive Hi campaign."
"Beleave's support is paramount to the success of the Don't Drive Hi campaign", added Simon, "and in creating a culture where driving after consuming cannabis is never okay."
Legislation is still hazy but the impact and consequences of driving impaired are clearly devastating. A troubling new study from B.C. revealed that a high proportion of young adults who consume pot are driving. Study co-author Dr. Jeff Brubacher predicted that when marijuana is legalized, there will be an increase in crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Drugs and driving don't mix but the sobering truth is that people still do it. "Driving high is illegal and we don't discriminate between alcohol and drugs," said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt. "We'll continue to patrol the roads and crack down on impairment."